The Ten Common Vision Myths
Jon Burras
Return to Nature:
"The Five Pillars of Healing"

            Few people pay much attention to their eyes—that is until something begins to go wrong with them. At this point most people seek out their Western medical eye doctor and follow the usual course of action—prescription eye glasses or contact lenses. While this might seem normal, there is often a large gap in the amount of information given to a patient. If patients were better informed, they might make entirely different choices. The following are some of the most common vision myths.

1. Eye Glasses Cure Vision Problems


            When you break your arm you normally have a cast placed on the arm to splint the bones back into place. This stabilizes the bones to enable them to grow back together. After six weeks or so the cast is removed and it is no longer needed for healing.

            When blurred vision first occurs, most people visit the eye doctor where a cast is prescribed for the eyes in the form of eye glasses. This cast is left in place for the rest of your life. Eye glasses or contact lenses do not cure vision distortions. Unlike the broken arm, the eye glass cast is never removed and is designed to remain in place for the rest of your life. Eye glasses or contact lenses only compensate for vision irregularities and keep the eyesight exactly the same without improvement, or make it worse over time. Placing a cast over the eyes cures nothing.


2. Presbyopia (Old Age Sight) is a Normal Part of Aging


            It is commonly believed that as we age our eyesight is destined to fail. This myth states that anyone over 40 years of age will automatically require eye glasses because their eyesight will ultimately begin to deteriorate.

            There could be nothing farther from the truth. The real truth is that eyesight is related to how you use your eyes and not the number of calendar days you have accumulated. Straining and staring are two of the most common reasons why eyesight begins to blur. After 40 years of this dysfunctional pattern of strain, it might be easy to see why many people have poor vision as they age.

            Many people begin to stiffen and harden in their body as they age. This is also true with eyesight. It is not the amount of time spent on the planet that is the cause of blurred vision but the manner in which people are using their body and their eyes while living. Most children are never taught how to properly care for their eyes and this lack of education continues to create a deterioration in one's vision.

            There are plenty of people who live to an advanced age who are flexible and pain free. The reason for this is that they have consciously taken care of their body as they age. Just as well, there are plenty of people who have perfect eyesight as they age. This too is due to the fact that they have learned how to see properly. The myth of old age sight is just that—a myth.

3. Laser Eye Surgery Cures Eyesight Problems


            A recent phenomenon is the rapid marketing and public acceptance of laser eye surgery to correct vision problems. While most people believe that laser surgery is curing the cause of their vision problem, there is another reality happening here. Laser surgery only compensates for vision distortions and the actual source of vision problems remains unattended to.

            Most people’s vision problems occur because the six muscles that surround each eye are now out of balance and cause the eyeball to change shape. This change in shape could be either too long (nearsightedness), too short (farsightedness) or off-center (astigmatism). 

            Laser surgery does not address any of this. Instead, laser eye surgery will remove a tiny portion of the lens where light first enters into the eye. This will change the refractory point of the incoming light and direct the light onto the "misshapen" eyeball. While many report wonderful initial results, (Wow! I can see the clock on the wall!), this might only be a short term fix. No long term studies have ever been conducted. If the real cause of vision distortions is not addressed, (the imbalanced muscles surrounding the eye), subsequent laser surgeries most likely will continue to be required during the course of one’s lifetime.

            In addition, laser eye surgery freezes one's vision at a "desired" distance. Many people who never had to wear reading glasses will all of a sudden be required to use them after having laser eye surgery. This phenomenon happens because the eye ball is supposed to be able to accommodate to near and far focus. Laser eye surgery locks the focusing distance in place and prevents this accommodation.

4. Looking at the Sun is Dangerous


            Here is another classic case of hysteria. Sunlight and the sun are not dangerous and should not be feared. However, too much sunlight and too much exposure to the sun’s rays can be dangerous. The sun is nature’s gift to us. Without the sun nothing would grow and the Earth would become extremely cold within a very short time. We need the sun. The sun is a good thing and many cultures spend time honoring the sun because of its value to us. The sun also provides us with our primary source of vitamin D.

