Here is a meaningful dialogue
----- Original Message -----
From: Otis Brown
Cc: Joy Benson ; Keith W Benson
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 3:38 AM
Subject: The important person is your daughter.
SL: I have read through the issue NEARSIGHTED CHILDREN CAN BE CURED
(from PREVENTION MAGAZINE, The December 1973) you made 20 years ago.
Such issue has come into my mind several months ago about myopia prevention.
SL: However, I figure out that the kind of issue could be sent to
medical profession for evaluation eventually.
OB: We did everything in our power to gently talk about helping
pilots (who would have the most motivation) in this effort.
We were turned down cold, first by the medical department,
and secondly, we were turned down by the leadership of the
U.S. Naval Academy. (They did not want a "medical experiment"
conducted). Under those circumstances, a solution
is not possible. (But the reasons were all political, and not
because of a careful review of the explicit experimental
SL: I realize they will not all be interested at prevention.
OB: Partially true. They realize that the public will
not listen to ANY approach that does not create instantly
sharp vision. It is a pity that the public does this. The
only issue is that they should understand the consequences of
doing it -- rejecting a discussion of the "preventive"
SL: What about the optical and lasik industries? They are waiting for high myopia.
OB: And I agree with you. There is nothing you can do -- except
for your daughter when she gets older.
SL: Besides, there is no strict restriction in ordinary
occupation for myopes. Some might feel glasess are symbol of intellectual.
OB: Absolutely correct. Until you know the quality of a person's
mind and his motivation, there is nothing you can do. This
is not your fault, and not my fault -- it is just the
grinding tradition of the last 400 years.
SL: I rather prefer change the public to the professional in the
long-run. Perhaps, it could be wise to educate and to change
the public as Mr. James Arthur did.
OB: Again yes, but the lack of motivation remains. Until the
person is highly (internally) motivated, a true solution
(life-time) will be almost impossible.
SL: My daughter is at the age 3 and prepares to enter kindergarten
in coming summer. As Joy mentioned, it is wise to have
several pairs of reading glasses for different range of
OB: Your daughter is wise to have a father who is going to devote
his life to helping her.
SL: Progressive (lens) is totally unsuitable for kid below the
age of 12. I have prepared 3 pairs of glasses for her range
at + 1.50 , + 3.00 and even +4.00 with prism based in. You
should notice kids read and write at 6 to 8 inches.
OB: Yes, I have read at 6 inches (-6 diopters) as a kid. When I
asked my ophthalmologist if this was having an effect on my
focal state he informed me that it did not -- so I continued
to read at 6 inches. Long afterward I found out that he had NO
justification in the direct experimental data to support his
statement. I am a victim of this casual disrespect for the
experimental data. I am now -7 diopters nearsighted and he
long-since passed away. It would be better if I had made the
choice at the -1/2 diopter level -- that way I could hold
myself directly responsible for making the "wrong" decision.
SL: My objective is to prevent my child from falling into myopia.
OB: Your should inform the parents of children at the -1/2
diopter level of nearsightedness as to how fundamental the choice is that they
will be making, and the long-term consequences of that
choice. Once they chose the minus-lens approach, then there
would be no further need to make any further overtures to
them about the use of a plus lens for prevention.
SL: In HK, the heavy burden of homework and confined living
environment are the major causes of myopia. I have seen a
boy age 8 who spent more than 3 hours in nearwork daily developed
myopia -3.00D at his first eye examination.
OB: Steve, this statement describes both of us when we were
SL: Most of the parents don't see the desperate need of vision
preservation even at the threshold of -0.50 because there is
no complaint from their child at class.
OB: Yes, but when the child is older, he should complain bitterly
about not being offered the proper use of a plus lens. If he
and his parents turn the method down, then they accept full
responsibility for the consequences.
SL: I hope someday in the future, my daughter's classmate and
their parents will realize and admire on her perfect
OB: Perhaps. Joy's roommate in college asked her what she was
doing with the plus lens. (Her roommate was seriously
nearsighted.) When Joy explained, the roommate said, "Gee, I
wish I could have had the opportunity that you had."
SL: Thanks to your magazine 30 years ago, I have forward it to
those educated and motivated parents for the own good of
their children. I will forward some more of our emails to
initiate their motivation.
OB: I hope that it has some effect. But as long as it is clear
to them at the -1/2 diopter level, and they are willing to
accept the consequences of using the minus lens, then the
issues will work themselves out. It is always hard to accept
a new ideal, and supportive concept.
OB: As you know, I have great respect for Dr. Jacob Raphaelson.
After talking with him, and reading his books, I realized that the
he had an "impossible" problem, caused by us (the public).
OB: It is clear that my respect for Jacob is transferred to you -- and the
real problem is "us". Until we are willing to use the plus lens properly
at the -1/2 diopter level, the problem (myopia explosion) will continue and can only get
(note: Keung is Mr. Cheung Wai keung)
----- Original Message -----
From: Otis Brown
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2002 3:05 AM
Subject: Thanks for taking the first step.
From: "Lawson's_optom_ltd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Otis Brown" <email@example.com>
Re: Paper on myopia prevention from 30 years ago---response
I am glad you are getting a response, and a recognition that there
is a better (but more difficult) method of dealing with the problem
SL: Here is a response I got from one of my patient,
SL: I felt sorrow for I had not done the proper use of plus lens
when Keung and his children came to my office few years ago.
OB: I am the first person to admit that it is not easy to use the
plus lens properly. Until the person (patient) is
understanding of what you are doing -- the effort will be
difficult. But at least Keung understands that truth.
SL: Anyway, he and his children wearing the plus lens for reading
right now and report a bit of improvement.
OB: Yes -- the first step on a new road.
SL: He pointed out the matter of concept, I suggested it is the
basic concept for the dean of optometry and ophthalmology for
good vision of the human races.
OB: From the letter of Maurice Brummer, it is clear that the
"dean of optometry" does not want to listen to new ideas, and
methods to implement them systematically. This is not my
fault, and it is not your fault.
OB: I would explain to the patient that you can use either a
minus lens or a plus lens when they are at level of
-1/2 D or so myopia -- but they must make the choice.
If they decide to use the plus lens, then they must
help with the effort.
If the child's vision is cleared to
20/20 (focal state of zero) the child must continue using the
plus lens until her focal state is +1.0 diopters. (i.e., she
can read the 20/40 or 20/30 line through a plus lens. This
means that the child will have 20/20 vision, but will be
wearing plus-lens glasses. If the parents understand the
need for building up "hyperopic reserve" then, in the
long-run, they and you will have defeated the problem of
OB: I, however, do not know how you would explain this to the
average parent -- since they do not want their child wearing
glasses when the child can read the eye chart. Only a parent
who is VERY UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTIVE, will be willing to
help with this major effort. This is the real goal of PREVENTION.
OB: I think you are courageous to take this first step for better
long-term vision for the children you work with.