Continued from Monday, May 14, 2007 posting.
Three years have passed since I got my new glasses. I thought it is time to go back to get my eyes tested. But, this time, I thought I am going to search out a ‘holistic eye doctor’. I really did not know what that meant in practice. In my mind, I wanted this doctor to look at me as a whole person, not just see my problem with my eyes as a problem with the eyes, but other things. I also wanted the doctor to test my eyes like a ‘regular’ doctor would, but maybe test my eyes in other ways they haven’t been tested before. I also hoped I would not need a new prescription. I hoped he would prescribe me more eye exercises and help me to understand how to improve my vision without glasses, which by this time, I believed did not really improve my vision, but covered up the real problems that lie underneath.
So, I did find a holistic eye doctor and visited him. He ran his practice out of his home! This is the first I been to an eye doctor’s house to get assistance. So, he took me upstairs to his attic- a fully furnished and very comfortable, office. He tested my eyes with the regular equipment I have been used to since third grade, but then he offered other tests without that machine, to test my 3D vision and other aspects of my vision.
Some of the prescriptions he offered for vision improvement included:
This is similar to what the other doctor offered. He suggested that whenever my eyes feel strained to rub my hands together vigorously and place my palms over my eyes, gently. Rest in this position for some time, visualizing darkness. This calms you over all, and rests your eye muscles. (An interesting side note- doctors tell us to rest our muscles between exercising. Our eye muscles exercise from the moment we wake, and usually even while sleeping, but are we encouraged to rest our eye muscles? Wouldn’t resting them help us improve vision?)
2. Blinking and Breathing
Many people with eyesight challenges stare a lot. In fact, many people with eyesight challenges may strain their eyes by staring and squinting in hopes of seeing better. This actually helps decrease not increase good vision. When we strain our eyes, we also often don’t breathe- we hold our breath. He offered me to blink and breathe more. This can be done at any time. We should start out in small increments, like 10 seconds and work up. This is because we have to think about coordinating this blinking and breathing first, but as it becomes habitual, we can increase the time we have to consciously think about doing it. These exercises are especially important to do to rest from reading, using the computer, and driving. He also offered that when palming practice correct blinking. You can do this by blinking when your palms are on your eyes and making sure your forehead doesn’t move much. If, when blinking, your forehead moves, this strains the eye muscles and strains your vision.
3. Stereoscope Exercises
Since some tests revealed I have poor 3D vision, he gave me a stereoscope and a page with some vision exercises on them. The purpose is to improve the depth of my sight. He said I don’t always see 3D as 3D but as 1D. This exercise has been most challenging for me, and I am still gaining insight into it.
The one prescription I was not given was that of new glasses! The best news of all is my actual glasses prescription has not changed in the last three years! I am at the same exact strength, so new glasses were not recommended! In fact, this is the first time in any three year cycle of getting my eyes checked since getting glasses in third grade I have not had to get new glasses!
Diary will be continued in several months to share my progress and some resources!