Not the Ducks! – Oculus Reparo

I once asked readers what the most common genetic disorder is. A few got it right (Myopia) but you wouldn’t think there was any sort of quackery associated with glasses would you? After all glasses work. You would be wrong.

A new study states that injuries related to wearing glasses could have sent as many as 27,000 people to emergency rooms in 2002 and 2003. Over1,000 of these cases required further hospital treatment.

How much money do you want to bet that wearing glasses had nothing to do with these injuries but merely compounded them.

Falls, Sports Injuries, Eyeball Injuries The types of injury varied by age. Those over 65 were more likely to be injured by their glasses in a fall, while children 17 and younger were more likely to have sports-related eyeglass injuries. Injuries to the eyeball were most common in people aged 18 to 64.

Er… this isn’t the fall of the glasses. This is the fault of falls and indeed getting hit in the face with something fast moving and hard. Did you know that if you get into a fight you too could get hurt by wearing glasses?

It’s not a disguise! It’s health and safety!

A Leading Cause of Blindness 96 million people in the United States wear prescription glasses. Eye injuries are one of the leading causes of blindness.

I like how Mercola implies but doesn’t explicitly state that the glasses are responsible for blindness. Close to 300 million people in the USA wear underwear, genital injuries are a major cause of sterility. SAY NO MORE! *Wink “Wink* You know as opposed to not wearing glasses. So I actually got his link to his giant article… And man it’s a beast. It’s a gish gallop and a half. And it’s batshit insane and the worst bit is I wasn’t linked this by people going “Look at this Silly Billy”. I got it while looking through medical advice sites. People have purchased this from Mercola. So without further adieu? Let’s look into the sordid and profitable world of ophthalmology… We will be following a different format because I am sure you don’t want to trawl through Mercola’s Solid Wall of Text and then My own Solid Wall of Text so I will just break down his topics directly. If you are a masochist you can go read both of our works side by side but then I would have to salute you while saying “Godspeed You Fancy Bastard!”. If you do wish to witness the true wankery of Mercola (who shills harder than Mike Adams) then read them side by side though. My rants may have little context.

Oculus Reparo – 20/20 Vision Without Glasses

You are a wizard Mercola! 1. 80% of our senses don’t come through sight. The visual axis may be our most important sense system but it’s not our only one and not the biggest. Touch is actually larger particularly when combined with spatial awareness and to call a sense individual is stupid. Our eyes are linked to our ears via the vestibular system which helps us in balance. It’s why when you have ear infections your vision may be affected. Or how sea sickness occurs. 2. Artificial and Unnatural Aids? Well last i heard most glasses are made out of metal and heated sand, that’s pretty natural. For someone so worried about unnatural things Mercola is awfully fond of computers.

For Eyes for 4 Eyes – Why Eyeglasses Actually Worsen Your Symptoms

Let’s start of with the brief blurb form some sort of an “ophthalmologist” on the right of the page. You know what? I am better at ophthalmology than this guy.

1. The Spinning Door Healthcare System is a term used to denigrate medicine because we get a lot of patients. Mainly because our stuff works while bullshit merchants such as these two quacks don’t get many patients. Thus they can spend time with their patients and pretend to be interested in things that are pointless and seem like they really CARE. They don’t. They just want your fucking money and the way they take it is by pretending to fucking care. We don’t get your money. We get paid whether you come see us or not. In fact in an ideal world we would go to a hospital with no patients and go watch daytime soaps and laugh at “TV Doctors” rather than treat you lot. In an ideal world my skills are unnecessary. Just this Once, Everybody Lives. In an ideal world that is.

2. Oh no! We want to put glasses on your face. It’s a gateway drug man! First we get you to wear glasses and then we hook you on the contacts and pretty soon you will let us fire lasers at your eyes.

3. Wait what? Glasses make your eyesight worse? No…. See this is again what I have said over and over. Our biology education in schools is “fucking terrible” irrespective of country. We need to seriously look at our syllabus and expand them. We are teaching stuff that’s sometimes 20 years old that we now take for granted. We need to move up and part of moving up is teaching our kids to recognise these quacks for what they are. Because people believe them and I cannot seriously believe that people believe these clowns. Without glasses my eyesight would heavily deteriorate. I would be effectively blind.

