(Breather)This show is inspired by my interview with EndMyopia.org founder Jake Steiner, published on Nov 3, 2020. I was so inspired by Jake’s message that I ditched my glasses cold turkey after our interview, which took place on August 25, 2020. Five months down the road, I wanted to provide an update and give you some practical tips to start down the road of improving your vision naturally.
As Jake explained when he was on the podcast, not only did he cure himself of his own case of extreme myopia, he was able to do so entirely naturally. His recommended three steps for correcting vision are as follows: a little bit of blur, taking baby steps and quantifying your results.
Like I said, I personally went the cold turkey route when I ditched my computer glasses following recording my show with Jake back in August 2020. Going cold turkey was not necessarily the ideal strategy, but it’s actually been a revelation for me. If you want to learn about Jake’s movement and the scientific rationale to second guess the entire premise of lifelong dependency on reading glasses, listen to the episode.
Jake offers a compelling premise: “Eyes are just fine” but are being traumatized by focusing on a near object for long periods of time. Computer screens, while not great, are actually better than the small(er) devices, which you look at from a much closer view. And this is happening because you are putting your ciliary muscle into spasm with extended focus on a close screen. Pseudo myopia is also not the same thing as real myopia, which is why it’s important to relax eye muscles by looking at distant objects. Putting on prescription glasses is like a crutch; you are putting the muscle in a constant contraction, so it atrophies.
If you are game for a challenge and a path to improved vision, here’s how to play. Luke Storey, host of the Life Stylist podcast, is also going to manifest this shit!
- Strive for a Lil Bit of Blur: In my case, my correction is minimal. I just increase the zoom size on the screen and it looks fine.
- Take baby steps: Don’t make it too tough for yourself! I went cold turkey for a while, but now, I reach for my glasses when: I’m tired, it’s the evening, or there’s poor lighting.
- Quantify: Place an eye chart on the wall and tape on the ground. Or, try out Jake’s awesome app Meow-sure and get a baseline cm or diopter score for your eyesight. Do tests in the exact same lighting conditions to get correct baselines. Then, after testing after a long outdoor hike, test after three hours of looking at a screen, and you can see how you make your eyes WORSE quickly! When it’s real, it’s a real mindblower.
- Take long breaks. Short breaks are okay, but the 1-2 minute recovery is not long enough to get out of spasm. It’s better to go for long work periods if necessary, and then take a 30-minute break focusing on distant objects.
Hopefully this show encourages you to strive for a little bit of blur and keep challenging your eyes, however, don’t go overboard because you will risk giving up because it’s too tough (like extreme exercise). I bought a book years ago about improving your vision without glasses that claimed ‘In just 40 minutes a day of eye exercises,’ you can improve your vision. It’s also extremely important to note that too much blur can mess with the brain to the point where it becomes your new normal, and the brain forgets what true clarity is like. And, amazingly, the visual cortex fixes even astigmatism (misshapen lens).
With a little bit of blur, you can strive to improve by a 1/4 diopter in 3-4 months. So far, I’m at 4 months. My eyes are at R 0.5 and L 2.5 (yes, I have monovision; the doctor always reminds me, “Brad, people pay me big money to have your eyesight!). I’m looking forward to checking in a year from now, as my right eye should not need a prescription by then.
If you are tired of wearing glasses, listen to these ideas. [01:34]
Increase the zoom size on your computer screen or change your prescription. [04:25]
Brad describes a good way to test your eyesight at home. [07:38]
Most of the time, damage to the eyesight is because of our behaviors rather than a fixed medical diagnosis. [09:31]
People don’t realize that if you wear glasses, it affects your posture, how you walk, and how you look, and your social behavior. [11:14]
Strive for a bit of blur and take baby steps as you try this experiment. [14:02]
- “People don’t realize that if you wear glasses it affects your posture, it affects how you walk, how you look, your social behavior, it’s an extremely integral part of our existence. and bad eyesight has been associated with things like depression, anxiety, and inhibited physical performance.” – Jake Steiner
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Brad (1m 34s): A little bit of blur in my life. A little bit, Erica, my side. A little bit of read is all I need. A little bit of seen as what I see. Yes. We’re going to talk about getting a little bit of a blur in your life. Welcome to this interesting breather show inspired by my previous interview with Jake Steiner, the founder of End Myopia.org. So I strongly encourage you to go back and listen to that show about his amazing movement to cure far sightedness, myopia, get rid of those reading and computer glasses once and for all. Brad (2m 19s): And Jake has cured his own extreme myopia over the past decades with a novel strategy to challenge his eyesight, rather than throw those glasses on, and basically put your eyes into a cast type situation where the muscles atrophy and you become progressively more reliant upon corrected vision for the rest of your life. So I’m inspired to do this recording because I just had a small group meeting with Jake, where he gave some more insights and tips and ideas for you to get started right away down this fascinating road of improving your