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Gave up all physical treatments but still pondering glasses

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by dabatross, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    Hi everybody,

    So it took a long time but I gave up all physical treatments for my eye strain problem a month or so ago because I created a list of the things I did to treat the problem and went step by step through them and explained to myself how I did this, did that for a very long time and it didn't work. Here is an example of the list I created:
    1. In office vision therapy for 6 months with routine eye exams
    2. Multiple visits to the optometrist for eye exams resulting in various glasses prescriptions
    3. Prism glasses, glasses for farsightedness and astigmatism, glasses for spatial perception
    4. Home vision therapy for about 5 months
    5. Syntonics light therapy for 1 month
    6. Eye exercises including eye stretching, magic eye 3d stereograms, space exercises
    7. Massage
    8. Heat and cold therapies
    9. Ergonomic changes and breaks
    After all of this stuff, you would think I would see something of a benefit but I can only remember like 2-3 days during the 6 month period where my symptoms got better. 2 of those days was when I found out that my optometrist was going to become my vision therapist instead of the woman I was working with so my hopes went up. All in all Ive been trying to treat this for around 3 and a half years and even with the in office vision therapy, which is supposed to be very effective for the problem I was diagnosed with called convergence insufficiency, I went in and came out with the same results. Thousands of dollars later I sit here and didn't make much progress at all with this. The one thing that always comes back into my mind though is "would those glasses the doctor prescribed help me?"

    The optometrists I saw before this behavioral optometrist (they are different) thought my eyestrain was caused by my slight farsightedness and astigmatism. After I tried a number of different glasses prescriptions for this, and then trying base in prism glasses as well (prism glasses shift what you see, so base in prism glasses shift things outward horizontally), I finally landed at a vision therapy center and a behavioral optometrist diagnosed me with convergence insufficiency and prescribed me +,37 sphere lenses. These lenses are made to correct spatial perception issues which are at the root cause of convergence insufficiency. The thing is that the most I've ever worn a pair of glasses continuously was 2 weeks. I wore the farsightedness/astigmatism prescrption for 2 weeks straight full time and didn't receive benefit from that. So when the behavioral optometrist gave me the +.37 lenses, I think I felt doubt that they weren't going to work. I think its possible I conditioned myself to believe that the glasses weren't going to help me so when I put them on they didn't work at all.

    At this point when I wear these glasses I actually get more pain from them. There is no way that small of a prescription would cause more pain but I do get increase in symptoms because I think Ive conditioned myself to believe that when I put the glasses on the symptoms will get worse even though they are supposed to help this problem. The doctor was very confident that these glasses would help me and was confused when I told him it was worse.

    So I did give up all physical treatments but the only thing Im wondering is that if its worth a shot to try out this +.37 lenses one more time to see if they will be of any benefit. I guess I worry that since I doubted the glasses would work before I even put them on that I prevented them from working with my fear. I reread that article again about how to tell from normal pain versus TMS pain and I wish it was a little more thorough on the subject.

    Im trying my best to keep working through psychological treatments.. its really only when I have a bad day or a few bad days that stuff starts ruminating in my head again and thats why I really appreciate you guys posting back to keep me on the right track. Its like a constant battle with my brain to stay focused on what I need to do to rid myself of this

    thank you

  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Alex, that's great that you were able to give up doing all those exercises that you didn't feel were helping anyway.

    Did you ever need glasses before having TMS? If not maybe you can stop wearing them now.
  3. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    i didn't wear glasses before august 2008. i worked on the computer a lot before then.. it wasn't 40 hours a week i dont believe but i was spending many hours a day on the computer and dont remember having any symptoms. some people like to say this is because "you're getting older and your eyes deteriorate" but i think thats BS. i was 21 in 2008 and i was doing a ton of nearwork at school and working on the computer at home after i got out of class. the entire year of 2008 i didn't have symptoms like i have now but then bam when i quit my job at steinhafels and went to work as a part time web designer all of a sudden i had eye strain problems. like i said some people say its because you get older and things dont work as well anymore but how could this happen the same year? it wasn't like i hadn't worked on computers for years and then suddenly threw myself into a job working 8 hours a day on them. i might not have worked 8 hours a day on the computer before the job but i sure as hell wasn't getting symptoms like this and i was probably spending 3-6 hours a day either doing computer work or near work. now i get symptoms even when im not on the computer for christ sake.

