Sassisailor’s Weblog

A description of my journey to improve my eyesight naturally

Comparison December 9, 2008

Filed under: My Daily Progress — sassisailor @ 1:37 pm

I was looking back at my old tests and since using the focometer last February my vision has improved a documented 1 diopter!!!  To me this is very encouraging because I have been very diligent about testing in similar conditions and the focometer measurement indicates the worst refractive state I have.  So at the very worst I’m now 1 diopter better than last year!!!  It is still amazing to me though, how my vision fluctuates on the Snellen chart, and that even though my worst case refractive state is about -5.5 diopters now sometimes I can see 20/20.  I think this is incredible evidence that wearing glasses at all times is incredibly damaging to the eyes.  Even 1 diopter of lens power is quite significant and to think that if I hadn’t learned about the Bates Method from my sister I would still be wearing -8 diopter lenses AT ALL TIMES!!!  What I’ve learned over the last year about my own eyes has continued to blow my mind — to think that this is even possible was so overwhelming the first time I was able to read 20/20 and every time my vision clears I still am about ready to cry because it is so incredible to be able to see this well without glasses after wearing them every single day for over 20 YEARS!!!  Praise be to God that our eyes and bodies can heal themselves so well if we only give them a chance and believe.  I just had to write a second post because this whole visual journey over the last year has been incredibly hard… I can’t even express how difficult it has been.  I’ve basically spent the whole last year mostly seeing a blur and feeling handicapped actually.  There have been down times for me when I felt like it wasn’t working, or I would get so discouraged at not being able to see crisply that I would actually consider putting my old glasses back on (thankfully I didn’t succumb to this).  But now that my vision is stabilizing at approximately 20/40 on average I’m really starting to notice that I’m seeing better than I thought I was and realizing that the time to *permanent WOG* is in the near future and it’s so incredibly exciting and liberating 🙂


20 Responses to “Comparison”

  1. Otis Says:

    Dear Sassy,
    You asked what the “establishment” thought of these preventive efforts. I can now say that:

    1. They will all “reject” what you have done, saying that it is “subjective”, and thefore not “scientific”.

    2. If you presented your results — in abstract form — it would be rejected with no comment.

    Sassy> So at the very worst I’m now 1 diopter better than last year!!! It is still amazing to me though, how my vision fluctuates on the Snellen chart, and that even though my worst case refractive state is about -5.5 diopters now sometimes I can see 20/20. I think this is incredible evidence that wearing glasses at all times is incredibly damaging to the eyes.


    I have learned (the hard way) that NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU (OR ME). That the only way you accomplish something like this is by personal dedication and persistence.



  2. Nancy Says:

    Thanks for the 2 long posts about your results; I am really happy for you that you are seeing so well now, & I have no doubt that your focometer measurements will continue to improve. I sympathize with your “hard times”, believe me. I started earlier than you did, from a stronger prescription, & am not yet where you are now, so I fully understand the frustration & feelings of discouragement. But isn’t it worth it? Look how far you’ve come!!

    I also see huge variations in my vision which I am coming to think is natural (unless you’re wearing strong glasses & are locked into seeing the world from that rigid view). My night driving vision improvement is lagging way behind my daytime vision, but I can see it improving slowly, & so am just going to continue doing what I’m doing.

    Finally, I think it’s key that you are appreciating your wonderful sight & being grateful for what you ARE seeing, rather than being resentful it’s not perfect every minute. I think this will help it improve further. When people go after something with an angry “have to have it” attitude sometimes they push it farther away.

    Keep up the GREAT work, & keep telling us about it!

  3. Otis Says:

    How prevention ODs are denied publication “rights”.
    I am often told that, “if you just publish” then “we” (majority opinion ODs) will pay attention.
    Here is the story of “prevention-minded” OD — who attempted to do that, and:
    1. Was denied publication.
    2. When he finally forced the issue — the refused to listen and filled his brief case with water.
    3. Kicked him out of the AOA.
    4. This went on for twenty years.
    This is why I refer to him as a “preventive” second-opinion optometrist.
    Here is his website and story. If we get no help from opteomtery “in general” then this is the reason. The profession is “closed” and supressive of science and academic freedom.



