- 1 Pathophysiology
- 2 Holistic Solutions
- 3 Sun Therapy
- 4 Outdoor Play and Work time should be increased
- 5 The Eyes are not separated from the Body
- 6 Avoiding artificial lights like Led
- 7 Other Avoidances including High Insulin
- 8 Candles
- 9 How to Make Digital Screens Healthier
- 10 Diet Also Plays a Role in Nearsightedness and AMD
- 11 Other Holistic Techniques
- 12 Eye Exercises
- 13 Breathing Exercises
- 14 Taking Breaks
- 15 Working in Adequately Lit Spaces
- 16 Triphala (Ayurvedic Approach)
- 17 Kusuma Varthi Anjana (Ayurvedic Approach)
- 18 Almond, Coconut, Anise Seed & Licorice
- 19 Glutathione
- 20 Go Low with eventual prescription glasses
- 21 Use the 20 / 20 / 20 rule.
- 22 Take a walk in nature.
- 23 Conclusion
- 24 References
In this Page, I will look at both causation (Section A) and solutions (Section B) to Myopia. Nearsightedness or myopia impacts around 40 percent of Americans and up to 90 percent of young adults in Asian countries. (1) This epidemic has risen by 66 percent since the early 1970s (2)
Nearsightedness (myopia), is a vision problem in which close objects appear clear but distant objects are blurry. This condition is thought to be caused by refractive errors in the eyes. Refraction is the bending of light as it passes through one object to another. When light rays are refracted through the eye’s cornea and lens, they become focused on the retina, which then converts the light into messages sent through the optic nerve to your brain, which then interprets the messages into images.
Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing properly on the retina. This can occur by changes in the shape of the eye, such as the length of your eyeball or shape of your cornea, and/or changes in your lens due to aging.
In this perspective, one of the key factors is Sunlight exposure. Two studies, the first published in 20077 and the second in 2008,8 found that rates of nearsightedness in children Inappeared to be closely linked to the amount of time spent outdoors. The greater the number of hours spent playing outside, the lower the risk of nearsightedness. According to a British survey, 75 percent of children in the U.K. spend less time outdoors than prison inmates!9
Those who had gotten the most sun, particularly between the ages of 14 and 19, were about 25 percent less likely to have developed myopia by middle age. Exposure to sunlight up to the age of 30 also conferred a protective benefit.
Importantly, this relationship remained even after controlling for time spent reading, showing that gazing at screens or books is more or less unrelated to myopia, while sun exposure appears to be a primary factor.
In terms of mechanisms of action, the question is how does light actually affect the structure of the eye? Since blood tests were drawn, they could conclude that the reduction in myopia was NOT related to vitamin D As noted by lead author Katie Williams, a clinical research fellow at King’s College London, “People with myopia have long eyeballs, so there must be something in sunlight that affects how the eye grows, especially in childhood.”
Nutritionally, studies have also shown a correlation between myopia and lutein concentrations in the blood. Lutein, found in egg yolks and leafy greens, is known for its protective influence on eyesight and the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Here, those with the highest levels of lutein had a 43 percent lower risk of myopia compared to those with the lowest levels.
As for how sunlight affects eye development, animal research14 published in 2010 suggests bright light exposure helps protect your eyes by stimulating the growth of key elements in the retina, and by increasing the functioning of antioxidants in the eye. An even earlier study, published in 2008,15 showed that infrared light — found in sunlight — activates cytochrome oxidase, a photosenstive molecule located in your mitochondria. Activating this molecule led to increased cellular activity in the retina, and an increase in antioxidant properties.Meanwhile, research has shown that cytochrome C oxidase deficiency is a factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a primary cause of blindness.16
Outdoor Play and Work time should be increased
Another recent study,17 this one from Canada, found that spending just one more hour outdoors each week may decrease a child’s risk of myopia by 14 percent. To reach this conclusion, the scientists conducted eye exams on 166 first through eighth grade students. In grade 1, 6 percent had myopia. By age 13, that percentage skyrocketed to 29 percent.The parents were then interviewed to ascertain the amount of time each child typically spent outdoors each week. Again, this turned out to be a major predictive factor for myopia.
