The Ocular Diaries: How I improved my vision naturally by using progressively weaker glasses (Part 1)
I’ve needed glasses due to myopia (short-sightedness) ever since I was 8. Every year, I’d have to go for an eye test and get a new and stronger pair of glasses.
- This was what everyone around me did.
- This was what the nurses at my school said I should do.
- This was what all the opticians/optometrists told me to do.
So for many years, I just accepted that my eyesight was bad and would get worse.
When I reached adulthood, I tried contact lenses for some time, but they irritated my eyes and made me feel “sleepy” the minute I’d put them on.
When my work started to suffer from my discomfort, I gave up contact lenses and went back to glasses for good.
By that time, I was determined to not have my vision get any worse. So whenever I wanted new frames, I’d keep my lens prescription the same, which was -4.5 (left) / -4.5 (right), with very high astigmatism in my left eye and less in my right.
Things were fine for several years. Then in May 2011, I had a horribly painful headache for two days straight. That was the start of my journey towards better vision.
After a doctor’s visit and a trip to the optician, I learnt:
- from the doctor that my headaches were due to eyestrain from too much close vision work (made worse by wearing glasses); and
- from the optician that my year-old glasses were suddenly too strong for my eyes (this means I had become less short-sighted somehow).
Roughly 12 months later in June 2012, my prescription had fallen significantly.
|IN MAY 2011
OF MY ADULT YEARS)
|-4.5 (left) / -4.5 (right)||WITH HIGH ASTIGMATISM|
|BY JUNE 2012||-2.25 (left) / -3.00 (right)||NO ASTIGMATISM|
In other words, my vision had improved by about 2.25 (left eye) / 1.50 (right eye) in about a year.
This is my story.
How it all started—treating myself with high-dose iodine
In November 2010, I embarked on an iodine supplementation regime to detox myself from bromide and fluoride, and to resolve my lingering uterine issues. I was in the process of healing my ovarian cysts.
When I started taking iodine supplements (in my case, Iodoral), I also began a personal diary (or journal) to keep track of my detox symptoms and progress.
High-dose iodine supplementation can result in some severe and scary detox reactions such as body aches, joint pain and skin breakouts. So keeping track of my dosage and symptoms with a journal was my way of making sure I stayed safe (also… I’m a huge nerd).
My vision improvements from iodine were something I did not expect, but happily noted down in my journal along the way.
I now believe that getting sufficient iodine (and maybe iodide and magnesium) helped support a slow improvement in my eyesight, at least in the beginning. My first clue that my vision had improved came in late May 2011 when I had my eyes tested because of a persistent headache. This was about 6 months after I started iodine supplementation.
Iodine and my myopia improvement: what you need to know
I attributed the improvement in my myopia to the only regimen I had been on at the time — high-dose iodine supplementation (also called orthoiodosupplementation).
But I don’t actually know if iodine is strictly necessary for eye improvements. For myself anyway, I believe it was an important catalyst and was what spurred my first reduction in myopia.
I won’t be surprised if myopia can be reduced without iodine supplementation at all. In fact, I would not advise most people to do what I did. Before I went on my high-dose iodine regimen, I had read so much about it and prepared myself mentally and emotionally. It was a risk that I managed by educating myself, and I was highly motivated to heal my ovarian cysts. And while the detox symptoms that I got from taking high doses of iodine were temporary and petered out after about a month, they were scary at times and would have been more so had I not known what I was getting myself into.
So please DO NOT use this article and my high iodine dosages as a guide or a “how-to” manual to reduce your own myopia. I was on my high-dosage iodine regimen for six months before my eyesight first improved and I took up to 100mgs per day at one point! For most people, this is already unacceptable.
So what can you do?
You can try using progressively weaker lenses the way I did below. It’s effective and virtually risk-free to your health.
You can try Vitamin C and magnesium. If you take too much of either, the worst that’ll happen is that you’ll move your bowels once or twice.
And if you do decide to try iodine, try only smaller doses. Taking high doses of iodine is certainly do-able. I did it. But before you go down that road, know what you’re getting into and the risks. Do your own research. We are all responsible our ourselves, after all (which is a good thing).
About this article and my journal entries
I’ve decided to use my journal entries for this article because there’s a step-by-step progression to my improvements (which were not always smooth-going). And I think it’s important for me to share as many details as I can so you’ll have a fuller picture of what I did.
