Today is hardcore science day.
If you’re somewhat curious about the science behind myopia, this one might be worth a read. This is actually really very important (if not the most important) bit of scientific argument background of the whole entirety of my method (at least for the thematic high level).
Let me set the stage for you, in case you aren’t familiar with the very basic nature of the argument:
Axial elongation is at the root of most progressive myopia.
Meaning, your eye grows longer, thereby moving the focal plane where the light focuses inside your eye. The change in focal plane takes the focus away from the retina, and the image you see appears blurred (very, very abbreviated version).
This part isn’t really disputed.
Then there’s the second part, which is the question what causes axial elongation. Science there basically agrees that minus lenses (the glasses you wear to correct myopia) create a stimulus that causes axial elongation. This isn’t a universally agreed upon fact, but there is a whole lot of scientific evidence that this is the case. If you wanted to argue for this, you’d win just based on the volume of supporting studies.
This is why we say that minus lenses cause progressive myopia.
Now to the tricky part.
Jakey Jake says that this axial elongation can be reversed. That’s where most of optometry gets a little frenzified. Why? Because there is definitely *not* conclusive proof of this. There aren’t human studies that show axial reduction, at least that I’ve found, in credible peer-reviewed journals.
So then … am I just making stuff up?
Not really. Here is the interesting thing. There aren’t human eye studies on this subject. But there are quite a few studies with very, very similar eye structures. You’ll find axial change being observed basically in the full range of eyes that work in similar ways as human eyes. Studies have been published ranging from fish, to birds, to monkeys, all showing that induced myopia (with minus lenses) can be reversed, and that axial length change does in fact happen.
So there is that. And of course we have a decade’s worth of student data showing myopia reduction that can only very reasonably explained to be happening because of axial change.
Real life findings, and a lot of supporting evidence.
But not *fact*. I get irritated by this, when it gets rubbed in my face. Wouldn’t you say that if I bring you hundreds of cases of first hand accounts of myopia reversal over five diopters or more, and dozens of studies of all sorts of “human-like” eyes showing that axial shortening happens, that we’re on to something?
Here’s what I think: If we had an ironclad human study on this, it still wouldn’t make a difference.
Nobody really wants to hear that they were wrong, that their medical degrees are based in part on nonsensical treatment ideas, that they’ve been inducing myopia in their patients. You can’t really win this argument, as far as I can see, in the medical community.
Which is why, we have to be all weird and you know, “eye guru”.
So this is the setup. Now if you like, read through this whole axial length review of current research. I bolded a few of the somewhat mind blowing findings at the end, I strongly recommend that you take a look.
Axial Length of Myopia: A Review of Current Research
Meng W.a · Butterworth J.a · Malecaze F.a, b, d · Calvas P.a, c, d
aPhysiopathology Centre, INSERM U563, and Departments of bOphthalmology and cMedical Genetics, Purpan Hospital, Toulouse, and dUniversity Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France Corresponding Author