Reversing myopia – is it possible?

Once you become myopic, is it possible for your vision to improve? Opthamalogists and optometrists say NO, and rather emphatically so. However, welcome Internet research, “fringe” science, and anecdotal evidence. Even the burgeoning science found in myopia control methods for children has many theories in common with the myopia reversal movement. After a lot of reading, it seems like it may be possible to reverse some myopia and that it’s worth giving it a try.

 

My takeaway: the basic method of reversing myopia

The basic method of reversing myopia looks like this:

  • Reduce your glasses or contact RX by a small amount at a time, 0.25 to 0.50 diopters (some people do more, but that seems like you may reduce too much so that your eyes cannot adjust enough to improve).
  • When wearing your reduced RX, routinely spend time focusing on slightly blurry things and trying to make them clear. When you can see 20/20 or 20/25 with the reduction, then reduce the RX some more. This could take weeks or months – each person’s eyes are different. Reduce each eye enough so that both eyes see about the same. Sometimes you will reduce more in one eye than the other.
  • Wear an even lower RX when doing near work (computer, reading, task work). Some methods say that this lower RX should just be enough so that you can see well enough to do your near work. This reduces the focusing and strain that your eyes go through in order to switch from distance focus to a near focus. It also reduces the strain of near work. This has some similarity to the concept of wearing plus lenses or multifocal lenses in myopia control for children. Another method suggests that this lower RX should be low enough so that print (whether on your computer screen or book) can have a slight blur so that you can work on trying to clear the blur.
  • Make lifestyle changes
    • Get adequate sleep, 
    • Take regular breaks from screen time or reading
    • Use the 20/20/20 rule
    • Spend more time outdoors

Some amount of improvement, around 1.00 to 2.00 diopters seems possible anecdotally. In a variety of YouTube and online comments/blogs, many individuals seem to have been able to achieve at least this amount of improvement.

My myopia reversal experience so far

I’ve been nearsighted since I was 8 years old, becoming highly myopic by high school. I figure I have nothing to lose by trying out the myopia reversal methods. 

I started out with a glasses RX of -6.25 and -8.00, with -0.50 astigmatism in both eyes for most of my adult life. In June 2019, I began wearing glasses with a slightly reduced RX of -6.00 and -7.25, with -0.50 astigmatism in both eyes. I purchased glasses with this self-customized RX on http://www.zennioptical.com. (BTW, if you don’t have a complicated RX, I’ve discovered that getting glasses from your optometrist’s eye shop can the biggest waste of your money ever! But that will have to be a topic of another post.) I determined my starting RX by purchasing a test lens kit. I wanted to make sure that I would be seeing about the same out of each eye with my modified RX. I did get a lower RX for near work but I didn’t end up using it as I found it cumbersome to remember to switch glasses.

I found almost right away that I could see 20/25 with the reduced RX. This made me suspect that I had originally been over-corrected. I made the lifestyle changes as best I could, although getting adequate sleep or taking screen breaks during “crunch time” work was probably not always at ideal levels. I tried to look at slightly blurry words and seeing if they could become clear by focusing on them just a bit longer. This was usually just street signs, etc. while I was out driving or waiting in lines or doctors offices.

At the end of September 2019, I saw the optometrist for a regular eye exam. He found that the astigmatism in my right eye had gone away. He also said that I could see 20/10 with my original RX. When I asked him to adjust my glasses RX to see just 20/20, he gave me this RX: right eye, -7.5, no astigmatism correction, left eye, -5.75, -.5, 180. 

My contacts RX was adjusted from R: -7.50, L: -6.50 to R: -7.00, L-6.00. When I checked the eyechart with this new contact RX, I actually couldn’t see any difference with my stronger, previous RX.

Prior to this recent myopia research, I’d never paid much attention to daily visual strength changes. By paying attention to what I can see on an eye chart, I’ve learned that eyesight can have minor changes daily and from hour to hour sometimes just based on what I’ve been doing. This leads me to take realize that even the optometrist’s measurements can not be perfectly accurate so I am taking my recent optometrist prescription with a grain of salt.

However, it does seem that “the disappearance” of my astigmatism in the right eye is significant and the fact that I can see 20/20 with -0.25 diopters less in my left eye seems like a improvement over my RX of just 4 months ago. I still suspect original over-correction may have had something to do with my new RX, so I will have to see how the next year goes.

I’ll continue to post my progress – if any.

Resources:

The authors of the resources listed below write that they were able to reverse some, if not all of their myopia.

I found these two sources to be the most helpful sites in outlining straightforward methods for reversing myopia:

There are two other sources that are “well known” (pop up high on search results) and also worth reading through for theory and techniques. They also have a lot more detail on their methods and the rationale behind them:

Forums where vision improvement is discussed:

Anecdotal evidence of eye changes/improvement:

Where to buy inexpensive glasses with your own customized prescription:

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