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Laser Eye Surgery or Bates Method Therapy for Myopia?

Is there any different cure for curing myopia except for laser surgery and wearing glasses? I have heard of Bates method therapy but I have not practiced it yet. Is this method effective and does it have any side effect? What about laser surgery? Will I be better off if I have the surgery done instead? I am 22 years old and have -3.00 D for the right eye and -3.50 D for the left eye.

Doctor Answers (6)

Laser Eye Surgery May Be Best Option

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The Bates Method has never been shown to improve vision.  Given your age and refraction, you may be a good candidate for laser surgery depending on the shape and thickness of your cornea and any related medical conditions you may have.  If you have no medical problems and your corneas are of normal thickness, laser surgery may be the best option for you.


San Diego Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Can exercises reverse nearsightedness?

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In the back of some magazines and on the Internet it is possible to find advertisements for methods of correcting nearsightedness by an expensive set of eye exercises.  A nearsighted person has an eye that is either too long or too steep.  In the same way that exercises will not make a foot smaller, there are no exercises that can make you less nearsighted.

Mark Golden, MD
Chicago Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

There are many different ways to treat myopia

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There are many different ways to treat myopia – glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, intraocular lenses to name the more common methods.  Laser eye surgery can be considered more permanent.  Remember that at age 22 your eyes may not be through changing, so any treatment may require further fine-tuning in the future.  One of the many beauties of laser vision correction is that we can usually perform laser enhancements if the eyes do change.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

Bates method does not work. Period

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Think about it -- if there was a simple solution to needing glasses, it would not be a controversy, but rather a multi-billion dollar business.  Um, like LASIK!

If it sounds too good to be true....

Benjamin Ticho, MD
Chicago Ophthalmologist

LASIK versus Visual Training

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I will say up front that I don't know much about visual training. If you think about the optics of your nearsightedness you might catch on as to why training is not a permanent fix, if it fixes your vision at all. A nearsighted young patient like yourself likely inherited this condition from a family member. This means that you inherited an eyeball length that is about 1 millimeter longer than the average eye.....sort of like having a size 11 foot instead of size 9 1/2.

Thought of this way, how could any kind of training physically shorten the eye? The eye must be shortened using a laser to reshape the cornea so that light comes to focus on your retina. Sometimes you can temporarily change the shape of the cornea with "training contact lenses" but, again, I have little experience with this subject other than what I have read.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

You cannot train your eyes not to be nearsighted

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There have been many false cures touted for all kinds of things, including the Bates method for fixing vision. While vision training in children can be legitimate in certain circumstances, your situation can only be helped with an optical correction.

Nearsightedness is when the image at a distance is focused by the optics of the eye (the cornea and lens) in front of the retina which is the nerve layer that perceives vision. Whether this is due to an eye that is too long, or a cornea that is too steep, or a combination of both, the result is an eye that can not see well at distance. your eye is a -3.00 diopter which is perfect for vision up close, but anything further away than a few feet begin to get fuzzy. The only treatments for this are optical and include glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, an intraocular lens of some sort, or surgery to shorten the length of your eyeball (the last is not a good solution). From a practical "cure" standpoint a laser treatment like LASIK or a surface treatment like PRK are your best ooptions.

The best place to start is to get recommendations from your eye doctor who has spent many years learning about this issue and will steer you in the right direction.

Jon Dishler, MD
Denver Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.