  4. Jean Daniel Says:

    Hello Sassy

    First of all i want to congratulate you for your current success and wish you future success. I am very interested in your history as myself is involved in natural vision improvement. Your acuity is very good compare to your refractive state. For a year like you i trained my eyes and like you i have some improvements. My acuity was around 20/100 and now during the day it fluactuates from 20/60 to 20/30 and from time to time 20/25. I wanted to say that i am extremely confident that you will succeed in your quest and all that is needed is your current perseverence.


  5. Otis Says:

    Dear Sassy,
    Subject: Engineers and scientists, versus majority-opinion
    This is classic “medical mind” at work.

    If I said you were legally blind with out your glasses — that would be false. I could not file a claim for you.

    But I NEVER SAID THAT. I stated that you were “legally blind” with out your glasses. Note the quotes.

    I would not describe Judy as being “dense” — if
    I could find a better word.

    For your engineering enjoyment:


    Re: Sassy on “Legal Blindness” with no minus lens.


    Sassy> Strange! I actually didn’t know that ODs considered the words legally blind with respect to wearing glasses. Maybe that’s why they put us all in glasses because they don’t know how to categorize us without them!

    Judy> Perhaps Sassy also doesn’t know that the term “legal blindness” was not defined and is seldom used by eye docs, it is defined and used by government and the insurance industry to determine eligibility for disability benefits.

    Sassy> Which is funny, because even on this blog, most of us are conditioned to categorize ourselves with respect to our lens power, not by our unaided visual acuity. Obviously if they followed our lead and classified their patients by unaided visual acuity it would lead to the inevitable conclusion that the eye is dynamic which would shoot a huge whole through their WHOLE practice!

    Judy> I’m not sure I understand this train of thought.

    Judy> ODs don’t “classify” patients by either lens power or unaided acuity,
    they already know that the eye is dynamic (can change focus distance,
    can change refractive error over time) and I really don’t understand
    how measuring unaided acuity proves that the eye is or is not dynamic.


    What concerns me here, is that Judy spends her time “nit-picking” words — while we have a massive problem of stair-case myopia.

    This would be like the Captain of the Titanic worried about spots of water on the “deck chairs” while the entire ship is sinking into the sea.


  6. helenacampbell Says:

    I rarely talk to an eye doctor, ever. However, I do talk to my friends, sometimes my family, and some of their responses have been more encouraging. It’s rather depressing to talk to these doctors and argue with them.
    I’ve got some students, and I’ve sent an email to them about how palming works, and said it was very good for relaxing and that relaxing is important for the big test tomorrow. I also just sent them an email about swinging and how it’s performed. I told them they could also palm during their test if it would help them. I haven’t mentioned the eye sight effect to them, except for about 3 students. I’ve also told them that I’m interested in the effects and if anyone wanted to continue over break I’d like to hear news of their progress. They’re all about 18 years old, though, and I’d like to help some younger people, I’m thinking about how to do this.
    I’ve also started my own blog, which I haven’t really been publicizing, but Sassy, you’ve inspired me to do that to keep track of my progress and become more responsible for it. I wasn’t really doing Bates Method at all until I started reading your blog, and the information has been great! I’ve got Quackenbush’s book and the internet at my disposal, but your blog is dynamic, and I can talk to it (well, you, but you know what I mean). Community is important, and you provide this for me.

  7. Otis Says:

    Subject: “Talking to majority-opinion optometrists.

    Helen> I rarely talk to an eye doctor, ever.

    Otis> I ALWAYS talked with them. That is the only way I truly LEARN. When they keep telling me, that ON A SCIENTIFIC LEVEL, a minus has NO EFFECT on the eye’s status — I do everything in my power to CHECK THIS STATEMENT.

    Otis> It is a profoundly FALSE statement and BELIEF they have, and their continued insistance that it is true (that a minus is “perfectly safe”) is a lie. Let us not kid ourselves on that point.

    Otis> The reactions of Judy (posted here) truly defines that arrogant attitude.

    Hellen> However, I do talk to my friends, sometimes my family, and some of their responses have been more encouraging.

    Otis> I talked to my family. They though the “doctor” was always RIGHT, and then, by definition, I had to be “wrong”.
    But they ignored doctors like Bates, who argued for prevention at the threshold (1913).

