Is it possible to improve your eyesight naturally?

I’m nearsighted and wear glasses all the time except for sleep and showering. I want LASIK but apparently my eyesight is still changing a bit so I have to hold off on it, at least for the next little while.

Anyway, I have heard about a couple of books (I will not mention their names) that claim to give you exercises to improve your vision.

I have read optometrists online have said this is BS, and it’s the way your eye is shaped that makes you see worse and you cannot just change that.
But one thing I am doing is focusing on further-away objects. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I see to be able to see the alarm clock better in the morning without my glasses, and things better with my glasses too.

Is there any way one can improve their vision naturally? Maybe not 20/20, but somewhat? I seem to fee like glasses make my eyes “lazy” and they get used to them, and when I take them off everything is blurry but kind of normals out a little bit.

The other day I was with a friend of mine who had LASIK and we were reading something on her iPad together and she says, “I can’t read that, it’s too small,” and it was perfectly readable to me (mind you with glasses on). Maybe her eyes need to be re-touched up. But I am wondering if eye exercises really help improve vision.

Your thoughts?

The optometrists are right. If you don’t trust them, ask an ophthalmologist*. Chances are they’ll not only go into great detail about how it’s all quackery, they’ll provide all the pertinent references so you can check them yourself.

*Please do. This is too important to trust the word of random strangers (like me) on the Internet.

Alternately, how old is your friend? If she’s around her early 40s or older, it may be presbyopia (the need for “reading glasses” due to an aging lens losing flexibility) developing, and LASIK doesn’t correct that problem.

Get LASIK! Everything after that is in HD vision and your eyesight will probably be better than 20/20.

I’m glad you’re a satisfied customer, but LASIK isn’t for everyone. I passed on it after a trained professional told me I was at high risk of complications, it was likely I wouldn’t be able to drive at night, it wasn’t certain I’d be 20/20 afterwards due to limits on what the technology could do, and there was a good chance I’d probably need glasses of some sort.

Thank goodness he was honest about all that - I’ve heard of people getting a hard sell with disastrous results.

Of course, LASIK does work well for many people, good for them. But it’s not to be taken lightly and I’d wish those who had a great result and are now enthused would stop trying to push it on everyone else whether it’s a good idea or not.

Meanwhile - yes, you probably can make some small improvements in your ability to focus a different differences by deliberately exercising your eyes, but it’s not going to take you from 20/50 to 20/20.

Also, as noted past 40 you get into presbyopia territory which LASIK doesn’t work too well with. There is a technique where they LASIK one eye for near vision and the other for far, but not everyone’s brain can adjust to that and it can diminish your depth perception. That latter may or may not be important to a person, but consider it if you play sports like tennis or softball.

I had RK surgery 20 Yeats ago. Worked well for me…although RK does weaken the eyeball…was advised years ago to never do anything where I might get hit in the eye=no baseball, hockey, fist fights etc.

When I was very nearsighted (legally blind without glasses)… I did notice that my distance vision was noticeably better after getting up first thing in the morning. It was explained to me that lying in a prone position for hours does deform the eyeball enough to be able see more clearly in the distance…but it doesn’t last very long after standing up.

I tried this for a little bit maybe ten years ago (not reading any books, just on my own). One of the issues with it is that (as I understand it), you focus close by using your eye muscles, and far by relaxing your eye muscles. I could see how strengthening your eye muscles could help you see closer, but I’m not sure how you could get better at relaxing your muscles.

There are things you can do that worsen your eyesight. Focussing at a fixed distance - like at a computer screen or mobile phone or needlepoint - for an extended period of time is one of them. So take regular breaks. At least 5 minutes every hour. Go make tea or coffee for yourself and your colleagues. If you’re at home, make it 5 mins every half hour.

If your vision is changing (for whatever reason) or if your cornea is too thin, LASIK is not recommended.

What you CAN do is delay the degradation of your vision. The surest way is to stop reading. The human eye did not evolve to focus on close objects, so it places considerable strain on your eyes to spend so much of your life focusing at close distances.

The Chinese recognized this decades ago, and began requiring school children to look out the window for 5 minutes every hour. As a traveling birdwatcher in the third world, I have encountered many illiterate peasants over the age of 50 who could still see detail almost as well as what I could see with 8x binoculars.

So there is probably nothing you can do to actually improve the eyesight you have now, but you can retain your present level of acuity much further into old age if you avoid close work, or at least rest your eyes from it at frequent intervals.

Also, according to my ophthalmologist, protect against exposure to ultraviolet light.

I’m now 70 and do not wear glasses/contacts. Nothing.
I took a course locally, I’ve read a book or two. And listened to a relaxation tape.
Studied hypnosis.
and even tho I was prescribed glasses when I was about 12 after wearing them for 8 yrs. I learned how to relax those muscles around the eyeballs that distort your vision.
Hint; seeing far is the natural state of relaxed eyes. Tension or “Trying” too hard to see, sets you up for poor vision.
Good Vision All! If I can do, so can you.
Good Luck!

So, get a small artificial gravity generator/directional focusing device and keep it strapped to the back of your head.

Easy peasy.

Maybe the facts about muscles that I’ve internalized over the years are over-simplified, but it’s always been my understanding that you can’t actually “relax” a muscle into “un-contracting” (if that’s a real word); you have to have an opposing muscle contract to pull the originally-contracting muscle into its extended position.

Corrective laser surgery has come on a long way since I started reading about it, 20 odd years ago. The procedure I had done 2 years ago is the same used for fighter pilots (so they told me :rolleyes:) and has about a 99% success rate.

Of course with any surgery YMMV Broomstick, but worth checking up to see if you’re suitable. You’re right about losing the ability for close vision; my distance vision is better than 20/20 but now I find it slightly harder to focus on very small writing. The advantage of being able to see in the shower, when I wake up etc is enormously more rewarding than the disadvantage of having to hold something tiny further away than 8 inches (there’s a joke in there, somewhere).

I’m sorry, did you miss the part where I said a medical professional had examined me and stated my high risk for complications? I’ve already been evaluated. I’m a very poor candidate for LASIK, for more than one reason. Going back tomorrow for another exam is not going to change that.

Meanwhile, glasses correct my vision sufficiently that the FAA is happy to give me a pilot’s license. I won’t risk being able to correct to 20/20 and still retaining my night vision. For me, personally, the risk/benefit equation says no, don’t do it.

The “Bates Method” is an old scam, and it pops up every so often, even today. I knew someone at my old workplace who peddled the scam. She made videos, and got herself interviewed by ignorant local news stations, and made a shit-load of claims that were all outright lies. She was in it for the money. My opinion is that she belonged in jail…

No, you can’t correct the usual varieties of nearsightedness and farsightedness using “eye exercises.”

Here is Quackwatch on the subject.

I must have missed the part where you said you’d had a referral recently.

I check into it every so often, simply because technology advances. The first time I looked into surgical correction there was no way I’d be considered a candidate. Now it’s “If you really want to, BUT -”

Actually, I think lens replacement might be a better option for me… except that I don’t meet the criteria for it, having no sign of cataracts. I’d still need to wear glasses, but they’d be much lighter weight and my non-glasses vision would definitely be more useful than at present. The technology does need to advance a little more before non-cataract people would be considered as candidates.

Contacts until then?