Mercola’s quackery would claim that the glasses did this to me. Not genetics. Yes as I said, the massive genetic component of Myopia effectively means that Myopia is the most Common Genetic Disorder in the world. It’s just that glasses are so cheap (I can seriously pick up a pair of glasses in under 24 hours that cost me £25 in the UK. They won’t be super fashionable but they will be functional. £25 is so cheap that anyone can afford that.) To understand what is wrong with this paragraph you need to realise that Mercola is exclusively preying on people who have no idea how the human eye works and how refractive errors occur (We can keep the most common cause of western blindness – Cataracts out of this until the appropriate part of this).

1. Myopia is a genetic disorder which causes the formation of oversized eyeballs. It causes an increase in the length of the eyeball.

2. To understand how the eyeworks we need to think of it in terms of a camera or a telescope. Light is focused through a series of lenses through an opening that controls intensity of light onto a photoreceptive “screen” which sends the data to a “computer” which interprets the data. Just like your digital camera.

3. Let us stretch the definition of “lens”. A lens in an eye is any part of the eye that is responsible for the refraction of light. The actual “Crystalline Lens” within our eye is not responsible for much refraction when compared to our cornea and the aqueous/vitreous humours of the eye. The lens’ main job is to focus the light onto the retina.

4. If the length of your eyeball is “long enough” the lens cannot physically focus light onto the retina. You have to remember it’s just a ring of muscle attached to a squishy transparent bag. If the range of focus is exceeded then you cannot physically improve it. What Mercola is offering is a physical impossibility. The ciliary muscles that hold the lens have a maximum and minimum setting evolved for an eyeball of a specific length. If the eye exceeds this range then the distant object is focused on the area in front of the eye. However you can still see near objects due to the eye’s accommodation (since the lens’s range covers nearer objects).

5. Visual anomalies are not a dynamic process. They are due to your eye suffering physical changes. Myopia is due to increased eyeball length, Hypermetropia is mainly due to age related loss of elasticity of the lens and astigmatism is due to spherical aberrations within the lens. These cannot be reversed. Mercola specifically doesn’t mention what the “eye affecting dynamic processes” are.

6. We understand visual discrepancies over the day with the human eye. We also understand that the eye chart (A Snellen’s Chart if you are a fancy pants) is a subjective test. Which is why we have a system that records precise powers of the eye. It’s called a keratometer and it measures the curvature of your cornea (in Dioptres) and can automatically work out what power level of glasses you require. HOWEVER you can also do so with the fine art of lens matching and most doctors do both because the human can fine tune for fit of glasses. It also helps detect other issues early.

7. We also understand subjectivity of vision, which is why we remove subjectivity of vision by the usage of a mydriatic (like atropine’s family) to dilate the pupil so light subjectivity is eliminated. It’s the eye drops we put into your eyes when you go for an exam by a doctor and not the optometrist.

8. The Snellen’s Chart for Children isn’t about reading the letters but telling us what the direction of the E is or an arrow. I work in India, there are people who have sat down in the chair and gone “Nope! Can’t Read Anything” but don’t need glasses. Can you think why?

9. The way to eliminate the minute to minute variations in quality of vision includes re-reading of the chart under a variety of lenses and asking the subjective question “Is this better than this lens” (remember the patient is blind answering. He doesn’t know what lens is being used and while he can lie it’s only his vision that’s harmed. In fact the automated system doesn’t even require your response. It notes the response from your eye anyways).

10. The second thing to note is that you shouldn’t REPEAT the Snellen Test because particularly younger patients will show a marked improvement (Think why that is. What do young children see the test as?) and it’s actually pretty hard to fit younger patients with lenses because of habit. So to test your Ophthalmology Powerz I have asked two questions about human behaviour of children that would alter the result. Give it a whirl. Answers in the Comments.