    Hellen> It’s rather depressing to talk to these doctors and argue with them.

    Otis> Yes they have profound “office myopia”. I just document it to the best of my ability.

    Otis> But this is why people like Sassy are forced to do EVERYTHING under her control. There seems to be no other way.

    Otis> I argue that they always (as a professional courtesy) simply send you to sites like Sassy’s, I-see,,,, and similary sited. That way you do not have to take the ODs time with these subjects.

    Otis> If you find yourself “turned off” by prevention advocacy, then at that time, you commit yourself (and or your child) to that strong minus lens.

    Otis> But if you choose prevention, then you should pay the man for his time to support you — with your self leading the way to clear your Snellen.

    Otis> That is how I think a true PROFESSIONAL should treat us. Sadly — they are not going to do that most basic of informative steps.


  8. Otis Says:


    This is why I dis-trust optometrists that CLAIM to be “helpful” with true prevention.

    There was no mention of Dr. Bates methods, and no review of ANY OTHER POSSIBILITY!

    This is why the vision of all of us goes down the drain — sorry to say.

    From anguished mother asking for preventive help:


    We went to the optometrist today. Now it is a prescription of -2.00 I am not sure what to do now. I am desperate…He said now the plus lenses are of no help and my DS needs to wear glasses.

    I am really disappointed and at the end of my rope. To worsen the matter my dear son gets so anxious at any visit that I am not sure if he reads things well .

    Please help. Neem

    (Posted on i-see) A true professional should INFORM first. The idea is this (relative to the proven effect of a -2 diopter lens on the eye.)

    “First Do No Harm”.

    But they don’t teach that to ODs any more.


  9. Otis Says:

    Subject: How and why we lost your distant vision.

    Question: Is this child’s vision 20/40 (would pass the DMV), or is the child “Legally blind” with out his glasses (i.e., 20/200) on the Snellen.

    There is no “right” answer here, but it is a matter for discussion. I think this is were Dr. Bates and Dr. Prentice were correct (as the second-opinion).

    This, in my opinion, is how the destruction of our vision BEGINS.


    Re: Back to square 1

    Hi Alex,

    Alex>Did the OD actually say your son “needs to wear” glasses? If so, did he say that he needs to wear them all the time?

    Alex> Did he offer any advice on how to avoid further negative refractive shift?

    Neem> He said that my son only needs to wear them when he needs to look far…take them off for near work. As far as retarding the myopia, he said it cannot be.

    Neem> It is genetic and he could not definitively say if it will get worse/stabilise as my child grows.

    Alex> …………What did the doctor say would happen if your son continued not wearing glasses?

    Neem> I did not ask him that. All he said to my child”If you can see clearer with these lenses than without them, what would you prefer?”

    Alex> ………Did he measure your son’s acuity without glasses? With or without dilating drops? What is it? What is his acuity with -2.00D glasses?

    Neem> He did not use dilation. We went outside the office in the sun and got my child to read the license plates of cars parked across the road.

    Neem> He could not read them without the glasses.

    Neem> Inside the clinic, he read the Snellen and he could read the 20/200 line clearly. I am not sure if it was all the anxiety my child goes through at these visits or is it really that bad.

    Neem> But then right now I am too overwhelemd to be
    completely objective about this.

    Alex> ……………I would like to help, but please tell me, what are your goals?

    Alex> What does your son want? Does he want to improve his vision? You have said he does not want to wear glasses. Is he happy with his vision the way it is?

    Neem> My goal is to stop if not reverse this myopia in my kid. He seems after, this visit resigned to the idea of having to wear glasses for some work. He seems not to mind the blur in his vision. He has not complained of headaches or anything.
    His eyes do water sometimes.

    Neem> He is a bookworm and his nose always in a book. I am worried about him. I am considering getting pinhole glasses. I read that they can sometimes slow down the progression of myopia.

    Alex> ……………..Is there anything other than the doctor’s prescription which indicates to you that your son’s vision is getting worse?

    Neem> I do notice that he cannot read the smaller lines on the Snellen.

    Neem> He can read sometimes 20/40 with both eyes and maybe worse than 20/100 with one eye.

    Neem> Increasingly he has been trying to memorise the Snellen so that he can pass it.

    Neem> The doc said he is at 20/200….

