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Thread: Is Presbyopia Only For Old People?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Is Presbyopia Only For Old People?

    If I remember my Greek studies, the word "presbyopia" literally means "old eyes." Does that mean that only old people become far sighted? How old is "old"? If you're younger than that, will your eye doctor conclude that even though you have to hold your Game Boy at arm's length to see it, you can't possibly have presbyopia?

  2. #2


    Presbyopia can be overcome, but not many are aware of the scientific research in this area.

    So let's get to it.
    The secret is that the brain need to be given visual challenges and the time to respond to them.
    Much like a workout.

    Otherwise we may simply reach for the eye doctor and then for the glasses.
    Wearing glasses is depressing, and for lots of obvious reasons. It is a handicap.
    Yes, suddenly you see better, but a whole new set of "glasses-related" issues begins.
    Let's not sugarcoat the problem and just accept it, as is frequently done.

    People who have been able to get off glasses often report more vibrant colors, and a sense of a closer connection with their surroundings in general.

    See below for the key scientific paper.
    Nature: Training the brain to overcome the effect of aging on the human eye Feb 2012

    My own story:
    I am near retirement age (60+) and do not need glasses. I do not have monovision, in which one eye sees well up close and the other sees well for distance. Part of the secret, I believe, is lifestyle. I like being out in Nature (distance viewing and near viewing for flowers, etc.). Airline pilots, as a group, are the last to “need” glasses, age-wise. They are looking at the cockpit instruments and at the horizon.
    Both of my parents began to "need" reading glasses in their mid-40s. I have a first-degree relative a few years younger than me who has "needed" reading glasses for years. So this does not seem genetic. I did start with above-average sight in my teens, though. The point is things are pretty stable, and my sight allows me to read the computer, the newspaper, books, etc., without strain. There have been a number of instances where I present someone around my age with something written on paper and they back away as if I had shown them a rattlesnake! I will try here to reduce the number of snakes in your area.

    Another possible factor is cycling, in that I have been doing a lot of it.
    Cycling involves a lot of brain activity as one has to be watchful for changing conditions at all times. One man mentioned how his eyesight in general had improved since he had became a cyclist.

    Sometimes I do ophthalmologist’s Ray Gottlieb’s “Bye Bye Presbyopia” exercises to give myself a visual challenge. He is over 70 and has used visual exercises to overcome his Presbyopia, after successfully helping a patient overcome his own Presbyopia with the same exercises. I recommend checking out his material.

    Scientific Paper:
    Training the brain to overcome the effect of aging on the human eye
    Published Feb 23 2012 - Nature
    PDF available.
    [From the Abstract] “. . . Here we show that perceptual learning (repeated practice on a demanding visual task) results in improved visual performance in presbyopes, enabling them to overcome and/or delay some of the disabilities imposed by the aging eye. This improvement was achieved without changing the optical characteristics of the eye. The results suggest that the aging brain retains enough plasticity to overcome the natural biological deterioration with age.”

    This paper states that all 30 presbyopic participants, at the end of their training, were able to read fine newsprint without glasses.

    I believe we have an instinctive dislike for glasses because deep down we know we do not need them. But our lives have become so unnatural that we do not know how to find our way back.
    Successive generations of "Eskimos" have been "needing" glasses at younger and younger ages,

    We have the stereotype of someone being smart because they wear glasses.
    But I tend to think, if they are smart, they would figure out how not to need them.

    I do not think that most eyecare professionals have the scientific information on this natural aspect of eyecare yet. I doubt that most are aware of the cited paper above. But now this community can be, and I hope this helps.

    It is good that you are upset about wearing glasses. You are not meant to.
    It is not a question of "Vanity."
    It is a question of not knowing about the solution that was there all along.
    That is the Frustration.
    So maybe Get Active and Challenge Yourself.

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