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Laser Eye Surgery

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
Has anyone had it done? do you know how long after it you can't dive?
I am totally blind without my contacts but getting scared of wearing them in horrid pools not to mention sick of scrabbling around every morning trying to work out who I've woken up with (JOKE)

anyone know?
Hi Sam,

I had it done 18 months ago.

- After surgery, you have to wear eye shields to bed for 1 week.
- No eye rubing for 1 month!!
- You can shower and shampoo, but keep your eyes closed for 2 week.

You also must not
- be exposed to dusty situations for 1 day
- do aerobics, running, etc. for 1 day
- pool swim for 2 weeks
- do anything in the ocean for 1 month

But I love being able to see now!

Hope that helps.
Peter S.
There are several methods of laser eye surgery out there and each has slightly different impacts on the eye.

I would suggest speaking to someone as DAN or possibly a UK BSAC Medical Referee.
Hi Sam,
My advice is to talk first with doctors. But I want to tell you about my father's expirience. He had a lazer operation on both eyes (-4 diopters then) four years ago (he was 47 years old). Now he is just fine. Then he was back in water in only two weeks.

I hope you will be al-right with the eyes and everything else.

Best wishes,
Peter Z.
Originally posted by samdive
....every morning trying to work out who I've woken up with (JOKE)

Hmmm...interesting that you felt the need to state that it was a joke.....


Oh, I do have fun....
thanks - thats great news! only two weeks out of the pool. better do it soon so staying out of the ocean is not such a problem.. brrrr...

mmmmmmm Ben... well I knew the Brits would see the humour but sometimes this site does get a little ... serious...
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I recommend natural vision improvement. I went through 4 months of natural vision improvement in 1997. My eyes are so bad, however, that this was not enough to completely reverse my problem (I went from -8.50 to -6.00D). Further, if you don't keep it up, you can regress back. I know several people who have gone from -12.00D to 20/20. However, it takes time, effort, and patience.

Remember that vision is more than just refractive acuity. Being able to see the bottom line on a vision chart says very little about your vision. People with 'corrected' vision, (either contacts or surgery) cannot move their eyes naturally; they will not be able to spot small, far moving objects like someone with true vision can; the air force was the first to discover this. True vision involves high frequency saccadic movements, incredible depth / stereo perception, motion tracking and color perception. With natural vision improvement, all of these abilities return to normal. With surgery, only refraction is fixed, and night vision suffers.

The best vision a human can have is 20/5 (i.e. 400% better than 'average' 20/20). People with 20/20 naturally can reach 20/5 by doing natural vision improvement, and no person has ever been able to see 20/5 with correction (contacts, glasses or surgery).

I think that surgery is a drastic measure when natural methods are available.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
my vision has been appaling since I had measles as a kid.
I currently have -6 vision. I don't think exercises, eating carrots or anything else is gonna work... but thanks for the idea


If you have -6D, you should be happy because improving naturally won't take nearly as long as people with worse vision. It is possible. It is simply a question of how badly you want it. Eating carrots has no effect -- this takes work. Of course, the lazy people just opt for surgery.

It reminds me of freedivers. The lazy freediver could just have surgery on his chest to increase his lung volume. Some freedivers, at the first sign of equalizing difficulties, have surgery on their ears, without spending the time to first try learning new techniques.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Tell us more about natural vision correction, please. I have been interested in the subject since someone told me about the Bates method years ago. I picked up Dr. Bates' book, but it didn't sound very proven. For example, he cited anonymous anecdotal examples, and they were all his experiences, no third party studies or confirmation. Any optometrist I ask about the possibility of improving your sight through exercise and relaxation says it's not possible.

If you know of methods with proven results, I would be very interested to learn more. My correction, btw, is -3.25.

temporary fix

I was told that the gard lenses used to correct vision, like eric is talking about, would only work for a diopetor, or two, and that the effect wore off within a couple of weeks after the users quit wearing the lenses.

I had LASIK surgery done 4 years ago by a doctor pretty close to you. I stayed out of the water for two months after I had it- it was winter and I was paranoid of damaging soemthing.

Now I see fine.
I went from 20/600 (-6) to 20/15 in one eye and 20/25 in the other. Everything has been great so far. No more glasses fogging up in the winter and i can try on any mask that I want with out thining about the extra cost of Rx lenses.