Previous research by Ian Morgan, Ph.D., of the Australian National University suggests that exposure to light levels of at least 10,000 lux for three hours a day may protect children from nearsightedness.18
This is the amount of light you would be exposed to on a bright summer day. An indoor classroom, by comparison, would only provide about 500 lux.
Yet another study showed that by encouraging Taiwanese children at one school to spend their daily 80-minute break outdoors, rates of myopia dropped to 8 percent compared to 18 percent at another nearby school.19
According to optometrist Donald Mutti, Ph.D., children who are genetically predisposed to nearsightedness are 300 percent less likely to need glasses if they spend at least 14 hours a week outdoors.20
The Eyes are not separated from the Body
When full-spectrum light (i.e. sunlight) enters the eyes, it not only goes to the visual centers enabling you to see, it also goes to your brain’s hypothalamus where it impacts the entire body. Among other things, the hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger and thirst, water balance and blood pressure. It also controls your body’s master gland, the pituitary, which secretes many essential hormones, including those that influence your mood.
The human “body clock” is also housed in tiny centers located in the hypothalamus, controlling your body’s circadian rhythm. This light-sensitive rhythm is dependent on natural cycles of light and darkness, to function optimally. Consequently, anything that disrupts these rhythms, like inadequate sunlight exposure to your body (including your eyes) or chronic exposure to unopposed blue light from artificial lights, has a far-reaching impact on your body’s ability to function.Some experts even believe that “malillumination” to light is what malnutrition is to food. The best way to get exposure to healthy full-spectrum light is to do it the way nature intended, by going outside, exposing as much of the body as possible.
Avoiding artificial lights like Led
The widespread use of energy efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may be setting the stage for an avalanche of AMD in coming decades. The reason for this is because LED lighting has no near-infrared light, emitting primarily blue light, and this has biological consequences that impair your vision over time.The heat generated by incandescent light bulbs (which is infrared radiation) is actually highly beneficial to your health, and hence worth the extra energy cost. In your eyes, the near-infrared light range primes the cells in your retina for repair and regeneration from the damage blue light causes in the retina. Meanwhile, LEDs, which have virtually no infrared and an excess of blue light, generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) instead.You do need some blue light, especially in the morning for melatonin production, but you need it to be balanced with the healing and repairing red and near-infrared frequencies, like it is in natural sunlight.This explains why LEDs are so harmful for your eyes and overall health. The same applies to electronic screens such as TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones. They all emit primarily blue light, and the excess ROS generation may have a great deal to do with the deterioration of vision. The blue light is also deleterious for your circadian rhythm. Electronic screens should be avoided at least a couple of hours before bedtime to avoid suppressing melatonin production.Interestingly, research22 shows that infrared light exposure may even reverse AMD. Even more remarkable, infrared light over the thyroid area has been shown to reverse hypothyroidism! It seems the more we learn about light, the more crucial it appears to be for biological functioning and optimal health. It’s important to realize that light is actually a significant part of the equation for biological energy production, specifically at the mitochondrial ATP level. Hence it affects your overall health, not just your eyes.Importantly, full-spectrum light — light that includes the near-infrared spectrum (750 to 1400 nanometers [nm]) — generates structured water in your cells, which plays an important role in biological functioning, including your cardiovascular function.
Other Avoidances including High Insulin
Some lifestyle changes to make while suffering from myopia are performing close range work, sitting in front of the TV and electronic devices for long periods of time, and working or reading in poorly lit areas. Avoiding pollutants, animal fats and rapid sugars that elevate insulin is also a good ideas as, insulin resistance and high insulin spikes affect the development of the eyeball, making it abnormally long, thereby causing near-sightedness.24
Cordain found that when hunter-gatherer societies change their lifestyles and introduce grains and carbohydrates, they rapidly develop (within a single generation) myopia rates that equal or exceed those in western societies.The reason for this is because high insulin levels from excess carbohydrates can increase insulin resistance and disturb the delicate choreography that normally coordinates eyeball lengthening and lens growth. And if the eyeball grows too long, the lens can no longer flatten itself enough to focus a sharp image on the retina.This theory is also consistent with observations that you’re more likely to develop myopia if you are overweight or have adult-onset diabetes, both of which involve elevated insulin levels.
