Due to insurance coverage changes and other reasons, some people are seeking out self-help programs to improve their health. Programs that promote a healthy diet and lifestyle should make a significant difference to one’s overall health. However, when it comes to self-help programs for eye exercises claiming to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses and contacts, buyers beware.
Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center knows that taking the right eye supplements containing vitamins and other nutrients can be beneficial for maintaining eye health and good vision. Studies have proven that taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can help fill in the nutritional gaps in a less-than-optimal diet and may help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. However, there is very little to no scientific evidence proving eye exercise programs really work.
According to allaboutvision.com, “Many popular eye exercise programs have been removed from the market due to falsifying claims of their effectiveness. Programs such as the See Clearly Method, the Power Vision Program and other eye exercise programs that promoted online usually claim they can reduce refractive errors such as nearsightedness and astigmatism, as well as presbyopia.”
Note: these programs are different from supervised programs of vision therapy prescribed by eye doctors (usually optometrists) to correct certain eye alignment and other binocular vision problems, or to enhance dynamic visual skills for sports vision.
After evaluations of various studies involving programs of eye exercises, biofeedback, muscle relaxation, eye patching and eye massage, officials at the American Academy of Ophthalmologyissued this statement:
“It is not clear if patients purchasing these programs for use at home outside of the controlled environment of a research study will have any improvement in their vision. No evidence was found that visual training has any effect on the progression of myopia. No evidence was found that visual training improves visual function for patients with hyperopia or astigmatism. No evidence was found that visual training improves vision lost through disease processes such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.”
Before trying eye exercises, consider the cost of the program and the time required to commit to eye exercises, as most programs require 30 minutes every day. Many could benefit from LASIK vision correction surgery to correct and improve their vision. LASIK is proven to be 5X safer than wearing contact lenses.
Over the next 10 years, many could spend more money on contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and glasses vs. cost of LASIK eye surgery. Dr. Shofner recommends that before you invest time and money in self-help vision improvement programs, first have a comprehensive eye exam and ask your eye doctor for professional advice regarding the effectiveness and safety of any eye exercise programs you are considering. Learn more about LASIK vision correction surgery on Dr. Shofner’s website or schedule a complimentary LASIK exam online or by calling (615) 340-4733.