eyesight naturally. Brad (3m 3s): Luke Story is also part of the group. The host of the Life Stylist podcast is doing a great job with that show. He’s really into manifesting and creating the lifestyle of his dreams and his visions. And one of the things he’s put on his manifesting list is he’s going to manifest better eyesight and he is going to go to town with that. You can bet. So it’s really exciting to be connected with these guys and share this common goal, this amazing goal of becoming progressively less reliant upon your corrective lenses and actually seeing some improvement at one quarter diopter at a time over time, if you want to commit to this strategy, but you have to do it the right way. Brad (3m 45s): And Jake is very strongly emphasizing a gentle, progressive, comfortable approach, not something that’s going to be unsustainable or too daunting or unsuccessful. So after our podcast, which was recorded on August 25th and it aired on November 3rd on August 25th, I said, that’s it. I am getting rid of these glasses. And I went cold turkey and just decided to try to read the screen without my constant use of the reading glasses. I also put away my distance vision lenses because I don’t really need either one to the extreme. Brad (4m 25s): So I definitely want to qualify that, that my corrections are relatively minor and I had the chance to try this out without being too crazy. But what I did was I increased the zoom size on my screen of all the writing. So instead of glasses, I just, you know, went to 110 hundred and 115 120%t using the various programs to make things a little bigger and more easy to read. So Jake actually does not advocate a cold t..urkey approach like the one I tried, but instead taking a much more gradual approach where you put your glasses aside for short periods of time and then use them as needed. Brad (5m 9s): Or when you feel the slightest bit of eyestrain or perhaps getting a pair of corrective lenses, that’s slightly off your actual prescription. So a little bit less correction than you actually need, and maybe rotating those in and out with your regular pair of glasses. But again, listen to the full show because Jake talks a lot about the scientific rationale to second guess this entire premise of the optometry industry, which is the lifelong dependency on reading glasses and thinking that just because you’re getting older, your eyes are getting worse and worse. So Jake offers the compelling argument that your eyes are just fine right now, but what’s happening is they’re being traumatized by our propensity these days to focus on close objects, intently for long periods of time without a break. Brad (6m 5s): And the computer screen is bad enough and I’ve been doing that for decades, right? But in recent times, we’ve become more and more reliant upon mobile devices, which have even smaller writing and imagery requiring more intent focus,, and they’re even closer to the eyes. So what happens when you are focusing like this, when you are working with your phone and blasting up your text messages or scrolling through your social media feeds, you are putting your ciliary muscle into spasm with an extended focus on this screen without interruption. And so when this eye spasms the technical scientific term for it is pseudo myopia. Brad (6m 48s): It’s not real myopia. It’s, it’s effective myopia because you are in this muscle spasm. So when you relax the muscle by looking at distant objects where the eyes are allowed to take in the scenery of the beautiful mountains on your hike or at the beach, looking out over the ocean, you’re not tenting, you’re not spasming that ciliary muscle. The muscles relax. And guess what, amazingly you no longer have myopia or you no longer have as severe a case of myopia. So one of the things we talked about in the previous show was testing this in real time so that you can have some direct, quantifiable feedback that you are ruining your eyesight by what you’re doing, rather than stepping up to the plate with bad eyes or progressively worsening eyes as the decades go by. Brad (7m 38s): And what he means by that is I actually printed out an eye chart off the internet and put it on my wall and then did my eye test to the point where the final line appeared blurry. So I kept backing up, backing up, backing up until I got to that blur point. And then I put some tape on the ground. And so that would be, let’s say my reference point, and you want to do this test at the same time of day, same lighting conditions. Let’s say early in the morning when the natural light is shining in and you don’t have to worry about artificial light or any variables there. So you have this baseline eyesight. And then what you can do for fun and for complete amazing revelation is test again, after you’ve been stuck to a screen for three hours straight, and you will find that your eyesight is worse than from your baseline because of that spasm of the ciliary muscle. Brad (8m 33s): And then if you come back from, let’s say a prolonged outdoor excursion where you went on a hike. You were allowing your ciliary muscle to relax and just take in the scenery. The eye is no longer in spasm and by the way, it takes a long time to unwind and, and get that muscle to relax. So we hear about taking these brief breaks from the screen, the 20, 20, 20, the optometrist Mecca man, which is every 20 minutes looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. But Jake explains that it takes much longer for this spasm to go away so that doesn’t really help. I’m sure it’s not bad thing to do, but what you really might want to do with your workday is if you insist upon working for long periods of time without a break, Hey, I know work’s got to get done, but take lengthy breaks because it takes maybe a half an hour for the spasm to go away and for you