How To Improve Myopia

I’ve had some deceptions as an adult but I can’t really remember one that was worse than the other. Sure, I felt discouraged many times for many reasons, but nothing that I couldn’t overcome. In fact, most of these hard times made me push the limits to find a better solution. All in all, average life hazards made me a better person in some way.

However, as a kid, there is one that stands out from the others.

Becoming a myope.

The first deceiving experience I can remember very well is when I sadly realized that I couldn’t see well anymore. I was about 9 or 10 years old.

It was a Saturday morning and I was crying just before getting out of bed. The curtains were closed and it was dark and everything was very blurry as I stared at the dresser, toys and plush animals on it. I had no clue what was going on.

Was it temporary or was I actually going blind? To be completely honest with myself, I had to admit that I notice I couldn’t see clearly when looking at the classroom blackboard. I didn’t want to tell my parents or teacher and prefer ignoring the signs of my diminishing eyesight.

As I lay in my bed, my mind was racing. I remember fearing that my cousin which I always loved and who was very important to me would not want to play or even speak to me anymore. How absurd, you’re thinking? But not to the pre-teen I was back then. I had a friend in school, my best friend in fact, who was constantly ostracized because of her wearing glasses… I remember telling the little bullies to back off whenever they were picking on her. My dear friend was enduring this on a daily basis. Can you imagine…!

Tips to improve myopia

“How am I going to do that now that I am afflicted with the same curse?…” I knew too well how uncool it was to wear glasses and I happened to be a shy, quiet kid. That alone made me an even better target for those kids who probably thought the attack was the best defense for whatever insecurities they needed to cover up. I could picture me and my friend, back against the wall trying to avoid the rocks they’d be throwing at us…

Another normal day in that poor neighborhood elementary school.

Sorry for the long digression. It amazes me how memories come back quickly now that I started writing about it. It’s been over 30 years now and I’m just realizing (as I write these words in fact) how far I buried that crapy, frustrating memory…

And how pluridimensional the apprehension of being nearsighted was to me.

Honestly, I would have never wanted to remember that or write about it at all, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have seen my vision improved “against all odds”. And that I hope it can help other people do just the same.

After all, myopia is considered by optometrist a chronic condition that cannot be reversed. A statement that upsets me in a way that I can’t even put in words. Knowing what I know now, that is.

Cool specs… such a pain.

Myopia and glasses… I get it, it’s not the end of the world. Especially today when we all know someone that wear glasses and no one makes a great deal about it.

Plus, glasses now are sold in so many styles, sizes and colors there is no way you can’t find one that you like.

For me wearing glasses was never an option, so I started wearing contact lenses at age 13 and was lucky enough (, hmm…so to speak) to wear them for almost 30 years. Then I started having problems that made it obvious to me I had to get rid of them in order to prevent a recurring cornea infection and its dangerous consequences.

Sitting in my optometrist office she told me to stop wearing my contact lenses to protect my eyes from further damage. After all, wearing glasses is not such a burden. At least she was wearing glasses herself so I assumed she had found a way to appreciate her daily activities.

(me) Really? Even in the winter when I go cross country skiing or running when it’s -10 and my glasses get all fogged up from my breath? Or when I go for a swim and can’t see 15 cm in front of me? Or at the beach with the sand and sunscreen lotion… trying to wipe my glasses clean every two minutes…

(optometrist) Yes. It’s hard at the beginning but I did it. You need to mourn the time you wore lenses and in time you will get used to wearing glasses.

(me) Can I ask why you never had Lasik surgery? I’m thinking this could be a good thing for me considering that I have high myopia…

(optometrist) Yes, you could… if you’re considering it only to fix myopia. But if it’s to avoid having to wear glasses than I can assure you that it’s not worth it since you will probably need to wear glasses for presbyopia in 2 or 3 years top…

She also said that Lasik doesn’t actually “fix” myopia and many people need to wear glasses between 5 to 10 years after having the surgery or have another surgery to fix that.

Mourn…. This is the word I kept remembering from this conversation.

Reversing myopia long journey

I believe answers come when you start asking the right question. Funny enough the “right” question is not one that is accurate with specific words that really pinpoint what you want. Nor is it one that is limited to what is conceivable with logic or that is enough down to earth.

It’s not even something that you think you deserve.

You deserve all that’s good. It’s the definition of what’s good that gets in the way of improving our situation.

At least, it was for me.

A quick fix or the longest path?

My boyfriend had LASIK 2 months after I stopped wearing contact lenses. I passed the test to see if I was a good candidate for Lasik. I was told my cornea was too thin and that it was too risky to perform regular Lasik surgery. I needed a PRK eye surgery.

Which required me to not strain my eyes staring at screens for 2 weeks. Plus 4 to 6 weeks of blurred vision… No driving, at least for the first week or so… Oh and some pain and 4 different types of drops daily… Alright.

Except for a small detail… I couldn’t think about the surgery in itself without feeling anxiety to an extent that convinced me not to do it. My precious eyes, what if something went wrong…

Good! Now at least I’m sure about one thing, I hate wearing glasses but I hate the idea of surgery even more. Believe it or not, I was relieved to have finally cleared that one out. At least, one thing wasn’t blurry anymore.

Little did I know that nothing I would be looking at with my myopic eyes would be as blurry by the end of the year. Never in my wildest dreams (as a child or as a grown-up) I could have imagined something like that was possible.

A solution finally on its way

While looking on the Internet for a possible way to improve my situation, I found many weird pieces of information on how “eye exercises” could improve one’s vision… But nothing that really came up as something that made sense to me.

