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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.
  9. Happysoul

    Happysoul Newcomer

    I have same exact issues now trying Prism glasses for near work. I am not sure how to get rid of eye strain due to blocked emotions or past trauma. Meditation may be..
  10. had

    had Peer Supporter

    Same problem and it's disheartening to see any related posts fade away and no success stories. I am not even sure yet its TMS since it only occurs with modern LED backlit displays. I have ruled out all the common causes like PWM etc and on one hand want it to be TMS so that means I am not doomed with modern technology...on the other hand fear it being TMS since I can't resolve about half of my long standing issues that are "probably" TMS.

    I'm not even bothering with prisms as the test of that in OD offices just caused more strain and one of them said that he wouldn't want to put me in them for that reason...it should give immediate relief and not double vision and struggles (the images were sharp but wavy and diverged and converged like liquid so my eyes were not happy about the combined attempt at an image). Plus the 500 dollars just to "try" finished glasses just reminds me of every wasted dollar I've spent on things that ended up being TMS...so many thousands in scans and surgeries and medicines. I have also had a known convergence issue my entire life and never until now had eye strain so it's likely NOT that in my case some global eye issue. Also I can look at a tree or a sign or whatever and not feel this strain so more evidence against some global eye issue. But as the TMS greats say...get checked for anything obvious first and maybe prisms will instantly solve your strain and you will have proof its physical. If they don't work then its evidence toward TMS like my case.

    That leaves either TMS, some undiscovered technical instigator like flickering or light issues, or all of this is a simulation and you are all programs designed to screw with me to see how much I can take. The latter is the least likely, and incredibly self centered, but feels the most accurate.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  11. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    This thread stirred a distant memory and so I went looking at the original tmshelp site and found this. It's initiated by Ace1 (of The Keys to Healing) who is an oncologist with a great understanding of TMS. Many of his posts are worth reading.

    http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7997&SearchTerms=Eyes,balto (TMSHelp Forum - Strain chapter written by Dr. Bates 100 years ago)

    Ace draws our attention to the final paragraph in particular. There are other posts on the site focusing on the eyes too.

    Courtesy of @balto, a link to Dr. Bates book:

    https://www.central-fixation.com/perfect-sight-without-glasses/ (Perfect Sight Without Glasses - www.Central-Fixation.com)
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    readytoheal and BloodMoon like this.
  12. BagelSchnitzel

    BagelSchnitzel Peer Supporter

    Really interesting, exact same issues here.

    Been through all kinds of potential treatments. I now have prism lenses.

    Eye strain in particular had me at a point where I almost had to consider quitting my career in IT. I was struggling to work with screens for more than 20 minutes without constant pain. I pushed through each day. Had countless eye tests and spent a fortune on glasses from all the different high street opticians. I tested different monitors, heated eye pads to sooth my sore eyes, a week of total screen detox, changes to my diet, herbal remedies. But nothing would shift the pain.

    The constant eye strain created crushing anxiety. I remember driving to work feeling physically sick all the way, worrying if today would be the day when my eyes couldn’t take it anymore. I was totally at the mercy of fear and I was struggling with the pressures of work. I was in an extremely busy job supporting Europe and America in IT, working for a company who demanded too much from their staff, whilst cutting back resources. It was an impossible task and destroyed much of the confidence I had built up in the prior years.

    In my spare time, I like to wind down by gaming. Because of the eye strain, my favourite pass time was also gone. I remember getting home, eating dinner, then lying on the sofa with my eyes closed as I tried to rest them to know avail. Luckily I had audiobooks otherwise I probably would have gone mad with boredom.

    I was spiralling and had nowhere to turn. my partner, Elly was worried about me, my chronic pain and low moments were certainly putting a strain on our relationship and I didn’t seem to take much joy out of life.

    The only thing that seemed to help alleviate the eye strain for me was when I read Dr Sarno's first book and began seeing similarities. I also started to notice that my eye strain would get worse during periods of high stress. I began to expect eye strain everytime I used a screen and sure enough, it would appear and cause all kinds of issues for me. About half way through the book, my eye pain had almost gone. I remember that feeling, it was incredible.

    Since then, I've had ups and downs. The eyestrain does come back now and again, but I just remind myself that its a TMS symptom and it seems to go.

    I have also found the recovery program to be very helpful when I'm feeling particularly low, and also Mindfulness meditation.