The first entry in my journal was in November 2010, but the early entries are of little relevance here. They mainly chronicle my gradual uptake of Iodoral and the detox symptoms I had at the time (for me, they were mostly lower back pain and body aches). So for this article, I’ve pasted in extracts of only my later entries from May 2011 onwards, which was when I first noted an improvement in my eyesight.
I’ve also interspersed my original journal entries with longer explanations to make more sense to readers. All my journal entries are in colored boxes, with my explanations outside. You’ll find mentions of iodine (Iodoral) because that’s what my journal was primarily intended for. Also magnesium and Vitamin C, which are the companion nutrients for iodine supplementation.
I’m not a doctor, but I believe iodine and possibly magnesium were what helped my eyes the most (you might be interested to know that myopia is common in the children of magnesium-deficient mothers).
A bit of background about me might also be fitting here—I work in an office and need to read volumes of text every day on a monitor.
With that, let’s dive right in, shall we?
|Journal entry ~ 27 May 2011|
|Been a while since my last update… but since the start of May, I’ve started taking around 100mg of Iodoral daily, with breaks during the weekends to rest. Feeling fine, no more iodine detox symptoms to speak of.I think my eyesight has been improving from iodine. Got my clue a few days ago. Had a horrible, horrible headache for 2 days straight.
Went to a clinic and the doctor said it’s caused by eyestrain and that my glasses (and myopia) were probably making it worse.
Before that doctor’s visit in May, I’d never made a connection between headaches and my glasses before. Eyestrain and reading too much, sure… but glasses? Waren’t they supposed to help? But apparently, they were not as harmless as they looked.
I had a very good doctor who explained to me on a diagram (that she sketched for me no less) that vision with glasses changes our eyes’ focus from being parallel to converging, which is unnatural and creates tension. That was what I understood from her, anyway. I was still in too much pain at the time to fully grasp much beyond “glasses = bad”.
And while the pain in my head did not make for a good time then, I look at it this way now—sometimes, something bad needs to happen to us, before something good can take root naturally.
Soon after that doctor’s visit, I got my eyes and glasses checked by an optician.
Luck was on my side as I found a great one near my office. He tested my eyes and told me that the glasses I had on were too powerful for me, and much stronger than what my eyes actually needed.
This was very surprising to me because they were not new glasses. I had been wearing them comfortably for well over a year. So why would they suddenly be too strong for me? The only explanation was that my myopia had somehow reduced quite substantially on its own.
I didn’t tell the optician that they were actually old glasses so he assumed that they were new. He was actually a bit upset after he tested my eyes and found the disparity between them and my glasses. This prompted him to share a dirty little secret with me — that many opticians secretly over-prescribe or order lenses that are more powerful that needed, in the hope of giving their customers sharper and “better” vision. He said this practice was why so many people (including me) get eyestrain whenever they buy new glasses.
While this was disturbing for me to hear, I was very grateful to him for telling me.
As I left his office that day, a theory was already percolating in my head — that somehow my high-dose iodine regimen had managed to improve my eyesight.
An experiment was born—using progressively weaker glasses
After my visit to the optician, my next decision was easy—downgrade to weaker glasses ASAP.
Since I spend most of my waking hours in front of the computer, I decided to get glasses that were only strong enough for me to do my work comfortably. I would christen these my “computer glasses”. Creative, right?
Around the same time, I started reading about vision therapy. I learnt that it was possible to improve my vision naturally and slowly over time.
The basic thinking behind vision therapy is that stronger glasses weaken the eyes, and weaker glasses strengthen them (which this site explains very well).
Make no mistake—this thinking is the VERY OPPOSITE of conventional medical ideas about eyesight and myopia.
By the way, if you’re the type who only believes in conventional methods and practices, you might want to skip this article altogether (if you haven’t run off already, that is!). I know not everyone will be happy with what I have to say here, and some might even feel threatened or get angry.
That’s fine. I’m not here to change anyone’s minds, only to share my personal experience. My hope is that this article can help those who are receptive.
I’m also contrarian by nature, so it was easy for me to decide to embark on my grand experiment—I would try to reduce my myopia by using progressively weaker and weaker glasses.
29 May 2011: My 1st pair of “computer glasses”
On 29 May 2011, I ordered my first pair of “computer glasses” online.