Eyeglasses Do Not Compensate For Variable Vision

Of Course not. Remember I said that the crystalline lens in your eye is responsible for fine tuning your vision and therefore “variable vision” (Dear Mercola. We would Take You More Seriously If You Used Real Terminology. The word you are flailing around for is “accommodation”.). The glasses merely refract the light in such that the light at distance vision is focused on the retina. A little note on reading a Snellen’s Chart. A ophthalmologist’s chair is sited a specific distance away from a mirror. That distance is 3 metres (or 10 feet). The source of the Snellen’s Chart is then placed over the chair. Therefore the total distance from the chart to you (the patient) is 6 metres (or if you are one of those filthy imperial scum, 20 feet). This is what the numerator is on an Visual Acuity test. 6/6 = 20/20 vision and means that you can see at 6 metres an object that should be seen at 6 meters  A value of 6/9 means you can see an object that should be seen at 9 metres at 6 metres and so on. Myopia increases with age in children because the eye grows.

However a person with 20/70 vision will not progress to 20/200 in a week. That’s highly impossible unless you are a cartoon character. Your eyes cannot grow that fast.

1. When you break your glasses you find that you get used to not having them. Your behaviour changes to reduce the impact of vision.

2. One of the reasons glasses were associated with books was that myopia discourages play and encourages reading if untreated at an early stage. This can result in permanent changes to behaviour. We traditionally associated glasses with poor physical ability and “Nerds”. We don’t do it as much these days because we invented auto-keratometers and auto-focus ocular systems which detect myopia even in infants allowing us to correct vision at an early state and prevent the “original bias of poor vision”.


3. If your honest gripe about glasses is “It’s difficult to clean” then you are lazy. That’s like suggesting you should not wear clothes because you have to do laundry. And you shouldn’t buy a car either lest you misplace your keys.

4. Yes, the cost of glasses is prohibitive for some people. However? The world is not the USA. This is a problem of the US Health System, in most of the first world we get subsidised glasses for minuscule prices. £25 is the CHEAPEST pair of glasses in the UK. I have seen people drop more on a Friday Night. It’s not expensive in the slightesst.

5. Glasses may be unnatural but so are shoes. However you have to agree that both are excellent at their jobs. Now you may chose to kick off your hush puppies but

6. If people are mocking you for using “reading glasses” then I suggest you extend your index finger and middle finger on both hands, then gesticulate with the palms facing your self. This is called “Flicking The Vs” and is a handy gesture for indicating your healthy contempt and opinion with regards to individuals mocking you for being so fashion unconscious that you dare wear spectacles.

7. The biggest cause of animal deaths in Australia are Sheep and Cows. Cows kill More People in Australia than Sharks. People hurting themselves with their glasses are often suffering from a serious case of bad luck. Or more than likely are injured because of a different cause (Like being hit in the face while wearing glasses).

Your Kids Don’t Need Glasses

The differential diagnosis for autistic like behaviour is Myopia. Children who are myopic are quieter (Because they need to hear a lot to make sense of the world), play with specific toys (that they are familiar with), don’t like playing with other children or have greater stranger anxiety and like to read. In addition they are less likely to play physically because they have to take more precautions to protect themselves.

Your kids need glasses. Otherwise you will damage their development through the deprivation of senses.

Using Hunter Gatherers as an example for having no myopics is to forget that it’s a genetic disease and selected against in a hunter gatherer society. By which I mean you “die”.

And this program doesn’t work well with children. This program just repeatedly tests kids daily with the same Snellen chart. Eventually the child will get the chart right entirely through guess work resulting in perfect vision. This is genuinely dangerous quackery, it will throw your child’s development under a bus. The entire thing works on a system of confirmation bias where your child merely does the test better but doesn’t improve vision.

Avoid Wasting Your Hard-earned Cash on Contacts

Don’t. If you want to wear contacts wear them. If you cannot wear them for various reasons then do not wear them. Do not take advice about the usage of lenses from anyone but your trained ophthalmologist/metrist. Contacts are actually “better” for some visual groups. I actually get a massive improvement in my visual acuity because glasses cut my field of vision. Contacts do not. In addition? I can use a variety of things like sunglasses (more on those later) and safety glasses while I would have to fit a safety mask to use my glasses instead.

1. A proper optometrist or ophthalmologist will measure your eyes and order contacts that fit them the closest. If you purchase your lenses yourself then you may not get the best fit. If you cannot care for your lenses then it’s not the lenses fault, it’s yours. Buy singles or don’t use the lenses.

2. You can irritate the cornea or cause infections. Which is why you need to keep the lenses clean and use them for their allotted safe time. Don’t sleep in them and so on.

