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Posted on 08-06-2013
Most people know about “corrective” lenses. Most doctors happily prescribe them without giving it a second thought. Countless individuals see their prescriptions increase year after year for some period of time. The vast majority of doctors who prescribe these lenses believe that this is an unchangeable fact of life. In fact they expect this to happen in most cases. It doesn’t have to be this way. I know this for a fact. I reduced my own prescription by using a creative approach to prescribing lenses and vision therapy. I have, since then, helped hundreds of people reduce their prescriptions when other doctors would have increased them. Most important, I have used lenses as a therapeutic tool to prevent people from needing these “corrective” lenses in the first place.
Standard eye care, unlike behavioral optometry, uses lenses as passive devices to compensate for some obvious symptom, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. The conditions just mentioned, which are familiar to everyone, are in many cases only the end result of more subtle visual problems. The visual problems that often lead to nearsightedness involve some inability of the brain to use the two eyes in the way they were meant to work. Prescribing “corrective” lenses doesn’t even really solve the problem of nearsightedness; it only masks it. The dynamic use of lenses can help deal with the root of the problem and alleviate symptoms by addressing the causes instead of merely masking the end result.
There are many ways to use lenses dynamically.
Lenses change the instructions to the brain and properly used can have dramatic impact on performance, behavior and development. So-called “corrective” lenses demand that the brain do what they tell it to do. Therapeutically designed lenses provide instructions that stimulate the brain to ask new questions and create new patterns of behavior. It is these new patterns of behavior that stimulate the visual system to become more efficient, more productive and more comfortable. This often results in reduced myopia along with improved comfort and performance of visual tasks.
I’m sure you noticed that I put the word corrective in quotes. That is because they do not actually correct anything. As I just mentioned, they simply mask a symptom. That is why I always refer to lenses like these as compensating lenses, not corrective.
Obviously compensating for the inability to see clearly does have its merits. I know, because I’ve been wearing compensating lenses for forty-eight years now. My glasses did get stronger every six to twelve months for many years. That only stopped when I became an optometrist and began a new pattern of vision care. I started by getting new lenses that gave more useful instructions to my brain. This helped begin my myopia reduction and more comprehensive improvement in my overall visual performance.
Next time: Lenses – Part 2 Lenses are powerful tools.
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