But before I did that, I went back to the optician who tested my eyes and told him exactly what I needed—a prescription that was good enough for me to read the computer screen and nothing more. For me, this was a reading distance of 27-31 inches. I used a tape measure at home and at work to get it about right.
By the way, it’s not a good idea to reveal to an optician or optometrist that you want weaker glasses to improve your eyesight. I think some might refuse to serve you or even start a debate. Remember, they only know what they’ve been taught, which is the conventional way of thinking. So I’d suggest just doing what I did and say that you need a prescription for weaker/low-powered “computer glasses” or “reading glasses”. This request should be easy for most opticians to understand.
My optician was very accommodating. After I explained to him what I wanted, he let me test my vision on his own computer screen. So you can imagine me sitting in front of his computer, wearing those funky-looking eye test frame thingies. Best of all, his computer was right in front of a clear glass wall so everyone passing by could get a good look at me.
After I got my “computer glasses” prescription at the optician’s office, I went off to buy my glasses online.
The thought of spending $100-200 on a new pair of glasses at the optical store was too painful, especially since my experiment would mean buying several pairs. Plus, I’d always felt ripped off having to pay hundreds of dollars on a flimsy piece of no-brand plastic and metal. Most glasses are made on assembly lines and factories. It’s not like someone was painstakingly making them by hand. So I never could understand why they cost as much as some gold jewellery.
Meanwhile, the prices for glasses online were great (and most of all, fair). It was easy for me to find nice ones that cost $10-20 each.
It was my first time buying glasses online, so I was a little nervous. I’d bought many things online before then, but never glasses because they can “make” your face. If you wear glasses, you’d know what I’m talking about…
I’m very glad I took the plunge because the glasses I ordered online came and looked great. I couldn’t tell the difference in quality between my new, cheap glasses and my older, much more expensive ones (which I’d bought from an optician). I actually thought the new ones I bought online looked better.
Because I was nervous about my online purchase, I took extra care and used my old pair as a guide when it came to the frame measurements for my new glasses. It was less of a risk for me because all I use are frameless glasses. Without visible frames, it was much easier to choose glasses that would suit my face (although the shape of the lens chosen can still “make” your face quite a bit).
My first “computer glasses” prescription was as follows. This was what the optician gave me.
My 1st pair of weaker computer glasses (viewing distance 27-31 inches)
|OS L (left eye)||OD R (right eye)|
|- 4.00 (SPH)||-3.25 (SPH)|
|- 0.75 (CYL)||-0.50 (CYL)|
|-170 (AXIS)||10 (AXIS)|
Note: SPH (or sphere) is the degree of myopia. CYL (or cylinder) and AXIS indicates astigmatism. As you can see, the astigmatism in my left eye was much higher than in my right.
Ordering glasses online would normally require these figures, so make sure your prescription includes them. If there is no astigmatism, the fields for CYL and AXIS should be left blank (i.e. zero).
23 June 2011: One month after…a quick leap to my 2nd pair!
|Journal entry ~ 23 June 2011|
|I’ve been dosing with 9 Iodoral pills daily — 3 in the am, 3 after lunch, and 3 more at 3-4pm.
I’ve also continued with my high-dose vitamin C of 5-10mgs daily to keep my iodine receptors clear.I’ve given up on chelated magnesium, the pills are too big and I dread taking them. Need to look for other types of magnesium that I can easily take…
I’ve been wearing my computer glasses for almost a month now and while they started out blurry whenever I look at faraway things (normal for low-powered glasses), now my distance vision with them is sharper. This tells me my eyesight has continued to improve.
I was very happy with my visible progress after about a month using my weaker glasses. Eager to continue improving, I quickly purchased two more pairs online. I planned to keep them on hand for whenever I would be ready to downgrade.
I downgraded the prescription for my next two pairs quite aggressively—by 0.5 (left) / 0.5 (right). I also completely removed the astigmatism at the same time. Yes, I was feeling very ambitious at the time!
My 2nd pair of weaker computer glasses
|OS L (left eye)||OD R (right eye)|
|- 3.50 (SPH)||-2.75 (SPH)|
|-0.00 (CYL) *||-0.00 (CYL) *|
|0 (AXIS) *||0 (AXIS) *|
* 0.00 CYL and AXIS = NO ASTIGMATISM
Fortunately, my second pair worked out well eventually. But it took some adjustment.