3. Your lenses dry out your eyes if you don’t blink often enough. The solution is simple. And irritants are going to get into your eye anyways irrespective of contact lenses. It’s just that when you wear a contact lens the irritation is “more” because the contact lens is shifted about by the tear film and treated like a foreign body.

4. It won’t distort the shape of your cornea unless you have issues with tear drainage and if you do have issues with tear drainage they wouldn’t allow you to purchase lenses. Basically? More scaremongering of a system of care that improves vision markedly especially for people with high lens powers.

Warning:LASIK May Cause You MORE Problems than Improvement

LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure where a flap is cut into the cornea and the underlying tissue is abraded using a specific laser to shape it. The flap is then reattached and the resulting change to the power of the cornea compensates for vision loss. This isn’t “perfect” but can drop high dioptre vision to low ones or eliminate glasses all together. It’s entirely computerised surgery and incredibly accurate and fast.

The problem is the long term perspective. It’s naysayers say that there is no long term analysis (20 years is clearly insufficient…). In another 10 years I am sure the naysayers would demand a 40 year review. The procedure is less invasive that a keratoplasty and that’s been done for more than 3 decades.

1. There is a notion of all or nothing. If you don’t get 20/20 vision it’s a bust. Never mind the massive improvement to vision.

2. You don’t get diminished vision after a few months for “reading” that’s indicative of a different issue such as hypermetropia.

3. According to Mercola it’s $2400… My glasses cost $150 and I need to change them yearly. I also need contact lenses to use sunglasses and for eye protection fitting protective glasses over your regular glasses is irritating and if they shift it’s impossible to fit them properly together without ungloving. My total cost $250 a year for eye care products. So if I pay 10 years worth of money I would spend on eye care, I don’t have to pay for anything more expensive than reading glasses which you can even purchase from a bookstore if you know your prescription.

4. LASIK can cause you to lose BEST vision. Your range of vision may decrease but your overall vision may improve. You can get glare, halos, diplopia and dry eyes. However? Doing the procedure is a informed risk. Eating a cake can result in you choking and dying, doesn’t mean you never would eat one.

What About Eye Muscle Exercises?

Don’t work. Remember how vision loss works. Your 6 eye muscles are responsible for the movement of your eyes and have no effect on your visual acuity. To flog such a concept is to demonstrate the depths to which Mercola will either trade the veracity and sanctity of the art of Medicine or demonstrate the abject lack of knowledge of basic human anatomy.

Why Making Sound Dietary and Emotional Choices are Key Vision Enhancers

Not one piece of advice here about Vitamin A… The most important vitamin for vision. I mean it’s the most important vitamin for vision and the lack of vitamin A has resulted in some of the biggest causes of preventable blindness out there (Xeropthalmia).

And don’t eat raw egg yolks. Your Serum Cholesterol will spike and you will put yourself at increased risk of heart attacks.

The terrifying thing about this article is it acknowledges the dangers of poor vision but then tells people to throw their glasses away.

The Two Words that Helped Improve My Vision

The Bates Method.

In 1983 was subject to a clinical trial in India where it produced ABSOLUTELY no improvements to vision. There was not even a placebo effect improvement to vision. The “fake” Bates method actually had the same effect of “allegedly reducing eye strain” demonstrating that the feeling gained from doing this procedure was purely placebo.

It didn’t even improve the vision of the children tested and it was halted because it was clear that these children need glasses and that Dr. Bates (and Mercola) are quacks.

The Bates method for example suggests “Sungazing” as healthy. It’s precisely what you think it is. Bates thought that the sun was healthy and that a healthy human can stare at the sun.

This is how stupid it is

And that’s what Mercola is flogging to people who may do it to their children.

Avoid Sunglasses Like the Plague

This is terrible advice on a phenomenal level.

If there is one thing you take from my giant wall of text it is this. Wear Goddamn Sunglasses. The Price of Sunglasses Isn’t an Indicator of How Good They Are. In fact some really cheap sunglasses beat designer ones for protection.

1. There aren’t 1500 wavelengths of light needed to nourish your eyes. Wavelength doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. And Ultraviolent light and Infra Red light is entirely capable of damaging your eyes. Which is why welders wear masks and why you should wear sunglasses.