to regain optimal visual abilities. Brad (9m 32s): And so back to the eye chart on the wall and the test. If you come back in from a long outdoor excursion, you’re going to find your eyesight is vastly superior to let’s say, performing a test while you just finished working, looking at a screen for three hours straight. And so with that insight in mind, you can see that the, the damage to the eyesight is because of our behaviors rather than, you know, a, a fixed medical diagnosis that you are now, plus 2.0, because you are now 45 years old. And when you were 35, you were plus 1.0 that kind of thinking can be tossed in the garbage can. Brad (10m 13s): And we can try to optimize our lifestyle and our eye behavior to understand the difference between pseudo myopia. Instead of thinking that we have real myopia and that’s farsightedness inability to see clearly at closeup. Okay? So if you instead go the traditional route of getting your prescription and using those things all the time, what the eyeglasses are doing besides making you see perfectly, they are putting that muscle into prolonged spasm, and you don’t have to worry about it or work at it, right? It’s just going into spasm and thereby atrophying over time, such that you’re going to need a better correction every couple of years, every five years, whenever your prescription changes, you’re just weakening the eye muscle because the eyeglasses act much like a cast for a joint where you take the cast off and your, your forearm or your lower leg has withered away. Brad (11m 15s): Right? So if you’re interested in doing a little bit of blur of trying to overcome this naturally, you continue to listen? If you just want to put your eyes in a cast and have that correction, not worry about it, that’s another way to go. But of course, we know that this is a, a slippery slope downward, and Jake makes some interesting arguments backed by research that bad eyesight has more wide ranging effects on our health than we previously believe. Quote from Jake people don’t realize that if you wear glasses, it affects your posture. It affects how you walk, how you look, your social behavior. Brad (11m 56s): It’s an extremely integral part of our existence. And bad eye sight has been associated with things like depression, anxiety, inhibited, physical performance. Obviously when you’re talking about athletics or something where you, your visual acuity is very important. I don’t know if you’ve heard that stat about the average eyesight of the major league baseball player is something crazy like 20-15. In other words, these guys make it to the bigs because they got big muscles and good skills out on the field. But also because they have as a group, exceptional eyesight, and personally, I feel like there is a sense of empowerment where you don’t have to be a reliant upon these crutches. Brad (12m 36s): Oh my gosh. I think I took a picture for social media when I first ditched my glasses with this experiment. And I realized that let’s see, I had like four different pairs of reading glasses stashed around at the different places where I spend time. In my travel bag. I have three pairs of distance, vision glasses. One of course is in my car because how can I be caught driving at night without these glasses? Another one in my travel bag. Another one in my home. And so these seven pairs of glasses are floating around in my life and I’m constantly having to look for them, find them, put them on. But wouldn’t it feel great if I didn’t have to be beholden to these things. Brad (13m 16s): And in my case, just upping the zoom size on the screen was a big help and I was able to carry on. But again, if you have really heavy correction, maybe you can just try this progressive approach where you bring in a little bit of blur into your daily experience. And when things are a little bit unclear that what’s happening is you are challenging your eye to focus and thereby strengthening it. Emphasis here is on a little bit because you don’t want a lot of blur. It’s going to be too traumatizing. Maybe give you a headache, could affect your work performance, right? Brad (13m 56s): And then most importantly, you’ll probably give up over time if you do something that’s too uncomfortable and unsustainable. So baby steps as the big deal. Number one is strive for a little bit of blur. Number two is take these baby steps and take off your glasses for a short period of time. Put them back on use that alternative pair where the correction is a little bit less. And then number three on this list of steps to take would be to quantify so that you can really have a, a concrete measure of how things are going and the progress that you’re making. So the old fashioned way is to do that eye chart test that I talked about, but Jake has just designed an incredible app for the smartphone called Meow-sure, M E O W like a cat Meow Sure.. Brad (14m 47s): So go look for that in the app store, Meow. Sure. It’s free you download it. And what happens is it gives you a little test where you move your phone screen further and further away until you identify that a little bit of blur is occurring. And so you get this baseline measurement of 32 centimeters or whatever it is. And then you can compare again after three hours of grinding away on the screen in poor lighting conditions, or .what have you, and then whip out your app and take a test. And you’re going to find that the screen gets blurry at a closer distance, and then go get the app out after your three hour hike and the beautiful sun and gazing at distant objects. Brad (15m 29s): And you’re going to find that your eyesight is markedly improved. And wow, what a mindblower to realize that we have so much power and control over our visual abilities. And Jake contends that if you do this little bit of blur strategy, you can improve