Core Concepts of Eye Health: Focal Plane Switching

If you are participating in any of my Vision Improvement Courses offered here, this is a familiar topic to you already:  You can’t have healthy vision, if you rely on a single, static focal plane […]

Mar 31,2013 · 6 min read

If you are participating in any of my Vision Improvement Courses offered here, this is a familiar topic to you already:  You can’t have healthy vision, if you rely on a single, static focal plane (ie. your glasses).

The reason you have a stronger than -1D prescription, is that -1D prescription that you started with.  You need glasses, because you wear glasses.

Of course the reality is a bit more complex than that, and there is no miracle myopia cure.  But in essence, you wearing glasses in itself creates the eventual need for you to wear stronger glasses.  It is the combination of what caused your myopia in the first place (eye strain from close-up), made much, much worse by adding glasses into the mix.  Glasses, which were invented in the 16th century, the time of leeches, frontal lobotomies, and witch burning.

The reality is, that you can’t just throw away your glasses, and your eyes will get better.  There are several topics in the blog discussing the why’s and how’s of this further – but just like many other addictions and dependencies, this is not one to quit ‘cold turkey’.

We are all about the glasses, here.   The 4 Pillars describes our methodology, including a healthy dose of glasses.

The problem with glasses, for regular users, is that they are misused.  It is as though doctors suddenly started prescribing morphine for light headaches and mosquito bites.  Sure, it would work.  You would enjoy a great headache-free buzz with your morphine prescription.  It wouldn’t address the ‘why’ part of how the headache came about, or make you more cautious about bumping your head into walls.  But it would work.  Much like … glasses.

Glasses create a single focal plane.  We will keep it simple here, and not get into any advanced discussions of optics.  In basic terms, glasses change where light focuses in your eye.  They change it, in one way only.  Since glasses can’t auto focus (the way your camera probably does), you just get a single ‘bump’ change in focus.

This work to allow you to see clearly, at a distance.

But it’s just a single focal plane.  It’s 16th century-dark-ages solution, to a problem complex enough that just our very latest technology even sort of replicates its function (like an auto focus camera).

Glasses are the wooden peg leg of medical solutions.

Your eyes are so amazing, that they can make do with Dr. Captain Hook’s answer to your vision problems.  But that doesn’t make it elegant.  Or right, even.  As testimony shows, by the long past of prescription increases you have most likely experienced.

Think of it – what other medical solutions do you readily accept, that don’t work?  Or worse actually, ones that require increased dosages, every time you go back to see the ole Captain Hook for a checkup?  Sure, it’s a quick fix, and yes, he gets to sell you another pair of glasses at an 800% markup (why do you think online lens shops are so much cheaper?).

If you have a DSLR camera, or any other camera that allows for manual focus, go grab it.  Set it to manual focus.  Pick the setting where the image is sharp at a distance.  That is your glasses.  Now move the camera around, to various objects at various, closer distances.  Not so sharp now, right?  What happens with this exact equivalent, on our eyes?  Yes – the burden of overcoming the massive shortcomings of this leeches-age solutions, is left to your eyes.

Your eyes, which in response to this act of medieval cruelty, continue to get worse.

When I call glasses wooden peg legs, the analogy doesn’t go too far before it breaks down – we too use glasses.  But just temporarily, and carefully.

We use glasses just to undo the damage the glasses caused.  We are the methadone clinic to the heroin junkie.  We recognize that sometimes it takes the substance, to get us off the substance.  Like an immunization shot uses a modified version of the virus, we use the problem to create a solution.  The big difference, though, is that we understand that it’s not 1578 anymore:

You need multiple prescriptions, to handle real life focal planes.

There is close-up, anything under 50-60cm.  You can’t ever, ever wear your full prescriptions at this distance.  If your eyes getting worse doing this were a horse, I would bet on it.  I’d win.  Many times.  Just like the optic shop keeps winning, every time you stop in for a check-up.

Then there is middle-distance.  If you have been participating in any of my excellent Vision Improvement courses, you know of the various possible uses of middle distance.  It’s a bit of an advanced topic, and depends on your individual prescription strength and lifestyle.

There is far distance.  The distance that your glasses work well for.  It is the only case where you should realistically be wearing your glasses (depending in your current prescription strength and lifestyle – don’t step out into the crosswalk without glasses, if you are at -8D, please).  We also have the fourth focal plane, and various tricks and lingo to identify when we want to use what kind of correction.

If you are new to this site, the lesson is – don’t wear full prescription lenses while looking at your computer screen.  Never, ever, ever.

If you have been around a while but are not participating in any of the Web programs, start thinking about prescription strength.  Dig around the forum a bit.  There are lots of examples of prescription recommendations there.  If you haven’t done so yet, familiarize yourself with the prescription calculator.

I don’t much recommend too much experimenting, and the Vision Improvement Courses are well worth the small financial contribution.  Still, consider your eye sight health, vs. the benefits of wooden peg legs.  We just fast forward those 400 years since glasses were invented, and add a little bit of scientific sense to the whole thing.  Work on reversing the myopia problem, plaguing your quality of life.

Lastly, if you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter, or wherever modern online life takes you.  And of course, there is my newsletter:






Formerly genetically defective. 🤓 Weaned off retail optometry lens subscriptions, now 20/20 eyesight. Also into BJJ, kitesurfing, paragliding, being stupid.

Topic:  Myopia

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