            If we were to follow the "fear of sunlight hysteria" to another of nature’s elements—water—we might stop drinking water altogether as well. A recent episode occurred in California where a woman died from drinking too much water. She was part of a radio show contest to see who could drink the most amount of water. She drank up to two gallons of water and held it without going to the bathroom. Within two hours she was dead. Cause of death: water intoxication.

            The headlines might read:

“Woman Dies From Drinking Water: Water is Dangerous to Your Health!”

            Is water dangerous to your health? No, of course not. Is too much water dangerous to your health? Apparently. This same analogy could be applied to sunlight. How many millions of people stop and stare at the sun each evening as it sets and suffer no ill consequences? Nobody. The reason for that is due to the fact that the sun’s rays are filtered by a large amount of the Earth’s atmosphere later in the evening. This is quite different from a warm summer day at high noon where the sun would be at its strongest and should not be stared at.

            The moral of the story is this. The sun should not be feared. It is a vital part of our existence. Excess amounts of sunlight however, can be harmful to your eyes.

5. Eye Exercises are a Waste of Time


            According to most eye doctors, eye exercises will not help your vision and you are wasting your time attempting them. Then again, could it be that most eye doctors wear eye glasses themselves and have not committed to doing the exercises to heal their own eyes?

            Eye exercises can be very important in the process of recovering one’s eyesight. Practiced regularly, these exercises become a staple in not only preventing the eyes from worsening, but improving one’s eyesight greatly.

            It was in the 1860’s that Dr. Hermann von Hemholtz theorized that there was nothing one could do to improve one’s eyesight and that eyeglasses were the only alternative. He stated that he did not see anything else that might cause vision accommodation and became committed to his belief that the lens in the eye was responsible for vision changes. He simply ignored the transverse eye muscles and claimed that his idea was only a theory.

            In the 1920’s Dr. William H. Bates investigated this theory and proved that eye exercises, when practiced regularly, could vastly improve one’s eyesight and correct nearly all vision disorders. The majority of the medical community and vision care specialists have rejected Dr. Bates claims and instead have adopted the theory of Dr. Hemholtz—a theory that is nearly 150 years old. (In the 1860’s is was generally believed that the moon was made out of green cheese too).

            Despite the overwhelming amount of skeptics in the vision care community, many people have successfully healed their own eyes by practicing the Bates Method of Eyesight Improvement and many other natural vision programs.

6. Wearing Sunglasses is Healthy for the Eyes


           Sun glasses were first developed during World War II for pilots to reduce glare while flying. Since then these facial ornaments have become a fashion trend and for many a normal part of their wardrobe. However, repeated use of sun glasses only weakens and harms the eyes.

            The eyes will remain strong and healthy when exposed to normal amounts of sunlight on a daily basis. When you continually wear sun glasses your eyes will compensate and begin to weaken. After awhile, you will not be able to go outdoors at all without them because your eyes have become so sensitive to normal sunlight.

            There are only a few times when it might be necessary to wear sunglasses. The first instance when it might be important to wear sunglasses occurs when you need to prevent debris from flying into your eyes. This could take place while riding a mountain bike on a dirt trail or when operating machinery where there is a chance that something could fly into your eyes. The second instance is if extreme glare is present. This could be while skiing in glistening snow or while traveling across a large sandy area like a desert. Otherwise, it is best and healthiest to leave the sunglasses off.

7. The Body Cannot Heal Itself


            A common belief among Western medical doctors is that the human body is stupid, creates diseases randomly and cannot heal itself. This is another fabrication. This belief leaves one feeling powerless and a victim of one’s own body. Most are left at the mercy of Western medical doctors, their drugs and treatments, just to survive.      

            The reality is that the human body is the smartest thing you have going. The body does not create diseases randomly but disease is a symptom of a deeper imbalance. For example, cataracts might form in your eyes because of a poor diet or an imbalanced organ like the kidneys or liver.   

