2004-06-19 21:08:18 UTC
line. I thought I would drop in and add a bit to the humor.
I am research lawyer. My job is to provide enough evidence to convince a
jury, which does not always need hard evidence. My job requires me to think
out of the box and contradict mainstream thought. Without "fringe" scientists
and theories, the medical world would be at a standstill.
After reading the debate in this group, I decided to make up a sample case on
this topic based on the arguments in this group, just for my own amusement.
CASE 329487209 - "Environment" VS. "Genetics" in the development of myopia
"Environment" proposes that we ( the environment the eyes are used in ) are
largely responsible for myopia. This group contests that myopia can be reduced
or corrected using means other than minus lenses. We also claim the use of
minus lenses that change the environment may accelerate myopia development. It
is acknowledged that the rate of progression my have a genetic influence, but
environmental factors are present in the majority of myopia cases.
"Genetics" claim that they are the major factor in myopia development and
environment has little or no impact on the development of myopia. We also
state that "minus lenses" is the only correct treatment form myopia. We
further contest any method that goes against this, is as valid as
witchcraft. These witchcraft methods includes vision therapy, bates, plus
lenses, changes in reading habits, and myopia correction training. We also
contest that animal experiments are not valid evidence because animal eyes may
adapt, and human eyes cannot.
Then Environment presents their case:
Exhibit 1: Data on developing countries and myopia
Look at the country of Korea. Myopia has increased over 500% since a high
priority has been placed on education and reading. Myopia and retnial
detachments were extremely rare in rural Korea. All of a sudden, there is a
tremendous the rise in both. Has the genetics of rural Korea suddenly changed?
Has the way the Korean culture uses their eyes changed? Definitely. The most
convincing myopia studies are not done by scientists or researchers, but are
done on societies.
Exhibit 2: "so called" scientific studies.
A recent study, published in Optometry and Vision Science does seem to support
the fact that minus lenses does not increase myopia in children.
Dig a bit deeper, and it is not all it seems. The following is a quote from
one of the researchers on this study:
"a larger study is needed before we can conclude that eyeglass wear does not
affect myopia progression...this is in contradiction to our previous studies
that have shown eyeglass lenses interfering with vision development"
I am especially leery when results can have a monetary impact on the funder.
Maybe am overly cynical because I have been involved with other areas of
medicine where the right results get published, and the wrong results get the
shredder. Please see the following link, it illustrates exactly what I am
Exhibit 3: Myself
I was dependant on minus lenses since age 5, with no history of myopia in my
family tree. I was led down the road to -7.5D, by an OD that pushed glasses
on children that could see 20/30. This was until; I started to see a dark
screen covering the right side of my left eye. My long time OD immediately
sent me to a retinal specialist. It was a retina tear. He said it was
common due to the elongated shape of my eye.
He said my eyes were literally tearing themselves apart BEACUSE of the many
years I wore glasses. He told me in the future to make sure my lenses were
less power than I need to see clearly and only use them when I absolutely had
to. He said MANY peoples' eyes will migrate to 20/30 or even 20/40 when
corrected to 20/20 with lenses. He stated that correcting my vision to 20/20
using lenses could further induce myopia and put me at risk for more retina
tears, especially if I wore them for close up work such as reading. He also
suggested that I have vision therapy to learn to control my myopia.
Today, I do not wear glasses, contacts nor have had refractive surgery. I
would like to demonstrate to the jury, control of semi-involuntary eye muscles.
I have trained my eyes to do some very unusual things. The mind control of
the eyes goes far beyond what most people realize.
The eye is like a camera with two lenses and separate auto focus on each. You
have to shut off the auto focus and learn to focus manually. It is very
possible to use the eye separately and focus separately. Most people never
explore this. This can be taught very easily to some, and very difficult for
I would demonstrate to the jury, my ability to stare directly at the sun with
no ill effects ( I would also warn anyone not to try this without being 100%
confident in their ability to defocus their eyes )
I can focus one eye at 8 inches and have the other eye focused on an object
20ft in the opposite direction. I can read a book with my left eye and watch
the right. It is possible to have complete independent control of both eye
movement and focus. I can look at an object and pull it in and out of focus
with either eye or together. Its all in teaching your mind that it is OK not
to use them together. You have to learn that each eye is an independent input
to the brain.