    Neem> We have been palming and sunning when we can…which these days is not often.

    Neem> He would not stop reading and I can’t stop him.

    Neem> That is something he loves. We do ensure the right posture, light etc.,. Oh the Doc said, if he were to completely give up near work, he might retard this myopia. So he seems to believe in the theory that near work causes myopia…

    Neem> Thanks for listening and being there, Alex.

    Warmly, Neem

  10. helenacampbell Says:

    Dear Sassy,
    Have you noticed any sort of illnesses to crop back up while doing this healing? I know you’ve read Quackenbush’s book, so maybe something like how his legs started bending in, and he became dyslexic as his body tried to restore itself. I’ve noticed that my eyes are recently getting very itchy all the time. I used to have a problem with rubbing my eyes all the time, but I stopped because I figured it would be a good step towards vision improvement. But it’s been giving me trouble a lot lately. Also occasional eye pain.

  11. Nancy Says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ve read in a few places about re-experiencing past illnesses or feelings which are tied to the time you wore that same reduced prescription originally, like traveling backward along a vision/life timeline of your history. I’ve also seen more than 1 author (TomQ among them) talk about “healing aggravations” where you seem to get sicker on your way to being healthy, as old stuff comes up to be dealt with & gotten past. In any case, I choose to see both of these as positive, signs that I am getting better & seeing more clearly. Does this make any sense in your case?

  12. helenacampbell Says:

    I’m not sure, Nancy, I’m not sure if the itchy eyes are a healing aggravation, or if extra blood/feelings to the eye is causing them, and was wondering if someone else had experienced the same.
    I think healing aggravations are great, but I often wonder if I’m really experiencing them or if I’m really actually getting ill. Like I currently seem to have a bout of depression and I wonder if it’s my surroundings (always changing, sometimes they make me depressed I guess?) or if it’s old depression coming back up.

  13. Otis Says:

    Subject: The real “killer” of vision — that first minus lens.

    Re: Neem finally checked her childs vision on a Snellen. It is objectively 20/50.

    That is FUNCTIONAL vision.

    The OD (using very poor measurement methods) PRESCRIBED a -2 diopter lens.

    A -2 diopter lens moves ALL OBJECTS INTO 20 INCHES. Nothing is farther than that. This is like putting a child’s head in a “box” where 20 inches is a far as the child “looks”.

    When you do this to primates, their eye’s “react” by going DOWN.

    Here is the majority-opinion by the OD on this subject.

    Live and learn,



    Neem> Hello ,

    We had been to an optometrist for my son on Friday. I still had a few
    questions that I could not ask him at the time of the appointment . So
    I emailed him with my questions.


    Majoirty-Opinion OD> Neem

    1. i’ll be happy to do that either when you come in or i can fax it to
    you. the short answer to your question is that, when your child is
    reading uncorrected, without any glasses at all, it is as if he is
    using a reading lense of +2.00.

    2. his uncorrected vision is 20/200 ! that means what a normal person
    with perfect eyesight can see from 200 hundred feet, your son must be
    20 feet to see the same thing. i’m all for not wearing minus lenses
    because it can make your eyes get worse, but every child deserves the
    right to see clearly, “to see the leaves on the trees” ! we must draw
    the line somewhere that’s reasonable, mine is 20/100…….

    3. i’ll discuss with you the idea of wearing gas permeable hard
    lenses. i didn’t bring it up at the appt because because i didn’t
    think your son could handle the discomfort. besides, it doesn’t always
    work. nothing is written in stone and we can talk about it.

    [ I am wearing a +2.75 diotper for ALL CLOSE WORK. There is no “discomfort to it”. The cost is $10 for the glasses. I verify my refractive STATE as postive, and at this time, my Snellen as 20/20. I will never trust an OD who (when the kid is 20/50) states that the kid is 20/200. This is a profound failure of simle accuracy. OSB ]

    regards…dr ****
    Original message from me was:

    Neem> Dear Dr. ******

    Thanks for making the eye exam very comfortable for my son.
    I have a few questions.

    1. In our previous email exchange you had mentioned that you were in
    favor of using plus lenses for all near work. Yet , yesterday we were
    not able to talk about it in depth. I want to try them for my child
    who, as I mentioned, is a bookworm. I am wondering if you would kindly
    help me with getting those for him.

