Reversing myopia 👓

A long-term experiment on eyesight improvement

Since April 2019 (3+ years ago), I've been experimenting with ways to reverse my declining eyesight. The results are promising:

Before this, I wore glasses all the time and I couldn't read the text on my computer screen without them.

Measurement data

Here's the data from my last several optometrist eye exams:

SPH CYL
Exam date R L R L
Nov 2015 -1.50 -1.50 -0.50 -1.00
Aug 2019 -1.75 -1.50 -0.75 -1.00
Nov 2020 -1.25 -1.50 -0.75 -0.75
Nov 2021 -0.50 -0.50 -0.75 -0.75

The numbers in:
  • green represents a vision improvement since the previous exam
  • red represents a vision decline since the previous exam

Notably, my last 2 optometrist eye exams showed vision improvements. I started experimenting with vision improvement in April 2019 but made mistakes the first several months with methods I believe were ineffective.

Eyeglass prescriptions are typically given in increments of 0.25 diopters, so the overall improvement over the span of the data time range is outside the range of measurement error. I interpret this data as evidence that it's certainly possible to reverse myopia without surgery.

Summary of my findings

In my experience over the past few years:
  • It's possible to reverse myopia without surgery despite what conventional wisdom and medical professionals will tell you.
  • It's possible to slowly reverse myopia with a significant amount of constant effort: many hours a day over many years.
  • The amount of constant effort required means changes of habit are needed to make progress.

Conclusions so far

I believe what worked for me was developing habits around spending many hours a day, almost every day, for months to years:

I believe that this does NOT work:

What does science say?

Great question! I strongly recommend anyone truly interested in the science behind myopia to look through the scientific literature and draw their own conclusions, as opposed to simply accepting what the status quo will tell you.

Good places to start are Google Scholar and PubMed.

Here's a quick summary of my own findings:

The physical mechanism of myopia is an elongation of the eyeball that causes light to be focused in front of the retina, instead of directly on it, which leads to distant objects appearing blurry.

The largest risk factors for developing myopia are:

Protective factors that prevent or slow down myopia progression are:

Motivations behind this experiment

The prescriptions for my glasses kept getting stronger for 20+ years until one day I wondered if there was a way out of this cycle.

I found anecdotal evidence online of people claiming they were able to reverse nearsightedness to an extent. However, I remained skeptical since practically all medical professionals claim that this is impossible.

After dozens of hours of research into scientific papers, I concluded that it may be possible to reverse nearsightedness (AKA myopia) after all, and that the best way forward for me was just to try for myself.

Disclaimer

I'm a former biomedical researcher and graduate student at The Johns Hopkins University and have co-authored multiple academic research papers and conference abstracts. I've worked with medical doctors and led a team of students to design a medical device, which we patented. I'm familiar with the academic research process in medical settings.

However, I am not a medical professional. If I were, I'd be confidently telling you it's impossible to reverse myopia and that any source claiming otherwise is wrong!

None of this information is medical advice. Treat the information on this page as a single data point in a long-term experiment in reversing myopia. What worked for me might not work for you.

Future work

This page is a work-in-progress. Things I'll maybe do later:

Resources

Reversing lens-induced myopia: a human-friendly primer FAQ for vision improvement by Hormetism Youtube - Myopia: A Modern Yet Reversible Disease Wikipedia - Myopia Google Scholar - Epidemiology of myopia
Google Scholar - Lens-induced myopia