            The secret to natural healing is to remove the cause of the imbalance and then to support the body in healing itself. Whether you might have developed cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or farsightedness, it does not matter. There are no incurable diseases and any sort of disturbance in the eye can be remedied as well. Western medicine does not necessarily look for causes when it comes to disease, favoring the suppression of symptoms that might arise.

8. Blurred Vision is the Result of Genetics


            When medical doctors don’t know an answer to a certain problem in the body they often blame one’s genes. This is an easy scapegoat and it gives the doctor a sense of power, (rather than to look stupid). While leaving the doctor off the hook, the true cause of a disease is not sought after. This belief also reinforces a "victim consciousness" that states that there is nothing that can be done and your body does not like you, the owner of it. (While genetics occasionally plays a role in some diseases, it is very seldom and certainly the minority of cases).

            Genetic anomalies have little or nothing to do with why many people suffer from vision disorders. The real problem lies in how they have learned to see. The vast majority of people are born with near perfect sight. As they quickly become regimented into an information-based school system of memorizing and regurgitating data, vision often begins to fade.

           While we have been taught how to read and write we have not been taught how to see. Stress and strain in the eyes is the predominant reason why many people begin to lose their sight. This strain is a learned pattern and not a double helix of genetic material between your chromosomes. The good news is that since most vision distortions are a learned pattern, you can learn another pattern if you are willing,

9. Most Eye Doctors are Looking Out for Your Own Best Interest


            It is very scary for most people when their vision first begins to blur. They start to imagine what it might be like to live without being able to see. They seek out a trusted professional to help them recapture their vision. This is usually an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. Normally, after a battery of eye exams, the standard treatment is to prescribe eyeglasses for the rest of one’s life.

            The Vision Council of America reports that the eye care industry amassed revenue of $25.7 billion in 2005 alone. At least sixty-two percent of adult Americans wear prescription eye glasses. If most people decided to take action and correct their impaired vision rather than to be subjected to a life time of wearing eye glasses, there would be a great amount of money lost and many people out of work.

            Follow the money trail. The eye care industry is part of the larger Western medical industrial complex system. This system relies on the belief that it is much more profitable to treat diseases and imbalances in the body then to cure them. Curing something would mean that money would be lost and jobs forsaken. Treatment means a lifetime of dependence on services and generates lots of income for years or decades to come. Why would most eye doctors want to help you cure your eyesight when you can provide lots of income for them for a very long time?

10. Emotions do Not Affect the Eyes


            An emotion is a form of energy that seeks a way to flow. Muscles in the body can either express this wave of energy (like in a smile), or can repress it (like in a glare). When the eye muscles are free to express emotion, the eyes are helped to better vision. When the eye muscles hold on tightly to trap this emotion, the vision often suffers.

            Have you ever thrown angry darts with your eyes in an attempt to symbolically “kill” someone? This energy then settles into the eyes. Have you ever stared at someone? This freezing of the eyes then affects the vision. Have you ever held back tears from your eyes? The eyes will suffer the consequences every time you use your eyes to hold back emotion that cannot be expressed. Emotions that do not have the freedom to be released from the eyes will cause the muscles surrounding the eyes to grip tightly. This often becomes a prime source for vision impairment.

            In a culture that gives little merit and understanding to the emotional world we live in, it is easy to see why many would discount the role emotions play in the health of one's eyesight. A medical system that believes there is a drug for every emotional outburst cannot see the relationship between emotions and how they relate to vision. The health of the entire body is affected by your emotional wellbeing, including your eyes. Feeling free enough to express your emotions will only help to bring clarity to your vision. It is common for people to report an improvement in their vision after a good cry.


            Coming to balance and awareness with your vision means dismantling the many myths and false beliefs that have been placed upon you. Updating your beliefs about your eyes will only lead to a new way of seeing. Isn’t it time that you let go of those outdated beliefs and began to see clearly again?


Take Off Your Glasses And See, Jacob Lieberman

The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses, William H. Bates

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