A month later or so, I finally decided to look into endmyopia.org. The website in itself was filled with lots of unstructured information and I didn’t really want to dig into it without any proof that it can actually work.

What really convinced me to look into it further was the Facebook group and the 7 emails that describe the science behind the method. It also gives a rough idea of what you will need to do to improve your vision.

I became a member of the Facebook group and started reading other member’s posts. In brief, people write about the problems they are experiencing, behaviors that help them on their ongoing journey to recovering good eyesight.

A lot of people also share their improvements: some are very quick but most people are improving slowly. I’m on the slow side.

How to improve eyesight and reverse myopia

The following tips are only some guidelines to help you understand how to improve your eyesight based on my personal experience.

If you want to get serious about it, have a look at what endmyopia.org provides for free on their social platforms and website. There are many videos that really help me get the key concept they call Active Focus or AF.

That’s how I did it and never had to pay for a “secret recipe” to achieve my gains and there are lots of other members doing it on their own as well.

So that you have an idea of my progression, I’ve improved 0.5 to 1 diopter per year. I started in April 2018 with -6.25 and I am now -4.5. Very slowly but surely.

Here are some of the key behaviors that help me improve my eyesight… with a little Spanish just for fun!

_____1. Uno

I reduce all screen time and replaced it with outdoor time. Like a lot of people these days, I developed a bad habit of looking at my phone or tablet every time I have a waiting period.

Whenever possible, I now step outside or look out the window. I take advantage of the natural daylight to look at anything at a reasonable distance and let my eyes do what they were designed for, finding the right focus. This really helps me develop the reflex of focussing without forcing it.

_____2. Dos

I try to work on my computer close to a window or outside when the weather is nice and warm. Light has a very important effect on how well you see.

_____3. Tres

While working on my computer, I practice “not looking at my screen nonstop”. In other words, raising my head and focusing on something outside for a few seconds and also for longer periods. Especially if I’m working several hours looking at my screen.

By the way, any close up work for an extended period of time should be interrupted by pauses that allow you to look far away. In other words, if you are a mechanic, a tailor, a repairment, or working in any type of job that requires to look at things standing at arm’s length for long periods of time, these tips apply as well.

_____4. Quatro

I (try) to get enough sleep. Everyone is different but when I’m tired I usually have difficulties focusing and have no motivation in trying anyways. Sometimes, a short nap or simply relaxing with my eyes closed for 15 minutes can help me get a better focus. But nothing replaces a good night’s sleep, no doubt!

_____5. Cinco

The ability to relax your eye muscle (ciliary muscle) is another key aspect of having a better focus. Think of a place bathed in sunlight where you are surrounded with white painted (or another light color) structures. A pale beige shed, or house wall and a concrete pathway, a swimming pool or any water surface that reflects the sunlight.

Anything bright that takes a major portion of space in your vision field. Bet you will be squinting and barely able to open your eyes. At this point, your ciliary muscle is so contracted it’s just impossible to even think about focusing.

At least not within a few minutes. Your eyes will need to get used to that type of light in order to relax. If you’re not used to natural outdoor light it will require you to spend more time outside in order to get your eyes to comfortably adjust the focus.

_____6. Seis

Not exactly a guideline but… So, I worked in a cubicle with no windows, under a rather dim neon lighting.

My computer stuck in the darkest corner of my 4×4 feet office space. For over 20 years.

Each year losing more and more of my vision. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Once I started going more outside, I felt claustrophobic thinking about going back to the cube.

So beware, you may end up changing your career trajectory to one that gives you better access to the great outdoors.

_____7. Siete

It’s easier to relax your muscles when looking at something that you like. Personally, I love natural textures (e.g. details on the bark of tree trunk, a pine tree branch, tree leaves or bird feathers). For this reason, it seems easier for me to clarify the image while looking at such elements.

Since I still have high myopia, looking at things that are only a few feet away from me is challenging enough.

However, many people will find it easier to focus on letters (outside or inside signs, store banners, car plates, That’s what I do when I’m in a waiting room.

In time you’ll find what feels good to you and eventually, you start practicing on pretty much anything around with ease.

Regaining your eyes ability to focus

The first step is definitely to spend more time under natural, outdoor light.

When you’re outdoor try to look afar in the direction of something that is under natural sunlight. This should feel like your eyes are relaxing. This is because your muscle is contracted while you look at things that are close and relaxes when you look far away.

The next step is overcoming the screen addiction. I don’t look at my phone every time I have a minute between 2 activities. Instead, I use this time to look afar. Try it, and see how your eyes feel. It relaxes the ciliary muscle and it feels… good! A real bliss in the middle of a busy day.

Also, as you look afar, just try to relax, clear your mind, breathe deeply. You can now look at text ads on a storefront or anything that is a bit blurry, not too much. Blink your eyes as you try to clarify the image to see it clearer.

Improving myopia naturally

It takes time before it starts paying off

At the beginning don’t focus on concrete and stable results. That’s not how it works. Some days your eyesight will feel much better and some days you’ll doubt everything positive you’ve experienced.

That’s part of the process for most people that are improving their vision this way.

For example in the morning, you may notice that your vision is sharper than in the evening. Eye strain, ambient lighting, stress are only some factors that strongly influence how well we see.

Wintertime is never a good time for me to improve my eyesight. Instead, I focus on not losing my gains by finding different active focus routines that I mainly do indoors under the best lighting I can get.

Keep at it and follow the Facebook group discussions, watch the videos whenever you’re having problems and ask questions to other members.

But most importantly, enjoy the beautiful and amazing capacity of your eyes to regain their normal state gradually and naturally!

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