Deteriorating eyesight and the need for glasses is a common experience these days. It used to just affect older people, but now loss of clear vision can affect even young children and teenagers. It doesnt have to be this way.
Our eyesight is arguably the most critical of the senses and potentially the most problematic to lose. Eyesight is crucial to our enjoyment of life. And the truth is, there is no need to suffer any degradation in our vision. But you have to look outside the Matrix and think outside the box to find the answers.
The Conventional view of deteriorating eyesight
Reach for glasses or use expensive ‘Lazik’ laser surgery. Keep increasing the prescription (going for stronger and stronger lenses). Go to your optician and follow the conventional advice. Don’t ask any further questions. Just get used to your degenerating vision and accept it. There is nothing you can do, its just the ageing process.
The conventional view of accommodation
Within the Matrix your ophalmologist will tell you that the ciliary muscle around the lens contracts and squeezes the lens to make it more convex. This allegedly increases the amount that light entering the eye is refracted, enabling objects at a closer range to be focused onto the retina. i.e. greater convexity of the lens only for near vision. This is at best only part of the picture. The ciliary muscle play a relatively small role in accomodation.
The conventional view also claims that age related loss of clear vision (called presbyopia) in the near field is irreversible and caused by the lens loosing its flexibility, and thus being unable to increase its convexity upon constriction of the ciliary muscle. This is supposedly why we loose the ability to see up close as we get older.
This presbyopia usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people experience blurred vision while reading, sewing or working at the computer. You can’t escape it (your optician will tell you), even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. The lens allegedly becomes rigid preventing near field focus ability.
There are a number of problems with this conventional view of how the eye focuses, and the reason for failure of nearfiled focus. Here are just a few:
- In experiments where ophthalmologists put something called atropine solution into an eye to paralyse the ciliary muscle, the eye has been shown to retain its ability to focus.
- In rare circumstances where the lens is removed from the eye, individuals have learned to focus once again – without a lens!
- Age related loss of clarity is frequently reversed using the Bates Method, and some people seem to avoid this phenomena altogether well into their 80’s and 90’s.
- Loss of clarity of vision in the near field (called Hypermetropia) occurs at all ages, even for teenagers.
Herman Helmholz, William Bates and all mainstream ophthalmologists all agree on some things, namely that…
- A Hypermetropic eyeball is foreshortened (squashed flatter front to back)– near objects are not clear.
- A myopic eyeball is elongated – near objects are clear, far ones are not.
- The normal at rest eyeball is round in shape – far objects are clear, near ones are not.
However, the conventional view cannot explain why an eyeball becomes elongated or foreshortened. Aparently its genetic or they just become that way – somehow? William Bates proposed a far more satisfactory and credible explanation, one that had been around since the 1600’s.
Maintaining our eyesight – the view outside the Matrix
Loss of clear vision or eyesight degradation is not irreversible. I agree with Dr Sam Berne there is much that we can do to reverse macula degeneration. I have reversed my own loss of clarity in the near field over the past 5 years using my knowledge of how the eye works and some of the techniques offered by Dr William Bates and used by Dr Berne.
Bates maintained that stress causes tension in the Recti muscles outside the eye – the muscles responsible for moving the eye left to right and up and down – and also the superior and inferior oblique muscles that rotate the eye ball. These muscle groups are largely responsible for how the eye focuses and the ciliary muscle around the lense most likely does the fine tuning.
In Episode 59 of ‘Living outside the Matrix’ Dr Berne discusses holistic eye care and how we can empower ourselves to fix our eyesight. Whether brought on by stress or trauma, or just age related macula degeneration when we reach for glasses in our forties, there is much that we can do.
Dr Berne has been helping people fix various vision related problems in his community in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for over 25 years. He uses an holistic approach and a wellness orientated model of health care. It’s about long term prevention and addressing root causes, NOT about selling you a pair of prescription glasses.
Dr Berne attributes many causes to the problem of long-sightedness, near-sightedness and astigmatism. His holistic approach covers dealing with stress, diet, how we think about ‘seeing’, and also functional exercises. Check out his website here. He begins with diet because the eyes are one of the most metabolically hungry organs of the body it is vital to nourish them to optimise our vision. If you followed the excellent advice to nourish up on the list below you would do your immune system and overall well being a lot a good. Remember, diet is our number one health tool in the box for choosing our genetic expression. See Appendix to this post for a full list of nutritional guidelines.
factors affecting eyesight degradation
These are some of the factors affecting loss of clarity of vision according to Dr Berne.
- Metabolic factors
- Psychological factors
- taking particular medical drugs
- The way we use our eyes – TV, Computers, etc.
- Blue light – screens and LED lighting
Seeing with the mind as well as the eye
Our vision is closely related to our thinking. We say the words “I see” to express that we grasp or understand something. And there are obvious parallels between focusing our concentration on a thought and on an object with our eyes. Dr Berne speaks of bringing the brain into the equation and being mindful of our vision and how we see.