Candles can also be used, especially at night, and are even better and healthier than incandescents.I also believe it is imperative to use blue-blocking glasses after sunset, unless the only light exposure you have is candles. Once you have your glasses on, it doesn’t matter what kind of light bulbs you use. Candles are even a better light source than incandescent bulbs, as there is no electricity involved and is the light our ancestors have used for many millennia, so our bodies are already adapted to it. The only problem is that you need to be careful about using just any old candle, as most are toxic. ( )
How to Make Digital Screens Healthier
When it comes to computer screens, it is important to reduce the correlated color temperature down to 2,700 Kelvin (K) — even during the day, not just at night. It’s even better to set it below 2000K or even 1000K. Many use f.lux to do this.
Diet Also Plays a Role in Nearsightedness and AMD
When it comes to protecting your vision, diet also plays an important role, as your eyes need certain nutrients in order to function properly. Dark leafy greens are particularly important, as they’re rich in carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein. Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant carotenoid found in your retina, but it cannot be made by your body, so you must get it from your diet. omega-3 fats, vitamins A, C and E, and zinc.23 AMD, as well as cataracts, are largely driven by free radical damage, and may in many cases be largely preventable through antioxidant-rich foods such as:
|Astaxanthin||Animal-based omega-3 fat (found in wild-caught Alaskan salmon)|
|Anthocyanins (found in blueberries, bilberries and black currants)||Vitamin D|
|Lutein and zeaxanthin||Bioflavonoids (found in tea, cherries and citrus fruits)|
Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E have been associated with good eyesight. These vitamins are found in foods like carrots, tomatoes, apples, peppers, fish, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, and are very beneficial for vision
Your retina has one of the highest metabolic needs of the body and when we start developing eye deterioration of any kind our ability to nourish the cells in the eyes and support its metabolic processes is usually at fault. The eye needs a lot of antioxidant. Moreover, chromium has been found to be an important trace mineral in slowing down the progressive myopia pattern. Other trace minerals like selenium and magnesium are also very important. I would also suggest cutting out inflammatory foods like carbohydrates, sugars, and processed foods. There is a strong correlation between your blood sugar levels and the health of your retina
Other Holistic Techniques
Myopia can be temporarily corrected with prescribed minus (concave) glasses. However, in the long run, it has been noted to progress due to this. As it progresses, myopia has to be countered with much more powerful prescription glasses or lenses.
According to research, eye exercises do have an effect on myopic conditions, (Source) which is why ophthalmologists always recommend eye exercises along with medication and prescription glasses. Yoga is yet another source of eye exercises. Not only internally, but you can use eye exercises to relieve visual stress, such as palming, sunning, and scanning. I would recommend doing these eye exercises every day to improve your circulation and discharge the stress that gets accumulated in the eyes. If you allow stress to accumulate you will induce more nearsightedness
Breathing exercises can also be performed as home remedies for myopia. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth in a steady and continuous manner for more than three minutes. Do not strain by trying to breathe in more air than usual.
Continuous reading, watching TV, and working on a computer for long hours requires our eyes to focus at short distances and thus myopia can set in. In order to reduce the severity or appearance of myopia, one must take regular breaks from continuous reading, watching TV or working on the computer. Looking at three dimension Nature is helpful.
Working in Adequately Lit Spaces
Working in low light conditions puts extra stress on our eyes, which strains the muscles inside and reshapes them, resulting in myopia.
Triphala (Ayurvedic Approach)
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system, prescribes Triphala or a mix of three fruit extracts for myopia. The three fruits include Beleric myrobalan, Indian gooseberry, and Chebulic myrobalan. Triphala is available in Ayurvedic medicine shops or the mix can be easily prepared at home using fresh fruits or their extracts.
Triphala is mainly made of three fruits from the Indian subcontinent – Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). This Ayurvedic mixture helps prevent eye disorders like cataract and improves your overall vision (7).
