I see so many people today wearing glasses, it's not even funny. There's no way that our natural state is for a great proportion of people to see fuzzy, it's just not good for hunting and survival to me.
I realize that a lot of this is probably due to long hours of straining TV and computer use, but there must be a dietary dimension to that as well.
As anyone noticed better eyesight since going the Paleo path? I think it's kind of sad that someone would be stuck wearing glasses for all is life because bad dietary choices and it would be nice to be able to tell people that chances are that it is reversible after all.
I have a blog post in the pipeline about my own experience, but I'm still waiting on some figures so for now I'll give you an outline. I'd be very surprised if diet could influence genetic eye defects and other issues that are linked to actual damage. However, I was diagnosed with myopia (short-sightedness) when I was 19-ish, and was told that this was the 'normal' age to need glasses for about a third of the population. Like so many of these 'normal' statistics, it certainly makes you wonder whether the cause may well be a lifestyle issue rather than something that was just bound to happen to most of us. Hunters would be in big trouble if a third of the tribe could no longer trust their vision not long after reaching reproductive age.
I've worn glasses for 6 years, getting new glasses every one or two years, accompanied by an eye test. The testing reported that each eye had a slightly different issue, and was getting slightly worse at different rates.
My latest test, a month ago? My first test since going Primal?
The vision in my right eye has improved significantly, and although my left still prefers the same prescription, it shows signs of having strengthened as well. My optometrist was pretty gobsmacked, telling me that she'd never had anyone's vision improve this acutely. She asked whether I'd been doing eye exercises or made any other changes, and I told her that I had cut out grains and sugar. She was excited by this and promised that she would get in touch with experts in her field to find out whether any other reports or research existed to explain my results.
I'm not hoping necessarily for further improvement - I'm certainly not holding my breath than eating paleo foods is going to reverse teen-onset myopia completely! - but knowing that perhaps my vision will not continue to worsen over the course of my life, the fate otherwise promised to me, is an absolute blessing. Yet another reason to tack onto the list of why one should never consume grains and sugars.
Not to burst anybody's bubble but there can be statistical fluctuations.
I tried eye exercises and those books that claim to get rid of glasses when I hit puberty and got glasses (low prescription that time). It didn't work for me. I was a bookworm devouring 1 novel per day(Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, etc.) so looking back I'm sure that contributed to my myopia.
I did do some VT - vision therapy and vision training to help with eyestrain at near/computer work which did help subjectively and objectively (measured with prisms). My mother did the same. But neither of us eliminated our glasses.
There are some genes involved with myopia. I do believe in epigenetics - gene interaction with the environment so I don't think everyone is doomed by their genes.
In my experience, a change within +/- 0.50 in one or both eyes is common from year to year because the refraction for glasses is subjective - and even objective measurements like an autorefractor can have more fluctuation then that!
You could have been slightly overcorrected (sometimes by an entire 1.00 diopter in each eye) in the past. Sometimes when people change eye doctors, this is corrected.
I would also like to see someone cured without refractive surgery (LASIK, and the like) from -3.00 D to 0 (no prescription) in their glasses.
That being said, it seems that Vitamin D and being outdoors affects myopia!
Now high insulin levels can affect myopia. There are other issues that high-carb, glucose, and insulin negatively affect the eye.
Illiterate and less-educated populations have much lower myopia rates vs. more educated and literate populations as shown in China (rural vs. urban) and Israel (Orthodox vs. Reform Jews - the former have to memorize and read a lot more of their holy texts). This is even in populations that share much of the same genes, suggesting the environment of constant near work (computer and reading which was never part of our evolutionary history) and perhaps less sunlight/Vitamin D contributes to myopia.
I think it maybe easier to prevent (especially before the age 18) myopia then to change it afterwards. However, I could happily be proven wrong - track your glasses prescriptions!
The structure of the skull, eye orbits, sinus, jaw, and eyes themselves are set pretty early in development. Reading a bit of Weston Price will point that out abundantly! It seems that a poor diet (in our mother's womb, and in early infancy through our teen years) can certainly set us up for poor vision, poor tooth health, etc. That stuff is set pretty solidly and a return to our natural paleo nutrition isn't going to fix it.
I've got a 10 week old baby boy, that I am trying to set up for the best future with all this in mind. Seems about 75% of my family and my wife's family require corrective lenses. Time will tell if we can reverse this course a bit with our little guy and proper foods.
Since going Paleo, I have taken to wearing glasses less often (on the computer mostly; also when I drive, a pretty rare event). My eyesight has been pretty "bad" ever since I started wearing glasses at the age of 11 or 12. My left eye clocks in at something like 20/80, and the right is a woeful 20/300 (or worse; I am quoting numbers from years ago from memory). With less time wearing glasses, I have noticed that I get unexpected moments of clarity. Today, on the way to work, I looked up the road and read street signs that are ordinarily just fuzzy blurs. I was not squinting or misshaping my eyeballs or trying anything (not consciously, anyway). Things just snapped into place for a minute, then faded back too normal. These moments of clarity have been coming more frequently (and lasting longer) since I started noticing them a while ago. If I could reach a point where they would last indefinitely, I could probably get rid of my glasses! But who knows whether that will happen. For me, the jury is still out on how much of my problem is environmental (and therefore correctable without the easy solution that manufactured lenses provide).
I had my eyes tested a few months ago. Pre-paleo, my contact lens prescription was -8.5/-7.5. I usually get tested every two years and it had been at this prescription since my early 20's (I'm in my 30's now). After a year of eating paleo, my new prescription is -7.5/-7.0. I guess it's possible my optometrist was way off in the new assessment of my eyes so I'm interested in seeing what happens when I go for my next eye test.
I read about an insulin-eyesight connection several times in the past but the only link I found doing a quick search was this one: http://www.rnib.org.uk/eyehealth/eyeconditions/eyeconditionsdn/Pages/diabetes.aspx
I've pondered this one a bit and haven't come up with any good answers. I'll try to find the link, but I saw an article a couple of months ago about why US soldiers do so much better in firefights against Afghan insurgents, despite (or sometimes because of) the insurgents' incredible fortitude. Among many factors was the incredibly poor eyesight of the Afghanis, most of whom were illiterate and had never used computers. So I'm not sure our modern lifestyle is necessarily is to blame for poor far-field vision.
This still leaves open dietary causes for long-term eyesight degradation, because the Afghanis probably have a fairly typical grain and rice-based diet.
But from an evolutionary perspective, it seems strange that the performance of our eyes over time is so poor. Puzzling for sure.
I have found an improvement - not huge, but significant. I'm 57 y/o, didn't need glasses until 4 years ago and then only for reading / close work, and the weakest you can buy here in the UK (is it 1.25?)
I have found over the past 4 or so months that I can read the newspaper, books etc without needing glasses (simply because I realised I was no longer putting them on!) in good daylight. Cloudy, or in the evening - then I reach for the glasses.
Not a vast improvement - but useful! Also, it helps in restaurants - one less thing to need / forget!