Wouldn't it be great to get rid of your glasses or contacts without surgery? Some programs you see advertised claim they could help you do that.
The See Clearly Method is one of them. You can get a look at it on ads across the country and world wide via the internet. It's billed as a safe alternative to surgery, glasses and contacts. In just minutes a day, its website says, you can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contacts.
"It's similar to exercising the muscles in your body," said Cliff Rose, founder and executive vice president of Vision Improvement Technologies.
Rose founded the company five years ago, after some doctors contacted him about a book on vision therapy exercises they'd written.
Rose tried it himself. He says within two weeks, he had tremendous improvement in his vision. Within two months, he says, he didn't need his reading glasses again.
Topeka optometrist Dr. Kevin Lenahan says there is some truth behind the theory of programs like See Clearly. He says, like any muscle, if we work with the muscles that make our vision function, and work with them in an effective way, we can make improvements.
But how much better can you make it?
"Don't expect to throw those glasses away anytime soon," he said.
Lenahan says exercising your eyes can help improve your reading speed and visual awareness. The key is to be realistic about the results you'll get.
Rose agrees. He says his company doesn't guarantee you'll be able to shed the specs for good. He says their findings are that with doing the program as directed, about a third of people could get out of their glasses; another third could free themselves from dependency on glasses but they'll still need them; and the remaining third could stop their vision from getting worse.
Dr. Lenahan says you can also help your vision by making sure your computer screen has proper lighting and contrast.
As for vision exercises, like all exercise, you'll need to keep it up the rest of your life to maintain the benefits.