    i think ive come a long way since i began because before i would constantly google symptoms on convergence insufficiency, read everything i could about eye problems, etc. i learned a ton about it and wish i hadn't because sometimes ignorance is bliss. no i didnt wear glasses before i started having these symptoms. i started wearing glasses about a month after i started getting eye strain issues while working at the job. so like i said i stopped all physical treatments, stopped googling the physical diagnosis or anything that could explain the physical problem, and have been focusing working on TMS. the only thing that creeps up in my mind is whether i should wear the glasses or not. i really hope you guys weigh in on this because its something that still bothers me. every doctor ive seen said wear glasses for near work whether it was the doctor that prescribed me the astigmatism/farsightedness glasses or the doctor that prescribed the spatial +.37 glasses. this is really the only structural conflict im still having is about the glasses because i did the list of jotting down everything that hadn't worked already and im confident that eye exercises aren't the solution to my pain struggle and working psychologically is.
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I don't believe that age is a factor--it sounds like you're 25 not 85 :) I've had glasses since I was 12 but I've never had eye pain. If I don't wear my glasses, things are blurry but I don't have any pain.

    Obviously you should check with your doctor, but I know for me if I don't wear my glasses nothing harmful happens, I'm not causing any structural damage, I just can't see as well.
  5. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    yeah one thing is for sure i dont need glasses to see. last time i checked i had 20/15 vision in my left eye and 20/20 in my right eye. i think what happened is when i first went into the optometrist for glasses because i thought i needed them, i told them i was having eye strain issues. so they looked for anything they could find that would be causing eye strain. they found slight farsightedness and slight astigmatism only in my left eye. i walked out of there with my first pair of glasses. then when those weren't working i went back and got my first pair of computer glasses. the prescription was +1.00 in my left eye and +.75 in my right eye with -.75 astigmatism in my left eye. wore these for a while and they didn't work either. i think went on to prism glasses with 2 base in and those didn't work. then i tried 4 base in prism glasses but they were way too strong. wearing those was difficult. then i went to the behavorial optometrist in august 2010 and after a long exam with him he prescribed the +.37 glasses. tried those and wore them for like a week and didn't get results. then i kept trying those on and off for a few days at a time and then another week of wearing them every time i did near work. didn't really help either and he was baffled.

    so i was recommended only to wear glasses when i do near work not when just doing normal activities. there doesn't seem to be any correlation between my symptoms going up and down and wearing the glasses though. ive had better days before not wearing the glasses and not taking breaks than on days where i wore the glasses the entire day and took scheduled breaks. veronica and everybody do you have any thoughts on this?


  6. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    It sounds like you're not sure that all of this is TMS vs. some other condition causing you to need glasses. Is there a TMS doctor near you? It might be good to get a definite answer on TMS and then you can move forward.
  7. dabatross

    dabatross Well known member

    Hi veronica,

    After I started reading this book by Jacob Liberman called Take off your glasses and see Ive decided not to wear the glasses. This book is about how mind/body processes affect vision and how glasses can constrict your awareness. Everything he is mentioning in this book I have heard from doctors about how vision is unchangeable, emotions don't affect it, etc. the only optometrists that believe in emotions affecting vision are behavioral/developmental optometrists. other optometrists tried to make me believe all my pain was caused by the farsightedness/astigmatism but I know thats crap they just didn't understand the mindbody processes underneath and didn't bother asking me about them. my refractive error is so slight it wouldn't cause eyestrain like this anyway they were just trying to come up with a reason as to why i was having pain and their treatments weren't working. unfortunately i dont have a TMS doctor in my area really I would love to go see and talk to one. this is actually the second book ive read now that talks about mindbody and vision problems the first being dissolving pain and now this most recent one. the take off your glasses and see book actually mentions the author of the dissolving pain book and references some of his techniques for opening up your awareness. the funny thing is les fehmi talks about sarno in his book as well.. these writings are all interconnected its pretty amazing that these different authors, in 3 different fields of medicine, are referencing eachother about mind body and emotion based physical symptoms thats more than just coincidence.
  8. Chuck

    Chuck Peer Supporter

    I've had glasses for a long time (I believe I first got them in about the 3rd grade). Like Veronica, when I don't wear them I just can't see very well. When I put them on I immediately see everything better. The fact that you have symptoms even while wearing glasses makes it sound a bit like TMS/PPD.

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