I was about to plunk down 5k when I started reading about the star effect around lights as well as potential night blindness. I have -7.5 and see well with contacts but my night vision is not great. I opted to stick with the contacts. YMMV.
Just as we have our own freediving community, with forums & e-mail lists, there is a natural vision improvement (NVI) community, with far more members than the freediving community; after all, our sport is a small one, but more than half of the world suffers from vision problems.

Even though the 'Bates Method' (conceived around 1900) was the first method, it had a very erratic success rate. Other innovators followed in his footsteps, and develop far better methods, and one researcher even invented a machine, called an 'accomotrac', covered by several patents. The accomotrac machine is a multi-thousand dollar device which can train the user to reverse a vision problem by providing biofeedback.

Unfortunately, the whole NVI movement has not been able to make much progress in attracting publicity because of the strong opposition from 'mainstream' optometry and opthalmology, as well as opposition from optics and glasses manufacturers. After all, if a method were publicized which really did correct vision naturally, a multi-billion dollar business would virtually cease to exist. So, there are an enormous number of people who are going out of their way to make sure that you never find out about any NVI techniques. However, the internet is difficult to police, and now thanks to the internet the info is coming out for all.

Most people who have achieved a complete reversal of their vision problems have used a combination of different techniques, from different NVI researchers. However, the most effective single technique ever developed was called 'Vision Freedom.' It worked so well that within a few years, hundreds (or even thousands) of people had testified to curing their eyes with the method. Their voices (in the U.S.) were so strong that the founder of Vision Freedom was eventually put in jail for some charge having nothing to do with NVI. The company Vision Freedom no longer exists, but its founder was so intent on helping people that he cared little for money, and his techniques persist by word of mouth in the NVI community.

The main theory of NVI (in the case of myopia) is this:
Most people develop myopia from too much near work. By constantly focusing up close, the ciliary muscle (which flexes the lens) becomes so exhausted that the extrinsic eye muscles literally change the shape of the eyeball in order that the ciliary muscle can relax, while retaining the near-focus due to the different shape of the eyeball. This is not a defect, but an adaptation to near work. The extrinsic muscles become chronically tense after months of near work, and eventually the chronic tension sticks. Further, the extrinsic muscles are the muscles which control the movements of the eye, both the deliberate movements, and the unconscious micro-vibrations (saccades). As these muscles become tense, their ability to perform the saccadic movements becomes impaired, and their ability to point the eye in the correct direction also becomes impaired. The center of the retina is called the macula, which has the highest density of rods and cones; the center of the macula is called the fovea, and the center of the fovea is called the foveola. The foveola has tremendous 'resolution' capacity, but it is so small that the eye must point precisely at the target in order for the object of interest to hit the foveola. Further, when looking at a tiny character at the bottom of the eye chart (on the 20/5 line), only a fraction of the character can hit the foveola at any one time, so the eye must vibrate and trace the character with the foveola and then reconstruct the image from those sub-images. This is why the extrinsic muscles must be in perfect shape in order to see 20/5. This is the same reason that someone with glasses, contacts or surgery can never see 20/5; their extrinsic muscles are still atrophied.

Other defects such as hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism are also caused by the extrinsic muscles misbehaving. In astigmatism, the extrinsic muscles pull unevently on the eye, distorting the shape of the eyeball, and most noticeably, the cornea.

The purpose of NVI is to re-habilitate the extrinsic muscles. Once rehabilitated, the extrinsic muscles will relax, and regain their original strength, so that the eyeball returns to its original shape, refraction errors disappear, and the extrinsic muscles can once again point the eye with remarkable precision, and they can also vibrate the eye in order to trace distant objects.

Methods of NVI

In a person with vision problems, the extrinsic muscles are both chronically tense, and weak. There has been a dramatic loss of neuro-muscular coordination. One approach to NVI is to try to relax the extrinsic muscles; the Bates method is such an approach. The other main approach is to try to strengthen the extrinsic muscles (the vision freedom approach). While there is some overlap in the methods, most people now find that both approaches must be undertaken simultaneously for maximum results.

When first starting NVI exercises, people will often manage to relax their extrinsic muscles for only a moment, resulting in a brief flash of extreme clarity. Using the accomotrac machine, those 'accidental' clear flashes can be rapidly learned to be deliberate.

