March 28, 2017

This NYT health-advice article is getting a lot of attention...

... but I'd like to see an answer to the problem raised by the top-rated comment, which I'm not going to quote here.

The article is "Training Your Brain So That You Don’t Need Reading Glasses."

33 comments:

rhhardin said...

Train your brain to use progressive lenses.

This is nose-direction control, basically. Neck muscles are involved.

If you're nearsighted and unspoiled by lasix, you've got microscopes available just by taking your glasses off.

Unknown said...

So I clicked through and used my last free article. Is it the long comment from an Indian guy? Can't even tell...

Mike Sylwester said...

Somebody please copy and paste the comment into this thread.

Michael K said...

Staring at the sun ? That'll fix it. Burn out the fovea so you have no central vision.

What a great idea !

AReasonableMan said...

Mike Sylwester said...
Somebody please copy and paste the comment into this thread.


Michael Rivers, MD Washington, DC 20 hours ago
"a number of studies"...

All of the research referenced in this "news" article share an author, Uri Polat. As he has a financial interest in the software recommended to treat this condition, I would hardly consider this an unbiased discussion of the treatment of Presbyopia.

I would expect more scientific rigor for an article published in the NYT in The Upshot.

TreeJoe said...

The research is in essence inherently biased but is being presented as a solid medical option, rather than an independently studied biological phenonema repeated by multiple parties.

In other words - the times is losing it's own statistical/research-oriented literacy.

This is not a shock when you consider how the present "research" on many topics.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Even if it worked, so what? As mentioned in the article, the software is expensive and they want you to pay $60 a month for "maintenance." So an initial $300 and then $720 a year for the rest of your life.

I go to the eye doctor once a year (something you should do regardless) and pay less than $300 for the exam and buy a rather expensive pair of glasses for $150 (got the computer screen anti-glare and scratch resistant lenses) which so far have lasted me two years. And I don't have to spend time "training" my brain.

Or you could do what my wife does, buy 5 packs of "readers" at Costco and leave them all around the house.

This is a scam to separate vain people from their money.

Original Mike said...

Is there some trick to seeing the comments? I can't find them.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Original Mike

There is a tiny box on the right shaped like a cartoon speech box that says something like "join the conversation."

wendybar said...

I don't need to go to a doctor for that. I go through phases. Sometimes I need reading glasses. (a "1") and will use them for a few months....and then suddenly...I can see again, and have better than 20/20 vision. This has happened on and off since the early 80's when I had my appendix out, and had a spinal for the anesthesia After you have a spinal, you are supposed to lay flat for at least 24 hours. They propped me up. I had double vision for a couple of months after...and now this! It's crazy!

Original Mike said...

Thanks for answering, Ron. I don't see one. I'm on an iPad. I've never been able to find the NYT comments on this device. I'm either blind or they aren't available to me.

Original Mike said...

Now I'm on a desktop computer and I still don't get a "Join the conversation" box.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It says "66 comments" right now and is on the right side of the 2nd to last paragraph.

Original Mike said...

Boy, on both my devices there's nothing but white space to the right of the second to the last paragraph (or any other paragraph).

I've never been able to see NYT comments and don't know why.

DKWalser said...

@Original Mike -- Perhaps the NYT has you on its ignore setting.

Original Mike said...

I think that's the case, DK.

traditionalguy said...

Cataracts are more than a River going over falls. Big Print is the older folks best friend , but as we aged the Computers did not take us paperless. They took us to microscopic print.

John Borell said...

Low hanging fruit I can see even with my 47 year old Presbyopia afflicted eyes:

Fake Science!

I suggest a new tag, "Fake Science".

Infinite Monkeys said...

NYT articles work better when the target doesn't realize what it is that the author is trying to sell them.

Rob said...

If looking at a Gabor patch could cure poor vision, Conrad Hilton wouldn't have needed glasses.

TWW said...

In the last two years, I have had cataract surgery in both eyes. In one eye, I have a bifocal lens. In the other, a trifocal. I am 68 and can see perfectly at any range, day or night. I can read without glasses...even the very fine print.

Jay Elink said...

I've had cataract surgery in both eyes, and the results were miraculous.

But even though one new lens was made deliberately 20/30 so I could have some reading ability [the other is 20/20], that eye now has a big cloudy floater that sweeps across my vision like a windshield wiper and fuzzes things up a bit. So I need reading glasses, as does my wife.

We have so many cheaters scattered around our house that we wind up stomping on a few every year.

When I do, I feel like Sideshow Bob stepping on all those rakes.

clint said...

This was his mistake: "I would expect more scientific rigor for an article published in the NYT..."


In High School, I *loved* the Science Times -- the section the NYT published once a week full of interesting science stories.

