I think this one was one of the best out of those Jake had as a guest in other people’s podcasts. The interviewer might not be familiar with myopia’s technical aspects (few people really are), but the interesting thing is that he is part of the intended audience for EM. Most of the other interviewers have never had a problem with eyesight, they started noticing some ciliary spasm and presbyopia in their old age working with screens and that’s about it; they cannot relate to the infernal trip down the myopia road, the headaches, the helplessness, the “you’re a genetic failure”, … This man has at least got the intuition to ditch the glasses to stabilize his eyesight, he found Bates, that’s like a lot of people on here before they found EM (and better than some like myself). So this episode was very engaging to listen to, because here was a guy discovering something that is relevant to him, not just any podcaster with perfect eyesight who’re just listening, scratching their chins and musing on the parallels with other areas in which the mainstream health care system has failed people and exacerbated their symptoms.
I loved how he latched onto the term “Strain Awareness”, I think that’s pretty neat too. I personally like to speak of “Eye Literacy”; a term I derive from the more common concept of “Body Literacy”. Basically the point is that I was not unaware of the symptoms of strain, I simply lacked the literacy to recognize them as such. Now that I can ‘read’ my eyes better, I know that eye strain sometimes manifests in itchiness, burning, headaches, unwillingness of the eye to focus (just goes like blank stare at nowhere in particular), increased ghosting, increased blur, tight feeling along the sides of the eyes, etc. I do remember feeling those before and pushing through because I had no concept of eye care at the time.
Learning to read one’s own body is so helpful in order to know the meaning of different types of pain (and that’s really what people mean by “listen to your body”, it’s “learn to decipher its signals” rather).
A good example of that is “headaches”; whenever someone asks about the reason they might have headaches, especially on the EM group/channels, I’m like man I don’t know, what is this headache even like. You get the throbbing hormonal headache, the bad posture headache (usually the one that starts in the morning), the too much focus headache, the too strong glasses headache, the sinus headache, the congested liver headache, the low blood pressure headache … None of these feel the same, and if we don’t have the language to describe how different they feel, there is no way for anyone to find out if they’re supposed to get a massage, a glass of water, a pill, or just to get their glasses changed. So I’m all for recognizing symptoms and having language in our heads to define them and associate them with strain or any sort of issue.
Also on the subject of “people don’t care about their eyesight”, I tend to be more optimistic, like this guy. I mean, yes, “improving” for people whose eyesight has wasted away a pair of thick glasses at a time is… a sensitive subject indeed. However, most people want to improve and if they don’t want to improve, they at least want to stop getting worse (glasses are not cheap anyway). So it’s true that people who’ll feel the most motivated by those news are those low myopes who have not accepted that they have to wear glasses yet. But stopping myopia progression is so simple that we’ve started taking it for granted here at EM, and the truth is I think that 90% of myopes would be extremely interested in hearing about wearing reduced strength glasses to keep your eyesight from getting worse without compromising the quality of your life. My mother who for the longest time believed the mainstream is not very motivated to improve because “I’m old and I like glasses” but that lets me nag her all the time to start wearing differentials because this is not about improving, it’s just about not getting worse. I spent some time since discovering EM not having the time or energy to do the right things and troubleshoot. So yes, I did not improve, but I hardly dare to imagine where my eyesight would be if I had not read the seven days email course in 2018 and stopped my eyesight from getting worse; my starting point kept stable and waiting for me to be ready to reverse it. I was not immune to the “If only I’d known about that earlier” effect, there’s no age for that (especially not after having cylinders twisting your eyes in unbelievable ways), but was I grateful for discovering EndMyopia? A million times yes.