    Its good to know there are other people out there like me anyway.
    Lizzy likes this.
  13. Happysoul

    Happysoul Newcomer

  14. Happysoul

    Happysoul Newcomer

    Hi Bagel schnitzel,
    I had to quit my career in IT due to disabling eye pain and eye strain. It felt like my eyes are throbbing with ache and I wasn’t sure how to relieve them. Can you please tell me the list of things you did to cure this.
    I haven’t been able to find anything that takes this pain away. I have gone to numerous optometrist and Opthamology’s offices and tried various glasses but nothing seems to help. It seems like my eyes have lost the stamina of near work.
    Waiting for your reply. Thanks
  15. BagelSchnitzel

    BagelSchnitzel Peer Supporter

    Hi Happysoul,

    Its hard to really give one answer as to what cured me. I tried pretty much everything and was out of ideas. Then by chance I was put onto Dr Sarno's book, Mindbody Syndrome.

    After listening to the audio version for a few hours and realising that he was describing me in each scenario, I noticed my eye strain had lessened a great deal. That was all I needed really to know that the pain I was getting wasn't caused by anything structural and it was simply another TMS symptom. After that, I sat down and had a fat gaming session with no fear, no-ing that all the opticians and optometrists had told me my eyes were healthy, that lack of fear lead to a full 5 hour session without any pain. I did and do get pain on and off when using computers, especially during periods of high stress, but now that I know that its simply a TMS symptom, I seem to be able to quickly knock it on the head.

    I find that what also helped during the early days was during mindfullness medititation, I would focus and really lean into the eye pain, a sort of "Give me all you've got" attitude and it would normally change and lessen.

    I hope this makes sense. Also have you gone through the Recovery Program on this site?
    BloodMoon likes this.
  16. had

    had Peer Supporter

    @BagelSchnitzel did you give up the prism glasses as well and are you still strain free mostly?
  17. BagelSchnitzel

    BagelSchnitzel Peer Supporter

    I still have prism lenses.

    I am mostly strain free these days. I do get the odd bowt during times of high stress which sometimes takes longer to get through.

    I do also find that even though it's TMS, you can help your recovery by taking regular screen breaks and using blue light filtering technology such as BlueLightFilter on your phone and F.lux on your PC.
  18. had

    had Peer Supporter

    So you have a convergence issue that requires the prisms then? Is it plausible that the relief you have is due to the glasses and it wasn't a TMS issue? I do have a convergence issue as well but can't see beyond a few inches in one of the eyes and correcting it with rx and prisms makes a LOT of strain and trouble so doctors said leave it be as thats how my body adapted...to a antural monovision. But there is still something straining me with modern displays and its not bluelight or PWM as I have removed those entirely. Some suspect FRC and dithering is a problem but its hard to detect and turn off as its imbedded so deeply in GPU software. I have had and cured many TMS issues, but this just does not seem like one, and hasn't responded as such especially since specific software and updates can instantly chance a comfortable setup to painful. Something has to be triggering the strain. On safe devices I can use them until my butt gets too sore to sit. but thats only specific old devices on old software.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  19. BagelSchnitzel

    BagelSchnitzel Peer Supporter

    Only a slight convergence issue, my eyes have now adapted to the prisms so I figure at this point its not worth changing them.

    I don't think the prisms solved my strain as such, like I said, I get it worse during more stressful periods, like recently my grandad passed on the same day I found out my wife was pregnant, and this all happened during a huge merger which I was responsible for at work. That triggered both Anxiety and my eye strain and it took me a while to get back to what I would call normal. I do think you have a point about different setups causing issues however. I find that to game now, I almost entirely avoid my Xbox because I am convinced my TV (With shiny screen!!) and the games poor framerate synchronisation bothers my eyes. I purchased a relatively modern laptop with g-sync matte screen which I can happily game for hours with no problems.

    The problem I find however with eye strain is there are soo many things that can cause it, its hard to put a finger on it. I do find thinking of it as TMS helps me push through and eventually get a pain free state. I find when I don't think about the strain after a while, I seem to ignore it and it goes away. I work in IT, so am on a computer 8 hours a day, then like I said previously like to game in my free time alongside other things, so I do hammer my eyes. I'd be interested to here about what you've been trying to get around this issue.
  20. had

    had Peer Supporter

    Honestly I've tried everything available and thought to be a major factor. Eliminating PWM by using specific panels/monitors. Bluelight blocking with various glasses and filters, font settings, driver settings, anything you ever hear as a possible cause. Temporal dithering/FRC where pixels are rapidly flickered to make "fancier" colors is the latest theory as to a true root cause since most of the other stuff turned out to be a red herring for the masses, which makes you think TMS, but this is really too specific for me to accept its all psychosomatic. Some people are working on software to turn off dithering but its slow going. If that doesn't make any difference I have no clue because I have tried everything else. Only a 10+ yo CCFL laptop is remotely comfortable and it gets worse as browsers and sites update and do something with dithering or antialiasing. Google sites hurt my eyes even on this "safe" laptop. Any modern device/OS forget it...strain and dizziness/headaches within minutes to hours. It's way beyond overuse or bad ergonomics. SOMETHING is flickering in a way the visual system is struggling to process.

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