It is easy to slip out of visual focus just as it is easy (and indeed tempting) to slip out of mental focus. Yet just as our thinking requires maintaining mental focus, so do our eyes require maintaining visual focus. If we wish our eyes to retain the ability (the habit) of seeing small things up close or in the distance, if we wish our eyes to retain their ability to see clearly, we must bother to consciously maintain that focus and that clarity in the way we use them. This is not to say that we cannot relax. But notice if you ever let your focus slip away. If you do, bring it back.
Taking responsibility for our eyes and their continuing optimal function is key to living a conscious life. It’s easier to just forget about your eyes and continue to take them for granted until they begin to fail. It’s easier to just get some glasses if and when you need them and not bother looking into all this stuff about how your eyes focus. It’s easier to just carry on as normal and not concern ourselves about how best to nourish ourselves due to the considerable impact upon the eyes.
But all of the above is life in the Matrix. Conscious living means becoming aware of more and more things that impact our lives, and taking responsibility for them. It is a combination of becoming more conceptually aware and taking control of each new thing we become aware of. Living outside the Matrix is engagement with life, it is wanting to know. It is taking command of your life, because ‘no one is coming’ to relieve you of this duty to have to yourself.
1. The Bates Method
Sketch: This habit incorporates the first two principles of centralisation and movement combined. It is the habit of imagining your point of focus as a sharp pencil point and moving it around an object to ‘sketch’ it. Move it from top to bottom and from side to side, move it all around the object of visual attention. It means keeping the eye actively scanning the scene or object and alighting on various things and focusing on them for a moment. This leads into the second principle.
Breathe: As simple as it sounds this is the art of relaxation, that is critical to proper eye function. Bates maintained that chronic tension in the eye muscles was responsible for lack of clarity of vision. Blink: Correct eye function involves relaxing and not straining to see. Blinking again brings the third principle into action. It should be performed often. Each time you move your point of focus or change your range of focus, blink.
Blinking is the main method of resting the eye during it’s constant use during the day. If only for a moment, the eyeball enjoys a brief massage and a wipe-down with lymphatic fluid. Remember also to breathe. This is a very helpful way of relaxing. The conscious act of breathing deeply observably helps us relax – our eye muscles included.
2. Correct reading technique
Reading has a big impact on our eyes. To best support your optimal clarity of vision read the smallest print you can find. On your computer reduce the font size as much as possible. Small print increases the need to centralise. Scan along the line of words in the middle looking at one small point of a particular letter of a word, then moving along to another. Some short words will only require you to focus on one part of one letter, a longer word may require that you move to another letter further along. Allow your peripheral vision to tell your brain what the word is. If necessary sketch between two or three tiny parts of specific letters in a long word. It does take practice, and inevitably at the beginning, it will detract from your comprehension of the text – but stick with it! Reading fine print is an excellent practice to keep your vision clear if you read as just described. I have used this technique to great effect but have modified it to look along the bottom of the line of words. I prefer this because no matter what size the font my eye is nailed to the tiny extremities at the bottom of the letters, and I find the tempatation to diffuse is reduced.
3. Focus is key
I personally consider consciously remaining in focus as the key. Clarity of vision and conscious living go hand-in-hand. It is important to practice being in focus as much as possible – visually and mentally. When we look at something we must make sure that it is in focus. If we want our eyes to retain their ability to focus (whether up close of far away) we must practice the art of requiring them to remain in focus as opposed to unconsciously allowing them to zone out. We must also resist the temptation to attempt to see more than just that tiny dot (at our focal point) in clarity at any one time, especially when reading. If we do this we are effectively requiring our eyes NOT to be in focus.
4. Useful Clear Vision Techniques and Tips
- As often as you can remember makes sure you are focused clearly on something.
- Make sure you concentrate your focal point into a tiny dot – look for particles of dust, even at greater distances. If you are focused you are centralised – and vice versa.
- Centralisation takes practice – relax, breathe and centralise/focus.
- Centralisation is even more important when focusing is harder – in poor light conditions or looking at surfaces that do not offer such good focus feedback to the eye due to texture and/or light conditions.
- Flick your small focused point around often – like a high megapixel camera give your brain as much information about the scene as possible. This increases mental retension and observation skills as well as eye sight clarity.
- Focus near and focus far -zoom in and zoom out. Frequently adjust your point of focus from the nearfiled to the far and back again.
- Want to see! this means actively look and focus instead of seeing passively. It is the visual equivalent of wanting to know. Look instead of seeing, just as you would listen instead of hearing.
- Set a conscious intention to be in focus, make a decision to see clearly – use EFT and/or affirmations to help with the reprogramming of your subconscious mental instructions to your eyes.
“Relearning to See: Improve Your Eyesight – Naturally!” – Thomas Quackenbush
Better Eyesight: The Complete Magazines of William H. Bates– Thomas Quackenbush
Check out Dr Sam Berne’s wonderful clinic in Santa Fe via his website at www.drsamberne.com
Your eyesight will serve you well to the extent that you become conscious of the way you use your eyes and modify things a little as necessary. There is absolutely no need to routinely reach for glasses in your old age – with the exception of perhaps in poor light condition.