by one quarter diopter every three to four months. Doesn’t sound like a big deal does it. But if we talk a year later, if you play this podcast a year later, Oh my goodness. I mean, I am at the over the four month ark with ditching my glasses and bringing in a little bit of blur. So if I’m a quarter diopter better, let’s say my prescription is it’s weird. Brad (16m 12s): Get ready for this right. Eye is 0.5 and the left eye is 2.5. So I have something called monovision. It was kind of freaking me out when I got my eye tests from my wonderful childhood friend eye doctor, Dr. Brad Elkins in Los Angeles, one of the best eye doctors in the world. And I said, man, this is weird. Should I be concerned? And he goes, no, no, listen, people pay me large sums of money to get exactly what you have with cataract surgery. So if you’re not familiar, when they put a new lens in a lot of times, they’ll choose one eye for accurate distance vision and the other eye for accurate reading. And isn’t that fun stuff to look forward to when you do need that surgery, when you’re in your, most of those are senior citizens that are getting these kinds of surgeries, but yes, monovision is a thing. Brad (17m 2s): And for me, what it means practically is that my right eye reads up close much better than my left eye. So I have a much bigger correction that probably helped me when I took the glasses off. Right. So it was maybe relying more upon my right eye, but I was bringing the left eye up to speed. Now doing so a little more gently with Jake’s consultation where if I’m in sort of a lower lighting conditions where my eyesight is worsened, or if it’s nighttime, I shouldn’t be on the screen at nighttime anyway, right, peopleB but if it’s nighttime, I’ll have a much more need for the glasses than, you know, beautiful, natural lighting in the daytime where I can see my screen much better naturally. Brad (17m 43s): So that is the strategy is to take these baby steps, bring in a little bit of blur and to sustain this just as a thought. So I’m recording the show cause I want you to, even if you’re not completely convinced to go crazy here, just having that idea in the back of your head, that you can improve your vision by challenging your eyes now, and then rather than just accepting these glasses as the rest of your life, this can be a really empowering and a cool deal. So back to that prediction of improving by a quarter diopter in three to four months. If I double my time, then I’m improving a half a diopter in eight months or so. Brad (18m 24s): And remember, my right eye prescription is 0.5. So I basically won’t need corrective vision in my right eye. If I keep going, it’s going to be really exciting. I’ll report back, of course. There’s some amazing insights, the more on end myopia.org Jake’s website, but the visual cortex is even, even has the ability to fix astigmatism. Astigmatism is a misshaping of the lens. Commonly happens with aging or, you know, some people have astigmatism at a young age. But we figure that, you know, the eye doctor will tell you, yes, your lens is misshapen. And so you need these glasses end of story. But we have the amazing ability to even overcome astigmatism and see clearly. Brad (19m 10s): But when you do these eye tests, wow, you’ll be blown away. That a hike can improve your vision measurably there. So get some quantification going, whether it’s the Meow app or just a simple eye chart on the wall. If you want to learn further, you can go check out end myopia.org. And everything’s almost, everything’s free. There’s a ton of free information and you can also go really deep if you want to take a course and learn more. But the website’s a wonderful resource. There’s a Facebook group in myopia with 18,000 members.. People talking through it, fighting this battle together. Jake is really responsive and loves to engage with people. Brad (19m 53s): So you can send questions and get a lot of support there. And again, trying to improve at that steady rate of a quarter diopter every few months, boy, that really starts to add up over time. So to summarize the goal here is to strive for a little bit of blur. This could be taking the glasses off at times, maybe increasing the zoom size to compensate, getting an alternative pair and switching back and forth something where you’re challenging your eyes, just a bit, taking those baby steps. We don’t want to feel like it’s too much hassle too daunting, unsustainable, same thing with an exercise program, right? Brad (20m 34s): When we’re talking about building those habits, I talk about my morning routine, starting slowly committing to a five minute routine. And then over time carefully adding on something, when you really feel like you’re ready and can continue to make that commitment, those baby steps. And then super important to quantify the whole experience using the Meow app or using the eye chart. So you can see the difference in your vision that’s caused just by daily behaviors rather than by the piece of paper in your drawer. That’s your prescription, your life sentence with the, with the lenses on. Right. Okay. And then with the breaks, of course the short breaks are important and looking at a distant object for 20 seconds is worse than not thinking about it all. Brad (21m 17s): But see if you can manage away to take a long break of at least 30 minutes to allow those eye muscles to really relax and get out of that spasm so that you can have a vision breakthroughs over time. Thank you very much. Go back and listen to the show with Jake Steiner for more information and visit his wonderful website endmyopia.org. Try it out. What do you think? Send me some comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening. 2 (21m 48s): Thank you for listening to the show. 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