In College, I studied physics. By the time I was working on my PhD, the Science Times had become painfully unreadable. And it wasn't the NYT that had changed.

YoungHegelian said...

Since it's the end of March, my NYT freebies are over the limit & so I cannot read the article. Please forgive me if what I say is discussed there.

I remember hearing about stuff like this back in the late 70's. I think it goes back to Aldous Huxley's Art of Seeing.

Michael K said...

go outside and use your eye muscles focusing on things near and far. That helps.

There are some interesting studies suggesting this may be related to myopia.

In Singapore, 70% of 17 year olds are myopic, severely so.

In Australia, the percentage of ethnic Chinese teenagers myopic is less than half that. It is not pure genetics.

The difference ? Chinese kids in Australia spend more time outdoors.

In China, it is such a concern that the government has been trying to get parents to allow more outdoor play but they resist because of school competition. Now, in China they are building classrooms with translucent walls to allow more sunlight inside.

It may be that the theory is wrong and focusing on far and near objects is more important.

FullMoon said...

YoungHegelian said...

Since it's the end of March, my NYT freebies are over the limit & so I cannot read the article. Please forgive me if what I say is discussed there.


Clear NYT or New York Times cookies or similar, and your freebies start anew.

wildswan said...

Original Mike
The Comment part is at the top of the NYT article and called some other name.

I got 100 watt LED light bulbs when I had trouble seeing edges of small print when I was reading. The brilliant LED bulbs they have now are very helpful as flashlights too and flashlights are are needed for reading the extremely tiny directions where you can only read the first word in normal light and that word in "Dangerous." These directions usually explain important points such as do not pour water over the plugged-in electrical devices, do not put your head in the dry cleaning bag, do not put Gorilla glue on with your fingers, do not put Cuisinart blades into the dishpan full of soap where you can't see them, do not chow down Gummi vitamins. But you never know when there will be some hidden innovation.

CFL bulbs, for instance, are a mercury hazard. The tiny print explains the simple steps for handling the HazMat crisis this mercury presents if one breaks. Immediately: open a window, turn off the heat, evacuate the house, pick up the pieces with duct tape, seal them in jar, put everything - gloves, jar, duct tape, self? - outside in a sealed location until someone can drive the whole mess to an authorized HazMat disposal site, wait four hours for the air to clear. (So glad the EPA made us get rid of regular bulbs.)

So to be ready for new hazards caused by gov regs, you have to read all those warnings in fine print, which means you need brilliant flashlights spotted about the place.

Kindle is good, too, since you can enlarge the print. That way you can avoid needing glasses or becoming the prey of a charlatan promoted by the NYT.

Original Mike said...

Thanks wildswan.

The comment do-hickey really does not show up on my iPad, my home desktop, nor my laptop. It does show up on my desktop at work

Computers. Hate 'em.

roesch/voltaire said...

I have used the Bates Method for years and do not need my glasses to read this blog or reasonable sized fonts. Just remember to look out the window and take a deep breathe after reading this or any other material.

JackOfClubs said...

Ron Winkleheimer said...
Even if it worked, so what? As mentioned in the article, the software is expensive and they want you to pay $60 a month for "maintenance." So an initial $300 and then $720 a year for the rest of your life.
3/28/17, 9:25 AM


I think you misread the fee. It is an initial $25 for three month setup (not sure where you got $300) then $60 per YEAR (not month) for maintenance. Still seems like a lot for something of dubious effectiveness, but, if it works, much less than buying prescription glasses.

I usually take the Walmart/Costco route that you recommend.

Peter said...

The NYT may be (is) deficient (malignant?) in many ways, but since when have daily newspapers provided credible coverage of science?

Aren't journalists the ones who took "math for liberal arts majors" (if they took any math at all), and thus are not people one would expect to understand even the most basic of statistics, who can't or won't understand the difference between "advocacy studies" and real research, whose idea of science is "science says" (because the really bright people say so)? If political reporting were as bad as science reporting you'd regularly see journalists confuse Moscow, Kansas with Moscow, Russia.

So, yes, this article is little more than an advertorial for a dubious product, but, when was it ever better? How many journalists do you think really understand why we can't all be above average, or why satellites don't fall down, or have a clue as to what happens when they click on a link an a Website appears on the device's screen?

RigelDog said...

I can read small print pretty well, but when I have used weak reading glasses for truly tiny print, it sort of paralyzes my eye muscles or lenses. I need a few minutesl after I take them off to be able to focus on normal distances again...a sort of reverse example of the "look up, look around, focus on many different distances" advice to strengthen eyes. Since using reading glasses temporarily cripples my normal vision, I can't imagine using them regularly.

Sarah Rolph said...

The top-rated comment right now is about a financial interest on the part of the researcher cited. Obviously you're referring to something else. Macular degeneration? Spots?