Measurements and thoughts on visual acuity

Sunday night: I practiced open focus for 15 minutes with palming throughout and swaying at the end.  My visual acuity with both eyes changed from 10/200 to 10/50.  I mainly focused on relaxing my muscles in this session.

Wednesday night:  I have noticed lately that I am able to see better through my close work glasses, so I decided to test them with the Snellen chart indoors; I saw 10/40 (~20/80) with the glasses on.  When I first received these glasses (September 24), I was barely able to see 20/90 (comfortably 20/100) with them.  So, I’m happy to see this measurable difference only about 2 1/2 months later. 🙂

Lastly, I have been thinking lately about the different visual acuities I see during a session with the Snellen chart.  At the beginning, I usually can only read 10/200.  I think that this first measurement is probably the best indicator of my current default visual acuity.  This number describes how clearly I see when I am not aware of my body and mind.  At the end, I can often clear the chart to see 10/50.  I think this number reflects my current skill in relaxing my muscles and mind.

In my Motor Performance class, we learned a little while ago the difference between abilities and skills.  Abilities are pretty much genetic limits to one’s performance in different tasks.  For example, while a 5 ft. tall man may be able to dunk a basketball if he trains really hard, it is very unlikely that he will ever be the world’s best dunker (because of his height).  A skill, on the other hand, is something that one learns and can improve upon with practice.  An example of this would be a basketball player who can score baskets from half court.  Regardless of one’s height (or weight, or build, etc.), if one has the arm strength and accuracy he/she would be able to make these shots.  These probably aren’t the best examples, but those ideas are what I want to discuss next.

In regard to skill in the vision improvement process, I think that is what I am working on now.  Using open focus, palming, swinging, swaying, doing things without glasses- I think all of these activites are ways to improve the skill with which I use my eyes.  As a result of these improved skills, my normal vision habits will become more natural and relaxed.  In regard to ability, I think that my “skill” training now is how I will reach this ability.  I’m not sure what my best ability for seeing is, but I think Dr. Bates had an idea of it.  I remember that he said somewhere he only considered a person’s vision to be cured or reversed if they saw better than 20/20.  He also said that most of his patients reached a visual acuity around 20/10, and he mentioned others with even better vision.  Bates’ observations help me to be optimistic about my clear vision in the future and what I will be able to achieve. 8)


5 thoughts on “Measurements and thoughts on visual acuity

  1. Nancy says:

    Interesting post: I think too many people unnecessarily limit themselves because they think their current level of “skill” is the limit of their ability, & not just w.r.t. visual acuity. I like to think of this as the difference between my potential & my current performance. Also, the fact that my current skill is varying so widely gives me hope that my potential (20/20 or better!) is within my reach & not just a pipe dream.
    The measureable progress you’re seeing on your snellen, both with & without glasses, is very encouraging. Nice going!

  2. mark825 says:

    Thanks! 🙂 I agree that many people limit themselves especially when it comes to vision. Some are only ignorant of Bates’ work, but others just aren’t willing to make changes and have the persistence that is needed to improve their eyesight. Hopefully vision improvement blogs, forums, websites, etc. will help more people to overcome these obstacles.

  3. emilylouise519 says:

    Unless they don’t want to overcome them.

  4. mark825 says:

    Emily- That’s true, but I think there are only a minority of people who, if they knew their vision could be improved naturally, would still choose to only wear corrective lenses. In fact, Otis (a guy who comments on Sassisailor’s blog and promotes the prevention of myopia) has mentioned some optometrists who want their eyes to be myopic (nearsighted) and even wish they were more myopic because this eye condition counteracts some of the effect of presbyopia (old sight/ someone who needs reading glasses to see details up close).

  5. sassisailor says:

    Congrats Mark! You’re clearing up so well when reading your Snellen. This is interesting about your hearing. I may have to pay attention to this in my own life — I think I actually experience the same thing! Wierd!


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