I can diverge or converge my eyes and see images clearly at any distance.
When I do this, I see two complete and separate images both with perfect
clarity. I can see 20/15 unaided. The last time I was tested, I was -7.5 in
I can center my eye on a target and pick out details in the far corners of the
image. I can read using peripheral vision. I can stare you in the eyes and
read a book lying on the table without eye movement.
I can bulge my eyes forward 3cm and retract them at will. AM I A CIRCUS FREAK?
Am I genetically different that most people?
No, it's all about control of the mind and eye muscles. Much of vision is how
the mind perceives what is given from its eyes. These techniques can be taught.
The mind can be taught to filter out the affects of non-perfect vision.
Vision is as much mental as it is physical.
I would then present a large chart and teach them how to converge and diverge
their distance vision. Let them see first hand, watching things move in and
out of focus while converging and diverging to different levels. I would
then show them I can read at least 20/20 with ANY minus lenses that the jury
has on them.
I would then let the jury try pinhole glasses and let them be the judge if it
immediately allows them to see better.
Exhibit 4: Animals and CASE Studies
A case study is the ideal method for contradicting mainstream thoughts in the
medical world. If the mainstream thought is the human eye CANNOT accommodate,
all it takes is ONE case to prove mainstream wrong.
Before any medicine or medical procedure reaches a study group, animal studies
and human case studies are performed to see if it even warrants additional
Alot of "true" scientific research has been done on myopia. There are case
studies of individuals that have proven the eye is able to adapt to its
environment. There have been animal experiments that support this. Some of
this evidence is from well over 50 years ago, before financial influence became
the ruler of scientific research. Much more is more recent.
A monkey's eyes have the ability to accommodate, and the human eye cannot?
Could nature be that stupid? I have not yet seen any proof that human eyes are
different from animal eyes, in terms of the ability to accommodate to their
Exhibit 5: AOA guidelines
Even the AOA published guidelines for myopia treatment do recognize "induced
The AOA published treatment options for myopia include elimination of inducing
agent, vision theory, patient education, myopia control, and optical correction
( not in that order).
Another interesting AOA statement:
Risks for correction via lenses: "NOT STATED". I would expect this say "NONE"
if there was no risk of increased myopia induced by negative lenses.
Here is the AOA position on what can be effectively treated with visual
therapy: treatable conditions include focusing deficiencies, eye muscle
imbalances, motor fusion deficiencies and refractive errors
I know of two insurance plans that now cover vision therapy and patient
education for myopia. This is an expanding trend.
My recommendation based on the evidence shown to this jury:
Any medical advice even from a medical professional should be researched
thoroughly. Everyone is different. It is up to the patient to self monitor
any treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. Many medicines and treatments
prescribed by a doctor have over 40% complication rates. From the literature
provided by drug companies, these side affects are often downplayed,
misleading or even falsified. I have seen people lose legs, arms, feet and
even DIE from a very common drug used to treat high blood pressure. The
original research showed this as a possible side effect, but that study never
made it to the rest of the medical world. MY ADVICE, take any medical advice
from even doctors with a grain of salt. Research it yourself and if you find
contradictions or see your condition worsening, let your doctor know
I have been through the standard process for treating myopia (minus lenses) and
almost lost my vision because of it. Here is my recommendation:
<USE AT YOUR OWN RISK, AS I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND I CONSIDER MYSELF UNQUALIFIED
TO GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE>
For a person showing early signs of myopia: Change eye usage. Things like
teaching them to hold reading material further distance from the eye. There
are documented cases studies where this alone has proven a dramatic difference
in a matter of months. If it is impossible to change eye usage, plus lenses
may be used to artificially change the environment. This in conjunction with
eye training/exercise may eliminate or prevent myopia from progressing.
As a last resort, if you progresses to worse than 20/50 using the above
treatment, I would use minus lenses to correct to about 20/40, and never use
them while doing up close work. Never allow yourself to become dependant on
lenses for normal day-to-day tasks.
If my interpretation of the AOA guidelines is correct, there is nothing in my
recommendation that contradicts AOA guidelines.