Actual Techniques

The actual techniques of NVI take a long time to describe. Concerning methods of relaxation, the book 'Relearning to See' by Quackenbush, covers the Bates method of extrinsic muscle relaxation, as well as habits that must be un-learned to progress rapidly.

The vision freedom system is not longer in print, but I can give a brief description here.

(This assumes you are near sighted -- the method for farsightedness is different)
1. Take off your glasses/contacts, so that your vision is blurry.
2. Sitting in very bright light, lean over a table and place a book or printed text in front of you -- preferably true white paper with clear black writing.
3. Place the book around 10-40cm away from your face.
4. Now, the trick is that you must adjust the book so that the text is just barely in focus. In other words, move the text to the maximum distance possible, such that it remains perfectly clear. You may need to put on +1D, +2D, +3D reading glasses, or even more, +5D if your vision is pretty good. In the end, the maximum distance at which the text is clear should be between 10 and 40cm. (If you cannot even see 10cm away, then use weak contact lenses, or your standard contacts with +10D or higher lenses on top).
5. Move the text about 0.5cm farther away, so that it becomes ever so slightly blurry.
6. Looking at a single word, begin to trace the letters over and over with your eyes. Don't strain.
7. Occasionally, open your eyes as wide as possible, raising your eyebrows with all your might, then relax.
8. Occasionally, close your eyes as hard as possible for a few seconds.
9. Keep tracing the word (and repeat #7 and #8), and remember what the word should look like, fully clear.
10. Eventually, the word will suddenly clear up; it may only last for an instant. (Getting this to happen the first time is difficult, it is called an auto-focus -- it may take several sessions to get the first auto-focus to happen).
11. Keep working on this one word until it clears up and remains clear.
12. Move the text another 0.5cm away, until it gets slightly blurry again.
13. Repeat the above process until it gets clear again.
14. Keep moving the tex farther and farther, until you get stuck and cannot clear the text up. You should be spending several minutes at each distance.
15. Now, bring the text back 0.5cm until it is clear (but this should still be significantly farther away than it was at the beginning of the session).
16. Now you must train your muscles to 'remember' this position. So, start reading the paragraph. If you vision suddenly worsens, repeat the above steps.
17. Once you can read the paragraph over and over, with the text clear, at a farther distance than you started, you are done the session.
18. Now, it is important to perform relaxation exercises on you eyes; these are described in the book 'Relearning to See', and other books.

After the training session, assuming you made it to #17, your vision will be very slightly better for a short period, maybe 0-10 minutes after the 'training' session. Several sessions a day is best. Further, during the day, you must not wear a prescription which allows you to see 20/20. You should wear a 20/40 or 20/60 prescription, and whenever you read ANYTHING (PC or books), always adjust the text so it is just barely in focus, or just beyond that point. This allows your eyes to improve.

Most people, following the above method, improve at a rate of about 0.25 - 0.75D per month.

The process can be dramatically accelerated by gorging the eyes with blood before the training session, by hard cardio, grueling tennis or squash/racketball, etc.
Once your whole body is roasting and drenched with sweat, blood flow to the eyes will be dramatically increased, and the extrinsic muscles can be more easily relaxed, trained and strengthened (just like you should warm up for any strength training or stretching exercises).

So, the general method is:
- Warm up with exercise
- Perform the autofocusing training method
- Perform cool-down relaxation exercises
- Always keep objects on the edge of clarity, during the whole day (by using weaker contacts/glasses, and by using +D lenses during reading or computer work).

Nutrition has only a minor effect; however, eating tons of junk food (especially sweets), will definitely slow your progress.

I strongly recommend joining one of the many yahoogroup lists on this topic if you are serious (i.e. 2see@yahoogroups.com, i-see@yahoogroups.com etc..)

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Eric, this is a subject which has been a near-obsession with me for many, many years.

It seems you've got some anecdotal, personal evidence of your own. Have you related this already in this or another forum ?

If not, would you realate it here ?

Paul Kotik
Even though my vision improved signifcantly during the 4-month period of NVI (-8.5 to -6.0), the most amazing improvements were in other areas. First of all, my eyes were far more relaxed and moving and fluttering around naturally. I was 'seeing' and noticing a lot more than before, and seeing was a more pleasant experience (my vision had been very strained before although I hadn't realized it). In fact, looking at photos of me just after that period, my entire face looks incredibly soft and relaxed.