During my first week wearing them, I had to move my PC monitor a few inches closer to me so I could work. There was also some distortion whenever I looked left or right because the adjustments for my astigmatism had been completely removed. This was slightly disorienting, but nothing I couldn’t live with. My eyes adjusted and this distortion went away in about a week.
During this first week, I’d also switch to my first pair of computer glasses whenever I needed to see something that was further away in more detail. So for the first week, I always had two pairs of glasses with me, which made me feel quite amused at myself. One would be on my face and another would be tucked over my collar. But soon enough, my eyes adjusted as well and I could retire the first pair into my drawer for good.
23 August 2011: Continued improvements and forming new habits
|Journal entry ~ 23 August 2011|
|Eyesight has continued to improve. My vision keeps getting sharper with the low-powered glasses. Progress is slow, but it’s there.
I’ve also started taking off my glasses completely whenever I’m away from the computer. Making my way around without them is not so bad… My eyes actually feel more relaxed without glasses on somehow. I’ve told most of my friends and colleagues about my new habit just in case they see me outside and I don’t react. At least they’ll know I’m not ignoring them on purpose! I literally can’t see who’s who unless they come within a few feet of me.
I’ve also been consciously trying to get more morning sun without my glasses on. I’ve noticed a temporary improvement in my vision whenever I expose my eyes to sunlight. I love the sun!
Since May, I’ve been taking 100mg of Iodoral per day. I’m going to start lowering my doses to 75mg now.Started taking magnesium chloride. These pills are much easier to take than the chelated magnesium. I also feel immediate calming effects from it, unlike the old pills. Mag chloride is awesome.
In my journal entry above, I mentioned that I started not wearing my glasses at all sometimes. I take a train to work and don’t drive, so this was quite safe for me to do. If you drive, you should of course wear glasses that are strong enough so you can see everything at a distance clearly. When I’m walking in an unfamiliar area, or places where the ground is uneven, I’d always put my glasses back on to be safe.
Fast forward to November 2011 below—I’d finished my high-dose iodine supplementation regime and have moved on to a lower, maintenance dose of iodine. Nevertheless, my vision improvements remained and I continued to keep track of my progress.
8 November 2011: Still on my 2nd pair
|Journal entry ~ 8 November 2011|
|I’ve continued to take iodine, but have reduced it to a maintenance dose of around 50mg on most days.
I’ve been staying on my 2nd pair or reduced power glasses.
Just out of curiosity, I tried on my 1st pair of computer glasses this weekend and guess what? They were WAY too strong! I put them on and very quickly took them off—they were that powerful and uncomfortable.
Very, very happy there’s still progress.
I have to push my monitor to the very edge of my desk now, otherwise the screen is too sharp. But I’ll give it a bit more time before I downgrade to my 3rd lower pair. I tested them for a while and they were too blurry, so more time then…
17 December 2011: Onto my 3rd pair (after hitting a small snag)
Finally, in December 2011, I decided it was time to downgrade to lower-powered glasses again. When before I couldn’t see faraway objects clearly with them on, now I could. This means my eyes had improved so much that they’ve effectively stopped becoming “computer glasses” for me and were just regular, almost full-powered glasses. However, I hit a minor snag when I tried to move down to my 3rd pair.
|Journal entry ~ 5 December 2011|
|Still no iodine detox symptoms. All good with the maintenance dose.
I tried to downgrade to my “3rd pair” recently, which was -2.25 (right) / – 3.00 (left). But the 0.50/0.50 downgrade from my current pair made my monitor too blurry to read.
As you can see, I’d made a mistake with the 3rd pair I’d purchased. They were much too weak for me to transition to comfortably this time. Instead of making myself struggle with glasses that made it hard for me to do my work, I decided to relegate my 3rd pair to be my 4th pair and buy another to fill in the gap.
So I ordered 2 more pairs online, this time making sure that the downward progressions were smaller at 0.25/0.25 each instead of 0.50/0.50. These smaller decrements would greatly ease my future transitions.
After my new glasses came in the mail, I had on hand:
- -3.25 / -4.00 (my 1st pair, retired)
- -2.75 / -3.50 (my 2nd pair, retired)
- -2.50 / -3.25 (my NEW 3rd pair)
- -2.25 / -3.00 (my 4th pair, previously my 3rd pair), and
- -2.00 / -2.75 (my NEW 5th pair)
I started wearing my NEW 3rd pair when they came in the mail on 17 December 2011.