    2. Where would his vision be if he were not to wear his minus lenses?
    This, I guess is a purely academic question. But sometimes I wonder if
    my eyes got worse faster with the minus than without.

    In any case, I want to thank you again for making the visit more
    comfortable than any my son has had since the discovery of his myopia.
    I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

  14. sassisailor Says:

    Thanks JDM! I appreciate your vote of confidence. I’m really excited to hear that your own vision improvement is going well.

    Take care,

  15. sassisailor Says:

    Thanks Nancy!

    My situation is the same — my night-time driving acuity is definitely lagging behind my daytime, but like you said~ it will come.

    I hope things are going well for you. I’m going to be really busy for the next month so I won’t be “around” as much during this time.

    Take care!

  16. sassisailor Says:


    Excellent points (from your first comment). You’re absolutely right. Nobody cares (except me and the interested readers here) about my success and I actually don’t care if “they” approve. I’m definitely doing this for myself.

    I’m always glad that you tell things like they are 🙂 Thanks for your continued support.


  17. sassisailor Says:


    This is great! I’m so happy to hear that you’re spreading the word about Bates. Even if you introduce it slowly like you are, it will definitely benefit these people 🙂

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m grateful that my blog is helping you and I’m so excited that you’ve started your own! What is the location of your blog? I would love to keep up with your posts/progress. I’m so glad you’ve caught the “fire” of pursuing the Bates Method with vigor — I know you’ll find it as rewarding as I have 🙂

    Let us know where you’re blogging if you want! I’m sure I’m not the only one that would like to keep track of how things go for you.

    Warm regards,

  18. sassisailor Says:

    Hi Helena,

    I have not had any old illnesses crop back up since I started vision improvement BUT I think that’s because for the most part I have already experienced a lot of these “healing crisis” or healing aggravations a few years back when I started on a natural foods/organic food diet. So I have experienced them before, just not since I started my vision improvement. Since I had a series of healing crisis though, I’ve been healthier ever since.

    That being said, when I started going without glasses for long periods of time I did start feeling depressed and experienced a lot of anxiety. Perhaps this was a healing crisis of sorts. With the depressive feelings I always felt better when I would put my glasses back on — is this the case for you? I’m not sure if this could be classified as an old illness cropping up or not, since these feelings went away immediately when I would put my glasses back on. I’ll let you judge that for yourself.

    This is kind of tricky and obviously I’m not a doctor nor do I know much about your specific life situation. But if I had to guess I would expect that if you’re going without glasses it’s your old feelings rising up that were originally present at different stages of your myopia progression as Nancy said.

    It’s important to be aware of these feelings and notice how they are affected by reintroducing your glasses. I would try and work through this by eating healthy and giving it a year or more to work itself out. Like Nancy, I also see this as a positive sign. Changing our habitual emotional patterns is not something that is very well understood so I would say be your own “observer” and try to act like a detective — determining what makes these feelings stronger, and what makes them go away (if they will).

    I study Naturopathy and there are several herbs that will help with these depressive feelings. One in particular that I remember is borage. I don’t have my books on me (they’re packed, I’m getting ready to move), but you could look into this if you’re interested. Perhaps you could visit a Naturopathic Doctor or start doing some research on your own to find a good herb to lift your spirits. It shouldn’t suppress the expression of these symptoms, but will help heal your body through this process. If you are interested in learning more about this I could give you some book recommendations and in a month or so I would be able to access my books again to look up some herbs that may be more specific to your situation.

    Best of luck!

  19. sassisailor Says:


    As for the itchy eyes, are they improved from resting your eyes with the lids closed, palming, or increased blinking? I have had itchy eyes as well. For me this has been increased awareness of how my eyes feel. My eyes used to be red a lot, and now they feel itchy when they’re red and it’s because I’m straining them. See if resting and reducing strain relieves the itchiness. I would be curious if this is the case… Sometimes I get an itchy feeling when my vision improves, though this hasn’t been as pronounced as it used to be.


  20. Nancy Says:

    Helena & Sassy,
    There’s a thread from Robert Lichtmann’s forum under Bates Experiences called “Overwhelming Stuff” which you my want to check out for help with those disturbing feelings. Here it is:

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