You should also pay extra attention to your diet if you are myopic. In addition to following the above remedies, do not forget the include the foods given below in your diet to aid vision health.
Kusuma Varthi Anjana (Ayurvedic Approach)
Kusuma Varthi Anajana is an Ayurvedic medicinal preparation used for the treatment of simple myopia. It is prepared using sesame flowers, long pepper, common jasmine, and black pepper. Make this mixture by mashing the ingredients together. Add a little water to make a paste. Dry it in shade and powder it. This powdered mixture can be taken twice daily to minimize the risk of myopia.
Almond, Coconut, Anise Seed & Licorice
As the “master antioxidant”, glutathione is critical for your eyes to improve oxygenation and hydration in the eye. When these processes are lacking, the eyes are unable to eliminate free radicals and clear the buildup of metabolic waste. Improving the metabolic processes play an important role in cataracts by keeping the lens of the eye clear, as well as glaucoma by preventing and releasing the buildup of pressure in the eye. Choroidal neovascularization, is the creation of unstable blood vessels that are being created as a way to balance the lack of nourishment in the retina. If left unaddressed, this can evolve into hemorrhaging and even a retinal detachment
Go Low with eventual prescription glasses
I’ve found that most prescriptions are too strong for you, especially if they’re used on digital devices. You can ask your doctor for a weaker prescription for nearsighted reading or use of digital devices. If you’re using progressive glasses, progressive lenses, invisible bifocals or even regular bifocals, what you’re doing is you’re training your eyes and your brain to tunnel your vision. This induces more myopia and it also puts a lot of pressure on your macula. There’s a saying that the bigger the window you look through the more relaxed your eyes become, the better your depth perception, the better your memory, and the better you are at processing information. I would even suggest using weaker lenses indoors and make a comparison between your computer glasses and your distance glasses. Most find that although the weaker lens will create a little bit of a blur, the eyes actually feel far more relaxed. Over time, you eyes improve their flexibility and adjust to the weaker prescription.
Use the 20 / 20 / 20 rule.
Look 20 ft away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. This can prevent visual stress and support flexibility in the eyes.
Take a walk in nature.
Get outside and take a walk in nature! It has a great impact on your brain and is great for relieving visual stress in the eyes. Many of us suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder because of all the electronics and technology that keeps us indoors. When you take a walk outside it allows us to expand our vision, relaxes our mind, and helps relieve stress in the eyes and body.
TEXT UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Licorice is an excellent cure for myopia due to its revitalizing and regenerative properties. It contains isoliquiritigenin that is antiangiogenic and helps improve your vision (2).
What You Have To Do
Consume a glass of fresh carrot juice daily.
How Often You Should Do This
You must drink carrot juice twice daily.
Why This Works
Carrot juice is orange due to the presence of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin in it. These carotenoids constitute the main pigments found in the retina. They protect the macula from damage and improve your overall vision (3).
•½ cup of fresh amla juice
•Honey (as required)
What You Have To Do
1Extract half a cup of fresh amla juice.
2Add a little honey to this and consume every morning.
How Often You Should Do This
You must drink this once every morning, preferably before breakfast.
Why This Works
Amla juice is rich in vitamin C, a vitamin that is vital for optimum ocular health. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the damage and swelling in the eyeballs, promoting your recovery from myopia and other eye disorders like cataract (4).
250-500 mg omega-3s
What You Have To Do
1Consume foods rich in omega-3, such as walnuts, flax seeds, fish, and dark leafy veggies.
2You can also take omega-3 supplements after consulting your doctor.
How Often You Should Do This
You must do this on a daily basis.
Why This Works
Omega-3 fatty acids promote the repair of damaged cell membranes in your eyes, making them one of the best remedies to treat myopia and prevent its progression (5).
6. Rose Water
You Will Need
•½ cup of rose water
What You Have To Do
1Soak two cotton pads in rose water. Place the soaked pads over closed eyes.
2Leave them on for 15 to 20 minutes.
3Remove the pads.
4You can also use diluted rose water as eye drops.
How Often You Should Do This
Do this 1 to 2 times daily.
