Also known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness:
Medically myopia is described as a physical state in which the eyeball is too long. In this condition the images of distant objects fall in front of, rather than on the retina, resulting in blur. Myopes frequently have good close vision, especially in early life.
Myopia usually starts during childhood, and can generally be recognized as commencing during or just after a time of particular stress in the child’s life. In modern times this is frequently when grade school life begins, hence the term ‘school myopia’. There are increasing incidences of myopia beginning in age 20’s. When it does occur in young adulthood it is often due to conditions of use, academic pressures at university or starting high pressure employment.
Myopia can occur by itself, but it is also quite common for it to be accompanied by astigmatism.
Myopia is often regarded as a state of ‘weakness’ of the eyes but this does not give a really accurate picture. According to Dr William Bates, the pioneer of Natural Vision Improvement, myopic eyeballs are in fact ‘too tight’. They can be perceived as being in a state of such tension that the full extent of the ‘normal’ movement of the muscles and associated structures are no longer occurring. This is especially true in regards to saccadic movement. This tiny vibrational movement of the eyeballs is actually the function that brings light into the pupil and onto the retina.
Where the eyes and visual system are tense, saccadic movement is restricted and slowed, the light information obtained by the retinal cells is reduced and visual clarity decreases.
Emotionally, myopes sometimes have issues with suppressed fear, leading to personality traits including anxiety, worry, and perfectionism. Myopes are often introverts who enjoy close, detailed and academic work and are usually left-brain dominant.
There are a variety of theories as to the causes of myopia. These include conditions of use and hereditary factors. According to natural health principles conditions of use may play a role; however these conditions only have the effect of creating myopia when there are other factors in play, including emotional factors, stress management and nutrition. It is hard to credit hereditary factors as being a true cause when the consistency of whom in families has refractive errors and who has perfect eyesight does not seem to bear this out. Many cases in which hereditary factors could play a role could also be explained as ‘role-modeling’ and the passing on of ‘coping mechanisms’ in family relationships.
Natural vision principles see myopia as something that involves more than just the eyes. The eyes and entire visual system are not a machine separate from the body and the inner life of the person. Myopia is a whole person condition that can be strongly affected by tension in other parts of the body as well as in the eyes, emotional or mental stress, the way the brain copes with all the above, the self-esteem of the myope, general health, and more.
Myopia is compensated for by the prescribing of minus lenses. If you have a minus in front of the number on the sphere section of your prescription, this indicates myopia. If there are also numbers in the cylinder and axis sections, this indicates your myopia is accompanied by astigmatism.
While corrective lenses do offer clarity while being worn, they in themselves can create further problems and many myopes find that where they wear their glasses constantly, this can assist with the ongoing deterioration of their vision over time. Often myopes can also develop presbyopia (‘old-age’ reading blur) in their 40′s or older which then require the prescribing of bi-focal lenses. Surgery has become a popular option for the correction of myopia as surgical techniques become more refined. However, as in any case where the symptom only and not the cause is addressed, the body can and does find ways to revert to its original condition over time. The body does often seem to require that causes are dealt with for true and ongoing healing of symptoms.
Pinhole glasses can be used to compensate for myopia. These can offer distance clarity and therefore are useful as transition glasses while eyesight is being improved. However they are not legal or recommended for driving and therefore myopes will generally need to utilize the services of their optometrist to obtain transition prescription lenses for driving, or for other times where safety is important. (For driving the legal requirement is usually a minimum of 20/40 or 6/12 vision.)
A programme for naturally improving myopia would include learning how to assess one’s own vision, obtaining transition glasses, learning what daily habits are affecting the visual system, and undertaking regular activities to relax and bring back the movement and flexibility to the muscles and lens of the eyes.
Often some attention may be called for to the connection between the eyes and brain, and how the brain is utilizing the information from the retina. It would also involve some attention to lifestyle and stress factors, and possibly nutrition. For almost all myopes, particularly high myopes (-5.00 and above) emotional factors would likely need to be addressed to some extent at some point. This could involve learning to become more relaxed in daily life as well as possibly some healing work to address any early life stress or trauma that may have occurred.
In a natural vision programme you would learn activities to:
- Change habits that maintain tension in the visual system.
- Work directly with the muscles and lens to relax and flex them.
- Address influencing issues like nutrition and how you deal with emotions and stress in your daily life.
Our Personal Eyesight Training Kit (PET) for Myopia offers a complete guide to improving myopia naturally, including instruction booklet, audio activity guide and activity charts. Click here for more details on the Personal Eyesight Training Kit.