A lot of people start wearing corrective lenses, whether glasses or contacts, during the preteen or teen years, myself included, and wear them for the rest of their life. The assumption is that we will wear corrective lenses without any hope of improved vision, just a stronger prescription as we age, but it does not have to be the case.
It was previously thought that nearsightedness, resulting in corrective lenses, was hereditary but has been proven otherwise. Investigations of pre-industrial societies in North America and the Polynesian Islands show these societies to have excellent vision and nearsightedness was practically nonexistent. In 1968 Professor Young, from the American Vision Institute, conducted a research study with 130 Eskimo parents and their children. 128 of the parents had excellent vision but 60% of the children were nearsighted. The findings were that the condition was not inherited but a result of nutritional factors and long periods of time spent reading. The situation seen among the Eskimo is similar to that seen with American children going through school. Since Professor Young’s findings a lot of supporting evidence has been reported showing that the problems with vision are attributed to environmental factors not inherited.
Our eye muscles are designed for distance vision, going back to the hunter gatherer days and having to focus on the prey in the distance. There was very little time spent on close up vision comparatively. The more we focus on close up images, such as long periods of reading or screen time, the more our eye muscles adapt and become less flexible. Instead of taking action to correct the muscular inflexibility we are given glasses that do not work the eyes and perpetuate the problem.
There is another way to improve your vision than getting that stronger prescription year after year. The other way to improve your vision is to look at environmental factors. As with correcting most imbalances in the body it starts with good nutrition, the better and healthier your diet the more nutrients your eyes get for optimal vision. Try not to use your corrective lenses all the time, use them for critical times when detail is essential such as driving or cooking. Train your eyes not to rely on your corrective lenses like a pair of crutches, the less you use them the stronger the eye muscles will get. Another way to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses is to titrate out of them like you would titrate off a medication. Get increasingly weaker prescriptions, when you adjust to one after about a week or so go to a weaker one. If you have a weaker prescription of glasses pull them out to help you titrate down or talk to your optometrist. A good habit to integrate into your day is vision breaks during screen time and reading, every 30 minutes take a few seconds to focus your eyes on something in the distance. Eye exercises are great to do at traffic lights. Take that time in traffic to stretch and strengthen your eye muscles by looking all the way up, down and to each side as opposed to always looking ahead. Further exercise your eyes by alternating your focus between a near object and a far object.
With more attention given to our eyes, not another prescription, we can experience improved vision in the same why we can experience improved health with the right food.