2. What? Fuck No. If you subject your eyes to Infra-Red light you can get heat cataracts. Say goodbye to ALL your vision. Ultraviolet light? Apart from causing melanomas to your skin it also causes cataract, pingecula and pterygium to your eye. You can delay the formation of cataracts by using (sensible) sunglasses when you go out. That’s right, you can wear your aviators and feel like a total badass because you are fighting cataracts.

Mercola’s advice is plain stupid and causes increased vision loss. Pingecula and Pterygium requires surgery and can require a corneal transplant. It’s that level of “stupid advice”. And it’s dangerous advice since Mercola portrays himself as a doctor. There are people who believe this. There are people destroying their children’s eyesights. I mean look at FTB alone.

PZ Myers, Me, Jason, Greta Christina… We all wear glasses (I am not sure about others). We know for a fact that these things aren’t aimed at people with glasses but at parents who fear for their child’s eyesight. There is an entire section dedicated to terrifying parents out of buying glasses for their kids.

If you are an adult buy into this then you will quickly learn not to spend your money on Mercola (And Mercola himself writes a little disclaimer stating that “This Course May Not Be For Yout!). He has used words indicating that failure of the course to work is not due to the limitations of the method but due to the weakness of the user. The cure is always over the next hill.

If you choose to upgrade your order, you will receive this highly-detailed 521-page softbound book that is considered the “modern bible” of natural vision correction. This manual by Bates Method master instructor Thomas Quackenbush will be mailed to your home.

I leave you with this lovely notion that for $184 you can receive a set of instructions on defeating the dastardly big ophthalmology complex and the evil doctors that crew it.

And that it’s written by a man whose very name contains a description of what he is. Quack.


  1. lorn says

    A couple of minor points:

    Most eye glasses are made of plastic. But for a lack of side shields most modern glasses meet the requirements for industrial safety glasses. Plastic lenses are thinner, lighter, and way tougher than the old glass lenses. and they appropriately dominate the market. One of the main objections to early plastic lenses was that they were relatively soft and scratched easily. Not so much any more. The lens material has been made harder and it is usually covered with a scratch resistant coating.

    Second, the cost of glasses in often significantly less than your quite reasonable estimate. Most states require an optometrist to give you your prescription so you can shop around for the glasses. I have had luck ordering glasses from an Indian outfit called Zenni optical which sells basic frames and common lenses for less than $10. The optics are high quality even without considering the price. Of course anti-reflective coating and more stylish frames cost more but I keep a few pairs of the cheapest, expendable, pairs for working in the yard and tougher jobs on construction sites. At those prices I can afford to have a pair in my toolbox, a pair in my truck, a pair with all the optical amenities for reading at my desk, and a fancy dress pair for going out in addition to a couple of every-day pairs.

    I hear that there are other discount eyeglass providers that are just as good but I’ve never tried them. And no, I don’t have any connection to Zenni other than being generally pleased with their product.

    As for eye glasses causing injuries? Mercola is full of crap. Granted that in certain falls and accidents glasses with smaller lenses can get pushed into the eyes. For the most part modern plastic lenses don’t shatter. Some newer lenses are so tough that they would stop a bullet from a .22 without shattering. In terms of accidents being able to see clearly tends to allow most people to avoid falls and accidents. The ability to avoid bodily harm from a fall is greater than the slight chance your glasses might increase the harm.

    Fact is that I wouldn’t be able to see now if it wasn’t for my glasses. A common accident during Cad-welding heavy copper ground cables caused a mold full of molten copper to explode. The white-hot copper spray melted into the plastic lenses and one large droplet almost made it through the left lens before solidifying. I ended up with a bunch of small burns on the left side of my face and my heavy flannel shirt had so many holes looks like it was attacked with a shotgun.

    Nobody thinks it can happen to them so I keep the shirt and glasses for safety lectures. I’m mighty glad I had them on.

  2. Acolyte of Sagan says

    £25 is the CHEAPEST pair of glasses in the UK.

    As it happens, if somebody in the UK just needs reading glasses and knows the strength of magnification required (x1.0, x1.5, x2.0, etc), they can pop along to their nearest Poundland or everythingapound shop and buy a pair off the shelf for the miniscule cost of….well, I’ll let you work the price out for yourself.

