In 2010, I was interested about the causes of myopia (short-sightedness) because I had noticed that my vision was getting a little bit worse during the high school.
After doing some searches, I came across Finnish ophthalmologist Kaisu Viikari’s website. Born in 1922, she is still actively working on her book projects. She has published some new material during the last years, but her most important book Panacea was published in 1978.
According to Viikari, our eyes are not well-adapted to close work.
When we are indoors, staring at the books and computer monitor, our eyes focus on the close distance, causing some strain on the ciliary muscle. The medical term for this is accommodation.
Viikari argues that excessive amount of this kind of strain can fatigue the ciliary muscle, causing a spasm - muscle’s unability to return to the relaxed state.
In her book, Viikari presents a lot of data showing that starting reading at an early age, or having a job that requires a lot of close work, are associated with myopia and some stress-related problems such as migraine and high blood pressure.
Plus lenses directly decrease the eyes’ need for accommodation. For the eyes, reading a book with reading glasses is quite a similar experience as watching into the distance, because both require minimal amount of accommodation.
Plus lenses are very a very cheap investment. Here in Finland, the price is usually about 3 euros, which equals to 5 dollars.
Some clinical data: Migraine
In her book Panacea (1978, page 166), Viikari provides some positive results of 100 consecutive migraine patients in her eye clinic.
- 56 got symptom-free
- 14 much better
- 8 better
- 8 “treatment interrupted / did not follow instructions
- 14 no answer
My own experience
I spend many hours a day reading books and articles. I’ve noticed that using +2 lenses makes it significantly easier for the eyes.
Yesterday, I also started using +1 lenses constantly during other indoor activities to see whether it could yield some additional benefit. I’ll report the results later, but at this point I can say that the acute effect is that my eyes feel more relaxed while wearing the glasses.
After starting Viikari’s method three years ago, I saw a slight reversal of my mild myopia. Since that, the situation has not changed.
Viikari’s books can be downloaded for free on her homepage:
- Panacea (1978) --- a review
- Learn to Understand & Prevent Myopia (2011) --- a review
See also: Youtube - Myopia: A Modern Yet Reversible Disease — Todd Becker, M.S. (AHS14)