The other amazing change was the sharpness of my vision WITH my contacts ON. Before the NVI, like most people my best vision with my contacts was 20/20, or maybe 20/15 on a good day (this was with -8.5D contacts). At the end of the 4-months, with -6.00D contacts, I could see 20/7.5 !! That is double the visual acuity. Recall my previous post when I mentioned that reaching 20/5 is only possible with extrinsic muscles in great shape. It seems that my extrinsic muscles really were getting in shape, and as a result I could 'point' my eye more accurately, and see double the detail.

Further, my vision without my contacts improved in many ways. When I started, I could not even read a book without my contacts, because I had to hold the book only centimetres from my face, and my 'eye crossing muscles' could not cross my eyes enough and focus at the same time. Any attempt to read a book resulted in a double-vision blur. This took a while to overcome, but by the end, I could read a book very easily and relaxingly, at a comfortable distance, without any contacts -- it was profoundly relaxing, for the first time in years, to actually look at things with my own eyes. Around the same time, I went for 4 days without wearing any contacts or glasses at all, going around the house and garden, I even walked up to the tennis court and played some games with a friend. The ball was still blurry but I could play without straining.

Some day I will find time to finish the program and throw away my contacts & glasses forever.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

I always learned myopya produced a thickening of the cornea. So how would you fix something like that by simply strengthening eye muscles?

It's just a thought, maybe the problem is far more complex than that.

Regards, gerard.
Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long. The cornea & lens have a certain focal length (say 25mm), and so in that case the eyeball must be 25mm long. Any longer (26 or 27mm), and you get myopia. In fact, if the eyeball is ONE millimetre too long, you get approximately -4D myopia.

The old theory was that the eyeball length is a 'genetic' or 'hereditary' defect. I believe that genetics can 'predispose' one to myopia; in my case, I believe that my genetics make me very susceptible to myopia, but genetics did not cause my myopia. In fact, I used to see extremely well until I started working on computers all the time. My optometrist even told me that he has many clients, aged 30+, who had perfect vision until age 30+, and then they started working on computers and developed myopia. This means that most cases of myopia are acquired defects, and acquired defects can be reversed. Some people with good genetics can work on computers their whole life, and never have vision problems.

I'm sure that some people have 'true' genetic defects, and these may not be reversible. The simple question you must ask yourself is, did you EVER see clearly at any time in your life? If the answer is YES, then the chances are your problem is reversible.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Dear Mr. Eyeknowledge, (efattah)

I have 20/15 vision. I now sit at a desk and tappa tappa away at my computer. Can this lead to vision problems? What can I do to prevent this?


Thanks. by the by, did you get the message about that doctor in NEDU (navy experimantal diving unit)?
Even if Dr. William Bates had some questionable methods & theories, possibly his greatest discovery was in how to prevent vision problems from occurring.

In a remarkable experiment, he was allowed to enforce a new policy at an elementary school, in order to test his theory. Every ?half hour, the children were told to look at an eye chart at the opposite side of the room, and try to read the smallest line they could, for 10-20 seconds.

In the school which enforced this policy, not a single student developed myopia.

In a neighboring school, the standard number of students developed mypopia (which is something like 30% in elementary school).

This policy of making kids look at a far away eye chart every 30 minutes was eventually discarded by 'learned opthalmologists' as ridiculous. Once they stopped the policy, the children began developing myopia.

So, my best advice for people with perfect vision; every 20 or 30 minutes, look at far away (tiny) text, and spend a good 20 seconds reading it over and over.

If a single day passes when you find that you are unable to read that tiny text, then you must begin a more comprehensive prevention program.

As long as you have never worn glasses or contacts, maintain perfect vision is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes a day. Once you have worn glasses or contacts, restoring your vision can take years.

If only my optometrist had know the correct approach all those years ago when he gave me my first pair of glasses, then I wouldn't be in this undesirable position.

I say to anyone with good vision: please, NEVER put on glasses or contact lenses. If your vision starts to deteriorate, do a bit of research and you will be able to restore your vision easily. The moment you accept glasses or contacts, you are on the road to worse and worse vision.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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