Shannon posts in the forum: I just wanted to send you my deepest gratitude for helping me with all of this! I think I was grossly overprescribed because I can see like a hawk now, and […]
Shannon posts in the forum:
I just wanted to send you my deepest gratitude for helping me with all of this! I think I was grossly overprescribed because I can see like a hawk now, and I could never see this well before with my strong prescription. I was actually prescribed -8.5 and -7.5 contacts which is totally wrong. It’s literally a magical experience being able to see again. So I just wanted to thank you!
There is a whole thread related to that post, here.
Overprescription is rampant, depending on how you choose to measure eyesight. Many, many of my clients have entirely unnatural vision when they first come to my office. It is the sharpest possible vision at the lowest possible light, with the glasses the optometrist gives them. Like Shannon, some of them actually end up seeing better in most everyday situations once we correct that terrible high prescription. Others report many more related symptoms disappearing.
Since I deal a lot with alternative therapy related a number of issues related to well being, I often notice just how much your eyesight affects your quality of life. Out of every 10 clients who I help get a more reasonable prescription, at least two to three report better mood, less fatigue, and less incidences of headaches.
I have a questionnaire I do with every client before we look at prescriptions, to help me keep track. I also check their ability to distinguish color nuances, their peripheral vision, night vision, convergence, and accommodation.
To a shocking extent, the overprescription affects many of those things. If you can see 20/8 on an eye chart in a dark room and an artificially lit eye chart, it’s highly likely that you are suffering from side effects you aren’t even aware of (until you stop having symptoms, at which point you’ll be quite a bit happier than you were). Sight takes up a whole lot of your brain’s processing power, and the more you alter natural sight, the more your brain is going to be working trying to understand and compensate.
Some of this is difficult to quantify. I try to make the questionnaire and follow ups as “not leading” as possible, to not give clients any ideas to be overly aware of symptoms. It’s quite certain though that your quality of life improves notably once you start using prescriptions that are not of the 20/8 variety.
You are much more likely to get headaches, or even migraines, to be irritable later in the day, to have difficulty concentrating, and get depressed when you are overprescribed. I call it the “20/8”, when I get clients with that level of prescription and the usual host of symptoms. A lower prescription doesn’t always fix it, but rather often it does do the trick.
Readying this, what can you do for yourself?
First, if you don’t have an eye chart, print one from here. If you don’t have a printer, just put the file on a USB stick, or in some countries you can print directly to a local shop from your computer at home.
If you want, get the chart laminated at the print shop, it’s usually quite cheap. For just a few cents now you have a nice eye chart (or get more than one and hang them in several convenient places in and around the house). Once you have this done, quick and easy, start to measure your eyesight. This is no different than going to the optometrist.
Can you see the crazy tiny print at 20/8? In that case, you have way too much prescription! It might be useful for driving at night, but during the day, you definitely don’t need that. You can probably go down at least 1/4 diopter or more. If you want to rehab your eyes you’ll be fine at 20/40. If you just want to slow your myopia progression and enjoy less side effects, you just want to be able to read 20/20, with a bit of effort. Curious about optometrist, overprescription and what you can accomplish getting way from the high prescription glasses? Lots of good articles here in the blog, take a look.
How do you get the lower prescription? A friendly optometrist if you are lucky, or asking us in the forum and buying online may work as well. The blog has some articles discussing lens shopping as well, like this one. We are happy to help you, and if you choose to support the site with a subscription to the course, you’ll also have direct access to me, Jake, and Ted for more specific questions.
I hope you are enjoying these articles, feel free to send me a note via the comments below if you do! ;-)
– Neha Gupta
Formerly genetically defective. 🤓 Weaned off retail optometry lens subscriptions, now 20/20 eyesight. Also into BJJ, kitesurfing, paragliding, being stupid.
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Here is an example – where a child gets a -4 diopter “bump” in a prescription. No natural eye ever changes that fast.
COMMENTARY FROM A CONCERNED MOTHER ABOUT THE NEED TO DO YOUR OWN CHECKING WITH AN EYE CHART AN EXCESSIVELY STRONG PRESCRIPTION? HOW OFTEN DOES THIS HAPPEN, AND WHAT IS THE LONG-TERM EFFECT AND CONSEQUENCE?
I have retyped this letter from the original and changed the names. Jeanie’s daughter started out (at age six) with 20/50. She received a strong minus lens — even though 20/50 is acceptable for most children. After years of receiving minus lenses stronger than necessary, she received a lens increase from -6.0 to -10.0 diopters. Jeanie’s suspicion and response is described in the following paragraphs.
JEANIE BRAVE’S LETTER:
Here are copies of my daughter’s eye records and
prescriptions. You will never know how grateful I am for you and
Mr. Severson. When I stop and think of what could have happened
to Shanna had I not found you — my blood starts to boil. I have
come to realize that people never question eye doctors as they do
medical doctors. We are all at their mercy and do not even know
it. You have my permission to give my telephone number to anyone
who you feel needs it.
A CHECK-UP BEFORE SCHOOL
Shanna received the new contacts on August 5. She puts in
-10.0 Diopter and is able to see — she says one mile down the
road. I immediately told her to take them out. After begging my
optometrist to please give me information to stabilize her vision,
he becomes EXTREMELY UPSET. I then went to the libraries and book
stores looking for information but I found only William Bates’
name. I then ordered his book. Next I found Mr. Severson and
finally you in the back of his book. After reading your books I
immediately knew I had the wrong optometrist — so I nicely asked
his assistance in obtaining a -6 Diopter lens for studying. The
doctor reluctantly gave them to Shanna, telling us to use them for
STUDYING ONLY. I then confirmed the focal status of Shanna’s
eye’s, by assisting her in checking her vision against the eye
chart — both inside and outside.
8/26/95 20/20 -8.0 RE -7.5 LE
8/26/95 20/100 -6.0 RE -6.0 LE (Provided for reading)
8/31/95 20/40 -6.0 RE -6.0 LE
9/26/95 20/20 -6.0 RE -6.0 LE (See the -10.0 D prescription below)
Since she was seeing so well on 9/26/95, I told her to remove
her contacts and then come back outside. Without ANYTHING on she
stood 20 feet away and could focus on the 20/70 and 20/50 line for
about 2 or 3 seconds — then she said it would flash or float
Review of an Excessive -10 D Prescription:
Prescription by Dr. Bob Smyeth, Optometrist, Dated 8/5/95:
Patient: Shanna Brave, Birth Date, 3/2/82:
8/5/85 20/20 -10.0 RE -9.5 LE (Prescription)
In subsequent conversations with Jeanie, she stated that her nine year-old son was just starting into nearsightedness, and that she would do everything in her power to help her son with the proper use of the plus lens — to avoid the catastrophic situation that had developed with her daughter. Jeanie wondered why this knowledge is not made generally available to the parents of young children.
Otis> FIRST — DO NO HARM !! This is the real truth about the total destruction of our vision. I thank you, and all others for addressing this terrible problem. The ODs are totally blind to the permanent damage they are doing to the public’s vision.