Wired reports that nearsightedness is becoming more common in the US. They offer a few explanations, such as increased short-distance use of the eyes, and not being outside as much in good light and looking at further distances.
They say it between the lines, but not explicitly: Maybe the best explanation is that we don’t use our eyes at varying distances throughout the day, from near to far and back to near again. That is how we evolved, looking at other people and the landscape at middle distances, then at our hands, tools and food at close distances, and then at the sky, horizon and people, animals and the landscape at far distances. Our eyes evolved for being used at diverse and changing distances, and eye muscles were exercised to be stronger and more supple.
So what is the solution? It is quite simple: eye exercises that mimic how our eyes evolved to naturally function.
I was diagnosed as mildly to moderately nearsighted (0.75 or 20/40) in my early teens, and I became more nearsighted with time. In my mid-twenties, I started doing Feldenkrais exercises for the eyes, and some of the exercises described in the book above, and over a relatively short period of time, it helped me go from nearsighted and needing glasses to good vision and in no need for glasses.
I went to an optometrist who found I had 20/20 vision, and asked him if eyesight can improve over time. He said “no, it is not possible”.
But us who use eye exercises know better. And common sense tells us that exercising the eyes – its muscles and tendons – must have an effect, as does exercise of any other parts of the body or mind. It would be astonishing if it was not the case.
Of course, the effect varies between individuals. But some improvement seems to be possible for anyone.