How Do You Check Vision In A 3 Year Old Middle Age Sight (Presbyopia) – How to Avoid the Problem of Aging Eyes and Regain Your Near Vision

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Middle Age Sight (Presbyopia) – How to Avoid the Problem of Aging Eyes and Regain Your Near Vision

It’s an all-too-familiar image: a group of middle-aged people huddled together in a restaurant struggling to read the menu. Some feel that their arms are too short; others squinting, moving their arms in and out in what has been coined the “trombone syndrome.” Still others, going through purses or pockets for reading glasses.

What’s going on? They hit their mid-40s or early 50s. This is when the eyes begin to lose the ability to see clearly up close. Commonly known as middle-aged sight, the medical term for the condition is called presbyopia, from the Greek word for “aging eye,” or “old eye.”

Presbyopia affects more than 100 million adults in the United States This year, according to presbyopia.org, more than nine million Americans will start holding their books and newspapers a little further away from their faces to see them clearly.

“Reduced vision,” it turns out, is the third leading health concern of women after heart disease and aging, a Varilux Boomer Watch survey reported. Another survey, by the US National Eye Institute, found vision “the most valuable of the senses”, but concluded that most people take better care of their cars than their eyes.

Most eye doctors will tell you that there is no cure for presbyopia other than surgery or corrective lenses.

Julie-Ann Zilavy, a New York businesswoman, found herself struggling to see print clearly about six months ago. Her gut was that when she started using glasses, her eyes would become more and more dependent on them. And she wasn’t interested in the risk of surgery.

Surgical remedies for presbyopia include conductive keratoplasty (CK), which costs up to $2,500 and is not covered by health insurance. Performed on only one eye, an FDA panel warned that CK “may affect [a patient’s] depth perception” and thus could present a driving hazard. For 99% of CK patients, results only last between three and five years, then disappear, and the procedure must be repeated, up to three times at most.

Behavioral optometrist Dr. Carl F. Gruning, of Southport, Connecticut, a full clinical professor at SUNY College of Optometry and one of the world’s leading practitioners in the field of vision therapy, still does not recommend CK surgery. He tells his patients, “it is relatively new, and do not rush in.”

Mrs. Zilavy was looking for a natural alternative. She found Dr. Ray Gottlieb’s method of reading without glasses.

Dr. Ray Gottlieb, OD, Ph.D., FCOVD, is a vision therapy optometrist in Rochester, New York. His work challenges conventional thinking about vision, including the notion that aging eyes need glasses to read.

“I’ve seen my patients improve their near vision, avoid reading glasses, get rid of them, or need weaker ones,” says Dr. Gottlieb, who is also Dean of the College of Synton Optometry.

Dr. Gottlieb discovered the genesis of what would become his groundbreaking method nearly 30 years ago when he sought to help a 52-year-old patient regain his ability to read without bifocals.

“The mechanism that causes the eyes to focus clearly near is called accommodation,” he says. “In young people, when an image becomes blurred, the eyes sharpen focus easily and automatically. But with age, accommodation loses power and the blurred image is not enough to stimulate accommodation by itself.”

It occurred to Dr. Gottlieb that another eye activity – convergence – also stimulates accommodation. “To see up close, we turn, or converge, both eyes inward, so that together they point to what we’re trying to see,” he says. “Turning our eyes inward also stimulates their ability to focus clearly up close, which happens through a different mechanism known as convergence accommodation.”

So, Dr. Gottlieb drew a carefully crafted diagram that caused his patient’s eyes to converge strongly and found that this allowed his patient to see clearly up close. With practice, in just a few weeks, his patient returned to announce that his problem was solved, and he no longer needed glasses to see clearly up close. “The improvement took years,” he says.

Dr. Gottlieb’s method, once only available in a one-on-one doctor-patient setting, has now been developed into a home program. Eye exercises can be learned at home by watching an instructional video, and then used anywhere – even on the go – almost any time.

“Now it’s much easier to see,” Ms. Zilavy says, “I can read much more of the smaller print. The method is simple to learn. Practice is easy. I spend about four minutes a day with it, usually when I have breakfast . I get good results with minimal time.”

Just as we stretch, bend and exercise our bodies to fend off aging, Ms Zilavy found that her eyes – like the rest of her body – can benefit from exercise, retraining and relaxation.

And just as convergence is a key element, so is its opposite – divergence, which allows the eye muscles to relax so the eyes straighten for distance viewing. Conscious relaxation of your body, including your neck and shoulders, and your breathing are important elements of Dr. Gottlieb’s method of reading without glasses.

The method will not work for the small percentage of people who have only one working eye, a lazy eye, eye culture problems, or severe low vision.

Dr. Jacob Liberman, author of Take Off Your Glasses and See and Light: Medicine of the Future, who has used it, says “The method (available at withoutglasses.com) combines the best of optometric vision therapy and natural vision exercises to create . a simple and effective way to sharpen your vision.”

The prevailing belief that the only solution to this problem is stronger and stronger reading glasses, bifocals or surgery, is changing. Dr. Gottlieb, 63, who has never needed reading glasses, testifies himself.

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