  3. says

    Lorn – I am talking about glasses for adults. For under 18s you get one pair of glasses a year for free. Same for OAPs and the disabled.

    Sagan – I was discussing glasses for myopia which are harder to make and more customised.

  4. MaryL says

    I’ve worn glasses since I was 10 (I’m 56). I now wear trifocals. Additionally, my eyes don’t focus at the same time and the lenses correct that too. Right, I literally need them to live. It would be great if we could simply and surgically correct all eye problems. Until that happens, at least we know how to fashion glass or plastic so people CAN see clearly. My glasses are easily and cheaply maintained. (My lenses are plastic.) I wish they weren’t as expensive as they are but damn! I can see! I save some money by chosing discontinued frames that are on sale. I do prefer large frames – a larger portion of my visual field is corrected with them.

    Since glasses correct my vision, my major concern is eye health. I happily have that checked yearly. And for protection, I wear sunglasses that fit over and around my glasses w/o touching the lenses. The sunglass temples are wide and block what I’ll call ‘side glare’. I don’t give a damn what I look like in them or what anyone else thinks about them. They protect my eyes and I can comfortably see in sunlight.

    Added it, it could all be much worse.

  5. lochaber says

    I get that myopia is genetic, but aren’t there eye/vision disorders that are correctable? (I’m not trying to encourage quackery).

    I’m curious cause when I was around 10 or so, one of the regular school tests (US) came up with me requiring glasses. Went on to see an actual ophthalmologist who also decided I needed to get glasses. I can’t remember much about it at the time, but my parents decided not to.

    In my teens/twenties, when I got my vision tested, I was told it was 20/10. Last test I believe was 20/15. I have no problem with visual acuity (do have some color perception issues, but that’s not something glasses can help with).

    I don’t remember much about what actually happened in regards with those tests, it was a long time ago. However, I’m curious if there was some other issue that was correctable, or maybe it was related to mismatched growth rates, and I grew out of it? faulty tests?

  6. lorn says

    Those $10 glasses are adult sizes. I’m not admitting to having a big head, but I doubt children’s sizes wouldn’t fit me.

  7. says

    Mercola. Up to old tricks, eh? I did a double take when I saw this tidbit

    1. There aren’t 1500 wavelengths of light needed to nourish your eyes. Wavelength doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. And Ultraviolent light and Infra Red light is entirely capable of damaging your eyes. Which is why welders wear masks and why you should wear sunglasses.

    Nourish the eyes? LOL, 1500 wavelengths? If you measure wavelength in picometers. there’s 1,000 different wavelengths per nm right there!

    I do want to differ with the statement about infra red being damaging. Not until it gets into microwave territory, AFAIK. Then it’s more than just your eyes you need to be worried about.

    And of course there is a growing number of injuries due to Lasik. There is a growing number of people getting it!

    One more, and then it’s time for bed. He says that glasses are a cause of accidental injuries. How many accidental injuries would happen if people were out driving and working machinery without glasses to see what they’re doing!? I mean, it doesn’t matter what Mercola tries to freak over, anything in the world causes some harm somewhere along the way. Your underwear analogy pretty much sums it up right there :)

  8. Rodney Nelson says

    I have severe myopia in my right eye and moderate myopia in my left eye. I couldn’t drive or do anything else requiring long distance vision without my glasses. I’ll live with the possibility of my glasses causing extra damage in falls and other accidents.

    Incidentally, when I was in the Army I was a much better pistol shot than a rifle shot, which is unusual. Being right handed the way I held a rifle meant I was sighting with my weak eye. Holding a pistol with both hands meant I could use either eye for sighting so I used my stronger left eye.

  9. Basil Grossman says

    Modern glasses are typically supported by pads on the bridge of the nose and by temple arms (sides) placed over the ears. CR-39 lenses are the most common plastic lenses due to their low weight, high scratch resistance, low dispersion, and low transparency to ultraviolet and infrared radiation.;;

    I’ll see you in a bit

  10. says

    However, there are additional conditions that
    can cause loss of sight. After creating a tiny incision called a flap inside the
    cornea, the mid-layer in the cornea named the stroma
    will appear. Before I knew it, these folks were sending me walking on
    with a set of two sunglasses.

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