Feel free to join the conversation and leave a comment below.
Love and laughter
Treehouse Farm, September 2018
Appendix – Nutrition for eye health from Dr Sam Berne
- Lutein- RDA 10 mg
Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that protects the macula and lens of the eye. The antioxidant can be found in kale, spinach, Brussel sprouts, green beans, Goji berries, citrus fruits and orange vegetables.
- Zeaxanthin – RDA: 2 mg
This antioxidant should be consumed with Lutein and also is a carotenoid that protects the macula and lens. It also helps filter out damaging blue light that comes from digital devices which damage the macula. Zeaxanthin can be found in red and orange fruits and vegetables, such as pumpkins, tomatoes, red peppers, and squash.
- Vitamin C – RDA: 200-1000 mg
This antioxidant helps reduce free radical damage, improves mineral absorption in the lens and supports brain and immune system health. Oranges, red peppers, kale, broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi and green peppers are all great sources of Vitamin C.
- Beta-carotene – RDA: 3-6 mg
This antioxidant and carotenoid is the precursor to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene improves macula, lens and skin health and reduces free radical damage in the eye. It also improves night vision and reduces inflammation.” Foods high in Beta-Carotene are Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe, and apricots.
- Vitamin A – RDA: 10,000 – 25,000 IU
Vitamin A helps prevent dry eye, night blindness, macular degeneration and strengthens the cornea. A Vitamin A deficiency can also cause respiratory problems, dry skin, and inflammation. Eggs, squash, apricots, spinach and kale are all excellent excellent sources of Vitamin A.
- Vitamin E – RDA: 15mg
This nutrient works well with beta carotene and Vitamin C to decrease overall inflammation and protect the macula. It also reduces free radical damage, repairs damaged skin, balances hormones, improves physical endurance. Foods like sunflower seeds, almonds, red peppers, collard greens contain high amounts of vitamin E.
- Zinc – RDA: 8-11 mg
Zinc protects the retina and lowers the risk of developing macular degeneration. It also reduces inflammation and improves circulation. Zinc improves immune system, balances hormones, supports a healthy liver and aids in nutrient absorption. It is easily found in foods such as kidney beans, flax and pumpkin seeds, and spinach.
- Omega 3 fatty acids – RDA: 500-1000 mg
Omega 3 fatty acids help lubricate the cornea, reduce eye inflammation, and protect the retina and optic nerve. They also reduce joint pain and stiffness, stabilize blood sugar, and some hyperactivity symptoms. Walnuts, egg yolks, wild-caught salmon, chia seeds, hemp seeds are foods that can help get the RDA.
- Glutathione – RDA: 400-500 mg
This is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cataracts and reduce toxins, free radicals and heavy metals in the body. Foods that contain glutathione are asparagus, potatoes, peppers, carrots, onion, broccoli, avocados, squash, spinach, garlic, tomatoes, grapefruit, apples, oranges, peaches and bananas.
- Selenium – RDA: 50-100 micrograms
Selenium is a trace mineral that can help prevent cataracts. It is also important for improving brain function, thyroid health, supporting a healthy immune system and fertility. Natural foods, such as brazil nuts, yellowfin tuna, halibut, eggs and spinach contain selenium.
- Taurine – RDA: 500-1,000 mg
This amino acid and antioxidant can help prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma. It also helps prevent obesity, promote glucose control, and strengthens the cardiovascular system. The recommended 500-1,000 mg per day can be found in foods such as salmon, tuna, shrimp, clams, eggs, beef and lamb.
- Magnesium – RDA: 400 mg
Magnesium is a key mineral that helps regulate cellular energy for cardiac and skeletal muscles. It helps the eyes by reducing eye twitching and spasms, and also protects the optic nerve and tissues at the back of the eye. Magnesium can also prevent calcium build up on the lens which can cause early onset cataracts. Almonds, cashews, brown rice, avocados, lentils and kidney beans are some of the best magnesium-rich foods.
- Vitamin D3 – RDA: 1,000 IU
Vitamin D3 helps prevent macular degeneration and strengthens bones and teeth. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help improve the immune system. Sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D3 which can prevent seasonal affective disorder and depression. Foods that ensure you get your RDA are cod liver oil, sardines, eggs and mushrooms.
- Vitamin B – RDA: 2.4-100 micrograms depending on age
There are three types of Vitamin B that help vision and the eyes.
- B12: Keeps the optic nerve healthy protecting from glaucoma, improves nerve function and supports red blood cells. It can be found in lamb, cottage cheese, tuna, beef and salmon.
- B6: Reduces macular degeneration symptoms, cardiac diseases and supports immune system function. A B6 deficiency can cause blurred vision and cataract formation. Foods high in B6 include salmon, sweet potato, bananas and tuna.
- B2: Helps to reduce free radical damage and maintain healthy blood vessels. A deficiency can lead to light sensitivity, headaches, sore eyes and cataracts. B2 is best found in mushrooms, spinach, almonds and lamb.