The Benefits Of Seeing A Behavioral Ophthalmologist

You may have read my recent article about eyesight improvement programs on the Internet. In it I strongly suggest that you forgo any kind of internet program, in favor of seeing a local practitioner. This […]

Jake Steiner

Dec 08,2013 · 4 min read

You may have read my recent article about eyesight improvement programs on the Internet.

In it I strongly suggest that you forgo any kind of internet program, in favor of seeing a local practitioner. This post caused more e-mail than maybe anything else I have written here so far.

Let me address some of the common questions you had:

Eyesight Is A Serious Topic

You wouldn’t sign up for an online program for do-it-yourself dentistry, right?  Well, maybe it could work:

“Take your pliers after you cleaned them carefully, and slip them over your painful tooth, like this …”

Maybe if it were in a YouTube video format, along with an ebook on how to pull your own teeth. For emergencies perhaps, if you find yourself on an extended hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail. Even though then you might have to watch the video before you leave … the logistics of it do confound me.

Likewise, it pains me to read some of the “eye exercises” prescribed by online vision promise-land programs. Eye exercises, rolling your eyes, staring at specific patterns they tell you to, all of it – it just does not work. There can be a small temporary placebo effect, but you are not recovering your eyesight by doing any sort of “eye yoga”.

And please don’t get me started on pilots who “discovered how to cure their myopia” – or “eye vitamins”.


If you are looking for eye vitamins, I suggest above.  At least you get nice packaging.

I concede, some things, some of the time, do work. You don’t always need somebody with actual schooling, with actual training in the field, with actual experience on the subject matter. There are many, many cases, where the supposed professionals do more harm than good.

This is what some of the e-mails point to. And you are correct.

But we must make a few distinctions:

An optician at a chain store optic shop (which has a sales quota), is not in any way even somewhat related to a proper behavioral ophthalmologist office. The latter will not have a huge retail location selling you glasses, there won’t be dozens of high priced fashion frames, or samples of the latest UV protection and filter coatings.

Some of your e-mails accurately pointed out that my profession is creating this myopia problem. And yes, a very large part of the profession has been enlisted to be eyeglass sales staff.

But that isn’t everyone.

If you take your car to a mechanic, any mechanic, you may not get the repair you had hoped for. Any profession encompasses a very wide range of specializations, profit motives, knowledge, and experience. Just as you cherish finding a good auto mechanic, you should expect to have to do some footwork to find a good ophthalmologist.

It’s normal.  It is to be expected.

You may have had a bad experience, or several, online or offline. If you take my advice and find a local behavioral ophthalmologist, read this site for a while first. When you interview practitioners for your business, find out if their advice aligns with the premises we discuss here.

If they tell you that you can’t reverse axial myopia, don’t argue. Talk to the next option on your list. If they tell you that you need some ortho contact lenses to alter the shape of your eye, move on to the next option (run in this case, perhaps).

Remember physical rehabilitation. Reduce strain, manage prescriptions, provide positive stimulus, track results.

That is all that the #endmyopia Method is, and that is what you should look for, in any good practitioner.

As for the online programs, some well timed comments in the forum:

quotesTracy I come from the exact same situation as you. I was -2,5 and -2,25, and had first been doing the Bates Method and ***** program

[ed: redacted] – luckily I only did that for about two months.

Alex is really doing humanity a great favor by making all this knowledge available.

In the beginning I was prepared to not be disappointed if I didn’t improve at all. About a month in I had almost 20/25 vision in good lighting with a -1 prescription. I could now use a -1,5 prescription most of the day.

I’m not sure about the degree of greatness of my favor to humanity, but the point is important:  

Just because it says “healthy for you” on the box, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. There are lots of promises out there, online and offline, that are hyperbole at best (just look at the comically misleading claims on cereal boxes, in your local grocery store).  Research viability, before you try anything.

The whole forum thread of the above post, is here. Next:

Investigate the Method

As I mentioned above, consider the premise of physical rehabilitation, and judge your options from that.

Yes, the exercise contingent does check the box for positive stimulus, on the surface. But then, what really is staring at a specific arrangement of dots supposed to accomplish?

You want active focus.

Another behavioral ophthalmologist may call the premise by another name, but the principle should be the same. If you look at an object in slight blur, you should be able to clear the slight blur, ‘actively’ bring the object into focus. Since the premise of focus is based on a muscle in your eye, the fact that you should be able to control this muscle is fairly obvious.

Physical Rehab - Find a behavioral Ophthalmologist!

 Physical rehabilitation.  Your arm, your leg, or your eyes.  The premises are the same.

Anyone who does not use this premise as a core to the aspect of stimulus, should be eliminated from your list.

Likewise, prescription management is important.

The category who says no to glasses, forget them. The ones who refuse to lower your prescription from the absolute maximum, likewise are extremists. As always, think physical rehab. If you are working on your leg, you don’t want to be told to walk 20 miles up a mountain, nor to forever sit in a wheelchair.

We need glasses as a crutch, so you can see clearly, while giving you room to challenge yourself (active focus, remember).

And of course, all of those who ignore the topic of close-up strain altogether, can be crossed off the list. More than that, anyone who does not start with close-up strain as the first topic, is not worth further investigating.

Remember, these are not my ideas – these are a common set of well established rules, for any kind of physical rehabilitation.  Which brings me to the next topic:

Insist On Having Committed Support.

If the ophthalmologist charges you 3,000 Euro for every visit, you might not go very often.

The best in the field are indeed very expensive (for good reason), but you do want to consider your realistic budget.  Consider that you will want to be able to come in for follow-up, to get questions answered, to have your progress reviewed.  Someone you like, someone who has shown you good progress is an important ingredient in this process.

As for the online programs ….

Well.  Buy the ebook from the pilot or other guy without even the most spurious credentials. Actually, if you find a solution recommended by someone you know, someone who by that solution has experienced significant vision improvement, by all means – go with it.

But be cautious.

Since this is rehabilitation, you will have questions. This site would not work without a forum, and even so, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the e-mail volume.  Guessing is counter productive.

If the resource is legitimate, it should include support.

One might compare it to the way Apple stores include the ‘genius bar’, where you can get actual help with your product questions. It is the main reason I myself switched from Windows, as I just got too old (and too impatient) to search Google for why my computer refuses to function. I buy one of Apple’s computers, and if something is off, I know I can go there and get my question answered.

That is what you want, for your eyesight. You can’t replace your eyes, or hit rewind. If you value your eyesight, you will want to make sure that you have a resource you can trust, that will provide the results you are looking for.

This should cover most of the e-mailed questions.

So, yes. You can use my program. But don’t use it because my sales page looks nice (doesn’t it?), or because I keep highlighting rave reviews from clients out of the forum. That’s them, that’s not you. You want to look at premise, support, your budget, and local alternatives to the Internet.

Now you may wonder – Why does nobody talk about myopia rehabilitation?  

The answer:  Economic Reality.  Read about the actually obvious, but still shocking truth here.

If you are still reading, and curious, take a look at what the Neuroscience Department at Cornell University has to say about glasses and myopia, here.

I hope you enjoyed this article, I know, I still haven’t written the promised one about why optic shops require you to have a prescription. It is coming soon!



Jake Steiner

Reformed stock trader. Kite surfer, pilot, vagabond. Father. And of course - the last of the living, imaginarily bearded eye gurus.

Topic:  Myopia