In recent times, perhaps also thanks to the rapid sharing guaranteed by the Net, a topic is particularly debated: the possibility of treating or reducing myopia with the help of special visual exercises. However, the issue finds conflicting opinions, especially in medical science: how to orient you?
Myopia is a very frequent disorder that involves the difficulty of focusing on distant subjects, if not with the use of special corrective lenses, whether they are mounted on glasses or in contact. According to some theories, there are re-education techniques which, by encouraging correct eye movement and reducing visual stress, can at least contain the problem. To try to understand more, it is first necessary to understand from which factors the disturbance derives.
Myopia: basic information
By myopia we mean a refractive anomaly of the eye: in simple terms, the light rays of the object being looked at are focused in front of the retina rather than on the retina itself. The condition involves the blurred vision of distant elements, with variability depending on the degree of myopia of the subject, which requires adequate correction with lenses.
Normally the disorder is caused by an excessive length of the eyeball: this can occur at birth or, more frequently, during growth and puberty. In addition, myopia can also worsen over the course of life, as the shape of the eye changes over time. Although in most cases myopia is harmless, easily correctable, and summarized in the natural variety of human characteristics, the diagnosis is always up to the specialist, since in some remote occurrences it could be the first symptom of a much more serious disease.
This is why it is always important to undergo an eye examination if you perceive even a slight variation in your visual abilities so that the health of the eye and all its parts are assessed. For the purposes of this intervention, we will only refer to the so-called “simple myopia” that is the most common and caused by the elongated eyeball, which does not require any other concerns other than correction through lenses or laser surgery.
The possible possibility of treating myopia with special visual re-education exercises is not a recent fact, although only in recent years it has aroused so much curiosity in public opinion. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, for example, various theories of alternative medicine developed, convinced that they could cure or reduce the disorder without the aid of glasses. The most famous current is certainly the one developed by William Horatio Bates in 1919, commonly known as the “Bates Method”, But other variants developed in the following decades.
According to Bates, visual disturbances derive from the accommodative process of the eye, which is the mechanism that leads to the increase in the curvature of the lens through the ciliary muscle to ensure the correct focus on the retina. For a variety of reasons – from straining to see better to eye laziness – the muscles involved would not guarantee proper action, thus causing blurry images. Consequently, through some and repetitive ones, it would be possible to re-educate the eyes to normal functionality.
Bates’ techniques, as well as many of his later theories, have received a mixed reception in the scientific field: there is insufficient evidence of their effectiveness. And the question is still widely debated today: just carry out an online search to discover hundreds of interventions, including testimonies of enthusiastic success and others of disappointing failure.
Untangling this sea of opinions is not at all easy, nor is it easy to find out which techniques are actually useful. There are however three exercises recurring in every treatment that, at least on paper, obtain a vague consent. Since these are not complex tasks or in any case intrinsically harmful to sight, there should not be particular problems in their application, but it is always better to sift the opinion of your trusted expert.
- Book exercise: keeping a book open at eye level, bring it closer to the face until the outlines of the letters appear slightly blurred. He then raises his eyesight and stares at an object at least 10 meters away. According to some, this exercise should re-educate the periocular muscles, preventing myopia from worsening over time;
- Exercise of the pen: a pen is brought close to the tip of the nose, then staring at it waits for the vision to split. At this point, the eyes move alternately left and right, then fixes for a moment an object about 10 meters away;
- Subgrade: it is not a real technique, but advice. If you read a lot or spend most of your day on the computer, it is useful to use glasses that are subgrade to your myopia. Viewing the screen or pages will still be easy, but your eyesight will not be strained with the risk of worsening the disorder.
As already widely explained, the currents on the subject of exercises for myopia are many and varied: those provided are only the basic advice of a truly endless universe of techniques.