Myopia Treatment: Let’s Call It “Profitable Coincidence”

I get a lot of e-mail from new readers who find the blog by searching for myopia insights on Google.  It makes me genuinely sad a whole lot of the time, and also committed to […]

Dec 24,2015 · 5 min read

I get a lot of e-mail from new readers who find the blog by searching for myopia insights on Google.  It makes me genuinely sad a whole lot of the time, and also committed to writing the blog on a daily basis.

Take a look at this one from today:


Poor guy.  His right eye has no minus lens in front of it and everything stays normal, and his left eye keeps getting worse as the optic shop keeps increasing his minus prescription. 

Oh wonder the coincidences, kittehs.  However could that happen? 

This could be an interesting test for those in the profession who insist that lenses don’t cause increasing myopia.  Maximize your minus prescription then, wear it all the time, and then show me how next year you don’t objectively need more minus.  Whoever does that and doesn’t become more myopic, is welcome to tell me that I’m just making things up.

Speaking of wrong, and not making things up, more interesting optometrist inquiries continue coming in these days.  We continue to make friends in the field, which is making your friend Jake all not-optometry-grinch-ey.

On to an e-mail from Shannon, who found this interesting tidbit:

Hi Jake – I was reading your article about how the scientific literature wrote that myopia was caused by close up strain 15 years ago, and I would have to say that I think people have known for more like 115 years…

I thought you would find this interesting.  I was studying office spaces for an essay I was writing, and I read this somewhat dry book called Cube by Niki Saval about the history of office spaces.  What really stood out to me that I didn’t expect were the number of remarks by people in the mid 1800s about how transitioning from physical labor to desk jobs destroyed their vision.  I collected a few quotes from the book for you as examples:

1876 – “Though he was sent to the prestigious Phillips exeter Academy, where he was groomed for Harvard, his grades were mediocre.  After beginning to study harder and improve his performance, Tailer started to suffer from frequent eyesight problems and painful headaches.  Physiologically, this probably represented a lack of medical attention (he simply needed to wear glasses), but Taylor’s parents took his medical problems to mean that he had worked too hard and needed to reconsider college altogether”

1849 – Benjamin Browne Foster, Down East Diary – On the Clerking Class

“They laboured in poorly lit, smoky single rooms, attached to merchants and lawyers, to insurance concerns and banks.  They had sharp penmanship and bad eyes, extravagant clothes but shrunken, unused bodies, backs cramped from poor posture, fingers callused by constant writing.  When they were not thin, angular, and sallow, they were ruddy and soft; their paunches sagged onto their thighs.” Hmmm sounds a lot like a big chunk of the population today, doesn’t it Jake? Actually makes me think of those gamer people ha.

Medieval scribe marginal notes – “Writing is excessive drudgery.  It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach and your sides.” Yep – sounds about right! So even medieval scribes knew that close up strain was messing with their vision! That’s hundreds of years ago.

Tailer Diary, December 2, 1848 – “At the same time, the obscurity of the poorly lit office drives him to complain about the worsening of his eyesight: “My eyes felt, when the labor of the day were finished, as if I was to become blind, a cloud appeared to hover over them, which prevented my seeing distinctly those minute objects which would be presented for admission to be portrayed upon the retina.  The reason which I assigned to account for this singular occurrence was that they had been strained and sorely tried by the miserable light which finds its way into our counting room.”

So if all this eye strain was caused from simply transitioning to desk job, and writing written records, it reminds me of what you say about the dismal damage of computers and iphones.  Kind of long and dry, but I thought you would find it interesting! Before the marketing of glasses, I think people were much more aware of how bad it was to be near sighted!

Hope your baby sleeps tonnes!

Have a great Christmas and New Years,


More, with the coincidences!  Also, l I did say 400 years.  We’ve known about the myopia causes since the dark ages.

Old Jake would now have gone on an awesome rant about the many coincidences that line the pockets of an entire “medical” field, which happens to create more of the problem, an actual global health epidemic, all with it’s so-called treatment.

Alas … every week there’s new optometrist e-mails, wanting to explore BackTo20/20, and chat about holistic myopia control.  So perhaps we’re witnessing the humble beginnings of the eventual changing of the guards.  And I won’t rant.  Boo.

All of this is made possible by you, contributing with e-mails and ideas and thoughts, supporting BackTo20/20, and being part of the pointlessness that is social media Twitters (matters though, strength in numbers!). 




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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