(Reader Mail): How My Job Helped To Fix (And Hurt) My Eyesight

P.S.:  Your eyes aren't broken.It's your lens use and habits that keep making your eyes worse.  And the massive hundred billion dollar optics industry loves it.   They sell you ever increasing diopter glasses at […]

Jake Steiner

Jun 19,2013 · 0 min read

The following is an e-mail from a client, his experiences improving his eyesight, and also a good cautionary tale for just how easily you can damage your eyesight.


I came to Alex in the late summer of 2002. My eyes had been stable at -6.50 (left) and -7.25(right) for a good ten years. The previous year though, the eye exam results showed an increase in astigmatism, and a bit worse vision in my right eye. I was 43, and that result brought back some bad memories of all the years when every visit, my eyes were getting worse.

Important note:  If you want to get started improving your own eyesight, I offer a number of courses, including options for one-on-one support with me personally.  Check out the courses page for what’s currently available to help your eyeballs.

Fortunately, a few months prior to that eye exam, I had heard about Alex through a friend.

This friend was a man I worked with, at the forestry service. He had much better eyesight than myself to begin with, but after working with Alex he had fully recovered to needing no glasses at all. It was so long ago now that I don’t remember what his prescription was, but I had been impressed. There was a bit of wishful thinking about a life without glasses, but I put it aside, until that visit to the optometrist, and the poor results, reminded me of his suggestion to see Alex.

Not wanting to get new glasses, I finally did go to Alex, I did sign on for myopia rehabilitation, and my vision did improve. In fact, in the first year my myopia reduced to -4.50, in both eyes. I’m not sure exactly of the second and third year, but I was improving by about 1.5 diopters per year thereafter.  

Getting to consistent 20/20 took a while longer, though I managed to be without glasses for much of the later part of the 4th year. I saw Alex twice a year after the first year, and about once a month after the first six months of the first year. It was all quite logical and not complex at all, after I had managed to make some adjustments to my work life and evening relaxation preferences. Less television, more breaks, as readers of this site I am sure you have heard it all more than enough times already.

My job was a full time desk job at the time I had started. It was something I had wanted to change for quite some time, and had discussed with my wife and the head of facilities on a few occasions. When Alex pointed out that I would improve faster with less close-up time, I made the move to a field position. This was about three months into my rehab program.

At the time I had no way to appreciate how much this helped my eyesight recovery. In fact, I didn’t know how bad close-up really is, till early this year.

When I had transferred to the field, my close-up time for the office went from 7 hours per day, to about one hour per day. There was still paperwork to do, but most of the time was being out, surveying, driving to sites, planning, cataloging, and other outdoor tasks. I did the focus pushing for the paperwork part of my day, and started reading at night, instead of watching TV. I used some full spectrum lighting, and pushing focus, and had about a half hour of newspaper time in the morning as well.

Till early this year, I enjoyed several years of excellent eyesight with no glasses.  20/12 would be a normal measurement, in good daylight. The -7 diopter glasses sometimes seemed like something I had just imagined, even though I kept them (on a wood stand I had made, just to remind myself of the past).

Then everything changed. I had a small work accident at the beginning of January, 2013.

Because of this, I transferred back to desk work, temporarily. Now, in June 2013, I can barely see 20/60 on the Snellen chart.  

I have not pushed any focus, while at work, nor taken any precautions to extend my viewing close up by using any plus lenses.  After all this time, I had assumed that my eyes were good, and glasses didn’t cross my mind. There has also been more TV time that gradually came back over the years. While I worked outdoors, I always had to focus at the distance to make out specific tree species, boundary lines, and many objects that required careful focus at a distance. This was most days, which (as Alex now tells me) worked as focus pulling and active focus to keep my eyes working well.

My temporary desk assignment is in an office full of fluorescent lighting, it is an old CRT monitor, and the way the mouse and keyboard are set up, I sit fairly close to the screen. It has been a bit over five months of this, and I have gone from 20/12 to not quite even 20/60.

In all reality, I need glasses again (at least for driving).

I am taking the time to write this, to add my voice to just how important it is to follow the things Alex says. Not only that, but also just how much of a difference the small things make, and how easy it is to slip, and take great vision for granted. Coming from a man who had years of 20/12 vision, in my 40’s no less, be careful about taking care of your eyes. I would have never though that something as short as five months could take me to where I would need glasses!

Of course this will be easy to fix. I already know how, and next month I will be back on field duty. I bought a pair of strong plus lenses. TV time is going away.

Besides the obvious (Alex), I have to give my outdoor job a lot of credit for my sustained excellent vision. After having fixed the quite bad -7 diopters in just a few years, my eyes stayed healthy, without any effort on my part, for so many years. And just a few months in an office were all it took for my eyes to get so much worse, so quickly.

If you do not have the luxury of transferring to a field position, do take care of all the details that Alex suggests. The full spectrum light, the breaks, the distance, prescription strengths, the whole work station ergonomics. Having witnessed it first hand now, I can finally appreciate how carefully one must treat an office job. A desk and computer are as dangerous (or maybe more so) than a chainsaw, and falling trees in a forest. At least the chainsaw you can hear, it’s power is easy to show respect to. The desk, the poor light, the close up screen creep in and destroy your eyes, slowly, and without you noticing.

Good luck and all the best with your eyesight improvement work, and many thanks to Alex.

– Thomas Anders



Jake Steiner

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

Topic:  Myopia