Why do so many of us need glasses/contact lenses or whatever? Even although there are billions of humans on this planet, there is still a high proportion of us who need some form of correction for poor eyesight - from a young age and not just when getting older. Do you think that human beings have some kind of genetic weakness in relation to vision?
because we're able to correct it, our bad vision doesn't get culled genetically - so people aren't selecting for good vision and those with poor vision are surviving. It does mean that we have made ourselves weaker visually by being able to correct it.
Hi mega1 - I hadn't thought about the fact of, due to our correcting vision that we have made our sight weaker. A really interesting point!
This is a line Scientologists use but data on this shows that actually people not correcting have their vision deteriorate faster than those who are, due to extra strain and damage to the eyes constantly trying to bring things into focus.
Our eye's internal organs are back-to-front and are therefore more delicate than they should be. Intelligent design? I think not.
The reason for this? Probably because we evolved from a marine environment to the land.
This is really interesting, as you say we developed from a marine environment. However, if you look at other predators they have excellent eyesight, I'm assuming that as far as nature is concerned we are still a predatory species, and it goes without saying that vision is one of the essentials for this.
also, everyone knows that people who wear glasses are more intelligent - therefore intelligent people pick other intelligent people therefore more glasses! more weak eyes!
also, inbreeding - there's that!
becuz people who wear glasses only make passes at other people who wear glasses!
I didn't need glasses into my forties. Then (because of a lot going on, I stopped spending much time reading). When I started reading again a few months later, all of a sudden I needed glasses. I'm convinced that there's at least the chance (at least for some age-related reading problems) that if we don't keep exercising the eye muscles required for reading (and in the right light), maybe it's a "use it or lose it" type of thing (at least for middle-aged people.
As for explaining some of the other vision problems - I like mega1's theory.
Lisa, what happened to you is perfectly normal. After 40, it becomes more difficult to focus on objects up close because of presbyopia. This is the loss of focusing ability due to hardening of the lens inside your eye. As you continue to age presbyopia becomes more advanced.
I agree Disturbia, in nature most animals loose a significant percentage of their vital senses as they grow older. And obviously in the wilds that does have severe consequences for the animals concerned - I wonder if our ancestors had the same problem?
Lack of teeth or gross bodily injury probably got them before deficits in eyesight.
Hi psycheskinner - that's a good point! Not the same thing I know, but just for comparisons, the dogs that I have had as pets, many have developed arthritis long before their eyes were affected. I would imagine it could be the same in the wild.
Also, in past we probably didn't need acuity as much. Catching prey mainly required seeing movement, finding fruit is based more on color--and our ancestors weren't doing a lot of reading.
So your dogs sight was probably less than 20/20 much earlier than when it had a noticeable deficit in being able to get around.
That's very impossible and you've actually not only made a valid point but actually reminded me of something important - that as a dog owner of many years standing I should have remembered - and that is that the sense of smell is the strongest sense a dog has, followed by hearing. Sight is only the third sense and not used nearly as often or as effectively as the first two. Although my oldest dogs did loose some hearing, their sense of smell didn't seem to be too badly affected.
There is always variation, some people see better, hear better, run faster. And all these things deteriorate with age. This is just a deficit that can be easily corrected these days.
Hi psycheskinner - I take your point about everyone being different. But if you look around you Idon't think it's just a case of a small number of people needing to correct their vision, there does seem to be a lot of us humans that have poor vision - good for the opticians not so good for us! I wonder as well, if wearing glasses/lenses is actually that good for your eyes over a lengthy period of time? I think, personally speaking, it does make the eyes muscles lazy!
Just the other day someone (around 50) mentioned to me that if he leaves his glasses off his eyes tend to do better than when they get used to having the glasses on. With me (and I know originally, the OP wasn't talking about age-related reading glasses), it happened so suddenly. As l long as I was reading daily my eyes were the same as they'd always been. It was after stopping reading on a daily basis (and only really reading my mail when it came, and that was most often not "big reading" material) that I discovered when I went back to it everything was blurred. Maybe younger eye muscles don't "atrophy" (or whatever would describe the eye/brain connection) as quickly. The other thing I've always wondered about is a situation where the eyes aren't frequently re-adjusting between natural, outdoor, light and the different indoor lighting (and nights too). I'd think being in only a couple of types of lighting over a long period of time might mean lack of eye exercise too.
Hi Lisa, that's really interesting! I wonder then if the solution for many of us should be 'exercises' to strengthen the eye muscles rather than giving corrective lenses. When people opt for laser therapy for their eyes instead of having to wear glasses etc. I think it's the shape of the lens of the eye that the doctors are changing. This also perhaps points to the fact that it is the muscles in our eyes that are lacking more than anything else?
I wear contacts because I am near-sighted and also have a lazy eye. That left eye is to busy so I have to wear contacts! lolo!
The Bates method is the one that was famous for trying to strengthen eyes but it was discredited. I figured it was worth a shot but it was too full of 'feel-good' attitude advice mixed in and I stopped. It did make a difference doing the exercises though I didn't do them regularly or keep it up for long. (It was a library book). I talked to an eye doctor about exercises and pinhole glasses and he laughed it all off as nonsense (so there may be something to it!)
There may be truth in thinking we didn't need acuity as much before and we correct for it now when it wasn't previously necessary. Also it's likely true that genetically it's no longer such a survival issue AND it's correctible so it's not culled out. I hate having poor eyesight.
Hi TLMinut, I agree with you about hating poor eyesight! I detest spectacles and contacts are dam nuisance at times! If I was much younger - I'm 49 now - I would have gone for laser surgery, but it wasn't available way back in my swinging days.
I'm glad you mentioned about the eye exercises coming from a book. I was sure I had seen something similar many years ago, but couldn't remember what the book was or the author. They claimed that doing these exercises would end in not having to wear glasses at all. I was sceptical at the time and then I forgot all about the book, so I never got a chance to prove or disprove the book's claims.
'laughing it all of as nonsense' is the typical response by some 'experts' to things they feel are a threat to their knowledge and standing - I'm more impressed with experts who stand their ground and can dispute why such and such is nonsense by using their own experience and knowledge.
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