Why This Works
Rose water can instantly soothe strained eyes. Myopia usually results from stressed eyes, and rose water can help relax them with its cooling properties (6).
What Foods Are Good For Managing Myopia?
Myopic individuals must include the following foods in their diet to avoid further damage and speed up their recovery from nearsightedness:
•Deepwater fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna
•Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens
•Berries and citrus fruits
It doesn’t stop here! You will have to make some changes to your lifestyle to protect your eyes from further damage like cataract or detachment of the retina. Listed below are a few tips that might help you.
•Observe your child for signs of myopia. Using prescribed glasses early in the childhood can reduce or even prevent myopia.
•Spend more time on outdoor activities.
•Practice Bates eye exercises using a Snellen Chart with alphabets decreasing in size. Or stretch the oblique muscles of your eyes with exercises using a pencil or a pointed finger.
•Take breaks and look around when you are busy with tasks like typing on your laptop or using your notepad.
•Ensure that you have good lighting around while reading, watching TV, and using the computer.
•Avoid viewing objects closely for extended periods.
•Minimize or eliminate the use of small screens.
•Opt for a maintenance vision therapy.
Straining your eyes will just make things worse – so, avoid any activity that involves straining your eyes for long periods. In case your problem isn’t solved after following the tips and remedies discussed in this article, it is best to seek medical advice and subsequent treatment.
It is important to act now to prevent myopia from becoming a global epidemic. The remedies and tips listed in this article will help you deal with myopia and prevent further degeneration of the eye. If you have any questions, leave a comment in the comments section below.
A 2015 study estimated up to one-third of the world’s population may be nearsighted by the end of the decade — that’s 2.5 billion people.3 The following year, a meta-analysis of 145 studies predicted nearly half of the world will be nearsighted by the year 2050.4
- 3,5,18,21Nature March 18, 2015
- 6Ophthalmology November 200;109(11):2065-71
- 7Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Aug;48(8):3524-32
- 8Ophthalmology August 2008;115(8):1279-85
- 9The Guardian March 25, 2016
- 10JAMA Ophthalmology January 2017 ;135(1):47-53
- 11The Evolving Planet December 11, 2016
- 12STgist.com December 3, 2016
- 13New York Times January 19, 2017
- 14Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Sep;51(9):4821-30
- 15Proceedings of Light-Activated Tissue Regeneration and Therapy Conference Volume 12 of the series Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering pp 39-51
- 16Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Nov;42(12):3016-22
- 17R&D Magazine December 22, 2016
- 19Ophthalmology May 2013;120(5):1080-5
- 20Ohio State University College of Optometry November 20, 2014
- 22Acta Ophthalmol. 2016 Dec 18. doi: 10.1111/aos.13354
- 23Authority Nutrition, 8 Nutrients That Will Optimize Eye Health
- 24Acta Ophthalmol Scand April 2002;80(2):125-35
- 25Healingtheeye.com, Bates Was Right
( )As you may or may not know, many candles available today are riddled with toxins, especially paraffin candles. Did you know that paraffin is a petroleum by-product created when crude oil is refined into gasoline? Further, a number of known carcinogens and toxins are added to the paraffin to increase burn stability, not including the potential for lead added to wicks, and soot invading your lungs.To complicate matters, a lot of candles, both paraffin and soy, are corrupted with toxic dyes and fragrances; some soy candles are only partially soy with many other additives and/or use GMO soy. The candles I use are non-GMO soy, which is clean burning without harmful fumes or soot, is grown in the U.S. and is both sustainable and renewable. They’re also completely free of dyes. The soy in these candles is not tested on animals and is free of herbicides and pesticides.It’s also kosher, 100 percent natural and biodegradable. The fragrances are body-safe, phthalate- and paraben-free and contain no California prop 65 ingredients. You can search online for healthy candles, but if you like, you can use the ones I found at www.circleoflifefarms.com. This is not an affiliate link and I earn no commissions on these candles; I just thought you might benefit from the ones I now use in my home.
- Atropine eye drops • Multifocal contact lenses
• Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”)
• Multifocal eyeglasses