The Myopia Myth


My first contact with myopia came at age 17 when I noticed that I was having trouble seeing clearly in the distance. Until then, I had had no problems with my vision. In fact, about one year earlier I had successfully taken the vision test to obtain a driver's license and did not need to wear glasses to drive. It was fortunate that my vision did not begin to deteriorate at the usual age of six to ten, because then I would have been too young to raise questions, and would undoubtedly have been saddled with glasses.

As it was, I decided not to wear the glasses that were prescribed for me. I could not accept the explanation that my eyes were suddenly becoming too long because of something I inherited, and I had a vague feeling that glasses just might make my vision get worse. I knew of other people who wore glasses and who had to get stronger lenses every year or two. Some of them seemed to be nearly blind without their glasses.

If myopia was inherited, I reasoned, why would the vision continue to get worse even in adulthood? Were we to believe that the eyes continued to grow longer even after the rest of the body had stopped growing? Surely there was something fundamentally wrong in this explanation.

At that time I was studying electrical engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. In the university library, the only books I found that did not explain myopia as an inherited defect were several books on the Bates system. If these books were to be believed, myopia could be corrected by somehow relaxing the eyes. I even went so far as to visit a practitioner of the Bates theory in New York City, but came away realizing that I had just had an encounter with a con man who had taken my money and gotten rid of me quickly but who had not given me any advice of real value. I did, however, resolve never to wear glasses unless it became absolutely necessary.

The information available to me about myopia thus consisted of two opposing theories. The ordinary practitioners claimed that myopia was inherited and that glasses were the only answer. The Bates practitioners claimed that glasses could be discarded and the myopia eliminated with eye exercises. I was convinced that both these theories were completely wrong, and I became determined to find the correct answer. This led ultimately to the development of the Myopter* viewer, the founding of the International Myopia Prevention Association, the publication of this book, and the creation of the Web site. Within the covers of this book you will find a shocking exposť as well as practical knowledge, self-help information and, perhaps, inspiration.

*Registered trademark of Apparatus
For Treating Acquired Myopia And Similar Or Related Eye Conditions,
patent serial number 3,883,225, granted on May 13, 1975.

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