(Please note: This article was written six years ago, before I had cataract surgery in my right eye Spring of 2016. Since the surgery, I’ve needed glasses for close to medium range work like reading patient files. The artificial lens is not as flexible as my natural lens was but I’m in the process of seeing what I can do to improve my near vision using the principles below)

Many of you have noticed that I am not wearing my glasses in the office. I’ve been asked if I had eye surgery or switched to contacts. I haven’t done either of these but instead, have been working to improve my natural eyesight. At age 60, I’ve finally gotten to the point that I don’t need my glasses for most activities, including reading.

I’ve worn glasses since I was 9 years old. Year by year, my prescription kept increasing in strength until in my 20’s my vision was 20:400. This meant that at 20 feet all I could see was what someone with normal vision could see at 400 feet!

This started changing when I got under care with chiropractic applied kinesiology. I’ve had a number of my patients need to get less powerful eyeglass prescriptions as their eyesight improves. Keys include cranial and cervical spine adjusting as well as improving stress handling (adrenal function), digestion and detoxification. I also had the advantage of a good behavioral optometrist, Brent Neilson, OD. He uses lenses in a way to encourage better eyesight as well as improving posture and balance. Together, we got my eyesight in the area of 20/200, quite an improvement!

About 2 years ago I started working with the Bates system for improving eyesight. This system uses techniques to relax the extra-ocular eye muscles (the muscles that move the eyeball). The concept is that these muscles become tense and strained, distorting the shape of the eye and causing the lens to focus in front of the retina for nearsighted (eyeball becomes elongated) like me or behind the retina for farsighted (eyeball becomes shortened) folks. After using the system for a couple of months, I tried going without my glasses in the office. I was good in most areas but wasn’t able to see my notes well enough. As I continued to use the system improved my eyesight has improved to the point that I can now read my notes fairly easily (sloppy handwriting aside 🙂 ). The best book on this system I’ve found is “Relearning to See” by Quackenbush.

One more variable in the last 2 months has been very regular and systematic aerobic exercise, using a pulse monitor to make sure I was in the right pulse range for highest benefits. I’ve always been a regular exerciser with Tai Chi Chuan, Ballroom dancing, walking and race-walking but recently I’ve added very specific step aerobics which makes it easier to stay in my optimal pulse range. I’m not sure how big a role this has played but there may have been some relaxation and circulation benefits which were positive for my eyesight.

I no longer need my glasses to do routine tasks in the office or at home. I can see well enough to drive without them in the daytime, although I can’t yet read the smaller street signs until I’m about 10 feet away. I use my glasses for the movies and sometimes for TV (sometimes not) but I don’t need them for computer work or reading. At this point, I’m only wearing my glasses about 10% of the time which, according to Dr. Bates, should help my eyes improve faster.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. If you are interested in trying this approach to eyesight improvement for yourself, I’ll be happy to work with you on a combination of specific adjustments, nutrition and “exercises” as well as referral to Dr. Neilson.

Here’s Looking at You!

Dr. Hogg