When glasses and contact lenses don't help improve vision

02:20 Mon

When glasses and contact lenses don't help improve vision

When glasses and contact lenses don't help improve vision

When glasses and contact lenses don't help improve vision

Usually low visual acuity is associated with refractive errors. It can be caused by myopia, farsightedness and astigmatism. These are conditions when the optical system of the eye (the eye is a system of 2 lenses (cornea and lens)) is not perfect and its optical power does not match the actual size of the eye. With myopia, the size of the eye is larger than normal, and with hyperopia, the size of the eye is less than normal. In the case of astigmatism, the cornea has an imperfect shape.

These violations can be easily corrected by optical means. Non-surgical vision correctors include glasses and contact lenses. 

If a person doesn’t want to use glasses or contact lenses, 2 types of operations can be performed. Since the eye is a system of 2 lenses, we can surgically work with either a cornea or a lens. It is possible to perform laser correction of vision. In this type of surgery, the doctor uses a special laser that changes the parameters of the cornea and makes the optics of the eye perfect. 

But this is not always possible, because there are certain limitations for laser vision correction. In case of impossibility of laser correction, the surgeon can replace the natural lens with an artificial lens, which is called intraocular lens (IOL).

So in case of refractive errors, we can improve the optical system to an ideal state, either by adding an additional lens or changing the lenses of your eye.

But there are conditions in which the improvement in the optical system of the eye will not be able to raise the visual acuity to 20/20. This may be due to organic eye problems or imperfect development of the visual analyzer of the human brain. 

Organic problems of the eye include problems of the retina or optic nerve, when the light-sensitive nerve tissues of the eye are damaged by the disease, and in such conditions it is almost impossible to correct vision (but of course it depends on the pathology and we will not consider these conditions within this publication). 

It is important to know that human vision works not only in the eye, but also in the brain, where visual information is analyzed and processed by the visual cortex. And at this level there is an opportunity for improvement.

In fact, a person sees not with his eyes, but with his brain. The eye is a tool, like a camera lens. Image processing and awareness occurs in the head. As we know today, an image in the brain is processed using a method similar to a digital camera. Raw (RAW data) information from the eyes enters the brain, where it is processed. Some neurons are responsible for analyzing the vertical parts of the image, some are responsible for the horizontal parts, some for the colors, etc. 

But what we understand is the final JPEG, which is finally processed by the "built-in human Photoshop", which is called the visual cortex.

The visual cortex is developed in childhood. The newborn brain trains to distinguish the incoming information and correctly interpret it. As you remember, the information in the eye is displayed upside down, and we learn to see it in its usual form. So, on the physical level, neural connections are formed in the visual cortex to help analyze the visual information. There is a certain period of time when these neural connections should be formed and then this development stops.

If the eye is optically imperfect since childhood, then the visual cortex gets less information than it is planned by nature. In this case, the usual law of body development works - those functions which the body does not use do not develop. If the eye gives 3Mb instead of 10Mb information per second (the image is blurred, has no small details and the child sees only very large objects), the visual cortex does not form the amount of neural connections necessary for the analysis of 10Mb information. This is how amblyopia is formed. Later, when the person puts on glasses and the eye begins to form the same 10Mb of conditional information, the brain is unable to analyze it, so the person in this situation does not start to see better with glasses.

If amblyopia is diagnosed in childhood, then from 3 to 6-7 years old it can be successfully treated by loading the sore eye with special methods under the supervision of a doctor, but later this approach no longer works. Therefore, many ophthalmologists say that there is no cure for amblyopia in adults. 

But nowadays, this is not quite true. There is a technology that was developed on the basis of deep knowledge about the features of information analysis and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to form new neural connections). In fact, when you learn something, the brain forms new neural connections that will stay with you forever. That’s why scientists have invented special optical stimuli that can trigger the lost opportunity to form new neural connections in the visual cortex. These stimuli are called Gabor patches. They can teach the brain to process visual information better.

This technology is called RevitalVision, and is the only such technology in the world that is approved by the FDA. The treatment takes 3 months of regular exercise every day for 30 minutes at home at a computer with a monitor of at least 15 inches and in total darkness. On average, this technology improves vision by 2 lines on the visual acuity table. So this is a significant improvement for a person who sees 3 lines, and for a person who sees 8 lines, this will increase vision to normal.

This technology is certified and officially available in Ukraine. You can get acquainted my personal experience here: 

This technology can also improve vision in such difficult conditions as pigmentary degeneration of the retina, Stargardt disease and nystagmus.

So, if you have amblyopia, then there is a chance to improve your vision at any age.

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