The total cost for my two new pairs of glasses was close to $47, including shipping. I’d feel bad about buying so many glasses, but I intend to donate them all when I’m done (I found a hospital that accepts eyeglass donations). I also decided not to change the lenses each time because lens replacements would cost me more than brand new glasses. Go figure.
Around this time, I also started making an effort to rest my eyes from the computer every so often. It’s good to give your eyes a break by looking away at things that are at a distance every 30 minutes or so (e.g. a 30-second rest for every 30 minutes). It was very hard for me to remember to do this (still is) whenever I’m busy working, so I set up an automatic reminder to pop up on my screen every half an hour, which has been very useful. I’ve also continued taking iodine, magnesium chloride and Vitamin C daily.
13 March 2012: My progress plateaus… and my odd little theory on why it did
|Journal entry ~ 13 March 2012|
|Wow it’s been ages since my last entry. My progress has plateaued and it’s only recently that I’ve realized why.
This may sound very strange, but whenever I walk around outside (in crowds etc) without my glasses on, I really, really like not being able to see the faces around me clearly or not at all. I don’t like crowds and I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed living in a small, very densely-populated city. So going without my glasses gave me this unexpected perk of being totally relaxed in crowds now.
Unfortunately I think I might’ve unconsciously told my brain and eyes that I don’t want to see faces clearly, which has been hindering my progress (this is my theory, anyway). Now I’m trying to undo this accidental belief/thought creation with simple affirmations whenever I remember.
I upped my dosage of iodoral to 7 yesterday + 3 mag chloride pills (spread out 3 times over the day). And I felt really, really good. I’m doing the same today, let’s see what happens.
3 April 2012: Eyes started to improve again
|Journal entry ~ 3 April 2012|
|Still sticking to daily mag chloride + iodine (with breaks during weekends), still good.
I think my vision has started to improve again, I saw a bus sign across the street clearly (a flash of clarity) the other day, which was great.
7 May 2012: Started taking serrapeptase
What serrapeptase has to do with my eyes, I have no idea. But it was a new addition to my regimen.
Full disclosure and all…
|Journal entry ~ 7 May 2012|
|I’ve been taking 3x serrapeptase (total 120k mcg) each morning when I wake up and a benign lump in my left breast is so, so different in texture now. I can barely feel the hard circular lump now. Amazing! I think serrapeptase is eating up my scar tissue and breaking down some old wounds.
I’ve lowered my iodoral intake to 2 in the am and 2 in the pm. This is a return to my maintenance of 50mg per day. No reason other than I think my body has reached a good limit.
19 June 2012: My 4th pair (finally!)
|Journal entry ~ 19 June 2012|
|After what seems like forever (but was actually 6 months), I finally started on my next lower-powered glasses last night. My vision has been sharp for a while now, it was time to downgrade.
So I’m now using: -2.25 / -3.00 (my 4th pair).
I actually thought I could skip my 4th pair of glasses altogether and go straight to my 5th, but my monitor was too blurry to read with them (overeager yet again). I’m very glad that I bought my glasses in 0.25 / 0.25 decrements, they still seem to be the best for my eyes and the most practical for my use.
Today at work I can still read the screen, with just a tiny bit of fuzziness. I pulled my monitor closer to me by an inch and it was much better. As usual, will push my monitor back as my eyes adjust.
I’m still on my maintenance of 50mg of iodoral per day + 3 mag chloride (spread throughout the day).
At this point, I’m feeling quite excited as my next pair (the 5th) is also the last that I have on reserve. I guess it’s for that reason that I feel like I’ve travelled quite far, eventhough I’m only somewhere in the middle of my journey.
I’m also really looking forward to reaching the 1.0 level. My 6th pair will be -1.75 / -2.50, which amazes me considering I was wearing -4.5 / -4.5 (+ high astigmatism) for many years of my adult life. All I can say to this is… wow.
This is the end of my post here for now. If you’re like me, and you have myopia and want to improve your vision naturally, I hope I’ve given you some ideas to go on.
In the meantime, I’ll continue journaling and keeping track of my progress. I plan to update with Part 2 sometime in the future, so stay tuned!
~ Love, Sam