314. Your Eyes Aren't Broken & You Can Fix Them: Ending Myopia Naturally W/ Jake Steiner

Jake Steiner

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Jake Steiner gives us tactical advice for ending myopia and improving your eyesight.

20 years ago, Jake Steiner began a journey to reverse my -5.00 diopter myopia.  It took a great deal of experimenting and trial and error to apply theoretical concepts found in clinical journals and peer-reviewed studies, though he eventually managed to get back my natural 20/20 eyesight.

Over the years he cataloged the many tools, resources, and experiences that made my myopia recovery a reality. Now, he's on a mission to help end myopia forever.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

After living in extreme proximity to two cellular towers for three years, my health was damaged in a number of ways — and I thought my vision was going to be worse forever. But then I discovered Jake Steiner’s work, and for the first time, I saw hope in fixing my eyes.

20 years ago, Jake Steiner began a journey to reverse his -5.00 diopter myopia. It took a great deal of experimenting and trial and error to apply theoretical concepts found in clinical journals and peer-reviewed studies, but through that work, he managed to regain his natural 20/20 vision without any surgery. Now he’s on a mission to end myopia forever.

If you’re someone who suffers from myopia, this conversation is going to be vital for you. And if you have 20/20 vision, there will still be valuable information to protect your eye health and to share with others. You’re going to love this eye-opening conversation.

08:41 — Jake’s origin story

  • Jake started wearing glasses in his early teens, and he actually liked the rituals of wearing them.
  • His eyesight continued to get worse, and his glasses began to distort his face.
  • He started asking questions to optometrists in different countries and reading biology books
  • Now he’s returned to 20/20 eyesight with no vision correction
  • It is incredibly straightforward to reverse myopia
  • He started questioning optometrists telling him it was genetic: the problem seemed to have cropped up somewhat recently, and no one in his family wore glasses

14:07 — The premise of the Bates method and why vision exercises don’t work

  • Dr. William Bates had the idea that close-up vision was what caused vision problems
  • His solution was to relax the eyes and get out of close-up vision
  • It was effective in low myopia, but not when it’s already too far gone, and not when we are addicted to our smartphones
  • The invention of glasses was for monks
  • How it can help with pseudo-myopia
  • Visit scholar.google.com to view only peer-reviewed articles
  • Using pinhole glasses to train your vision
  • Is all myopia reversible?
  • The way our eyes adjust because of wearing glasses or looking at objects closely
  • Finding opportunities to use long-range vision

34:03 — Managing your life to support your eyesight

  • Dealing with an epidemic of device addiction
  • Avoid using your phone as much as possible
  • Taking breaks and getting outside often
  • Focusing on practicality as much as possible
  • People want the quick fix, not to reform their habits
  • How optometry is meeting the demands of the people
  • Non-native blue light and how blue light blockers stop you from changing your habits
  • Eyesight is related to so many things
  • A bad night of sleep or stress can hurt your eyesight as well

01:06:50 — Testing your own eyesight

  • You will begin to improve your eyesight as soon as you start measuring it yourself
  • Jake is developing an app to help you test it
  • The reason optometrists protect prescriptions
  • See an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist
  • The risk of impacting myopia from wearing glasses all the time

01:21:28 — Laser surgeries and what they do to the eye

01:36:30 — What you can start doing right now to improve your eyesight

  • The key is measuring your eyesight first
  • When you notice an improvement, you’ll realize you have the power to fix this
  • Wear two pairs of glasses for two different distances
  • Practicing active focus

02:02:18 — Where you can find Jake Steiner’s work

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:  I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Jake Steiner, we finally got you on the Life Stylist podcast. Dude, welcome.

[00:00:30]Jake Steiner:  Thank you. Thank you, Luke.

[00:00:32]Luke Storey:  Yeah. For those listening, I've known Jake online for two or three years now and we've tried to connect. And he is kind of a world traveler, and is in all these different countries in Asia, and hard to pin down. And now, because of the travel restrictions, he's, fortunately for him, stuck on a beautiful beach in Thailand. So, here we are, man. Welcome back.

[00:00:56]Jake Steiner:  Yeah, it's great to finally make it onto your podcast.

[00:00:59]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I'm stoked, dude. So, let's just start out. I mean, everyone listening would have heard the intro and know that we're going to be talking about myopia specifically and just how to correct your vision and dispelling some of the myths around vision problems in general, but perhaps start with your origin story of, how old were you when you started wearing glasses? What was that like? And what led you to start seeking alternative ways to get rid of your glasses?

[00:01:25]Jake Steiner:  Sure. So, I started wearing glasses in my early teens. I was growing up in Germany, and my parents were physicians. They sent me to the friend who was an optometrist. Optometrist said, I needed glasses. The kind of the regular story back in that time for a lot of kids. I enjoyed wearing glasses. I liked the ritual. I liked new frames. I liked going to the thing, to the place. I liked the attention as a kid. I liked going outside and seeing that much more clearly every time. 

[00:01:56] That continued on. It was pretty much every year or two thereabouts that we went back. And every time, I needed stronger glasses. That eventually stopped progressing when I stopped going to the optometrist as I was getting older. At some point, I was traveling. I was actually traveling, I was in Bangkok, it was a nighttime moment. I was calling for a taxi and they have the little lights, red and green lights, and I couldn't tell whether the red light was on or the green light was on with my glass at the time.

[00:02:29] So, I went to the optometrist there. They said, I need stronger glasses. At that point, my glasses were so thick, and even though I just told the story in the intro, I can tell it time and time again, because every time I think of just the thickness, was just like a real handicap. There are these really thin lenses that you can buy that are more expensive, but that kind of masks the problem. But if you just get regular lenses, they get really think. My eyes look tiny behind those lenses. Single guy with a—if you're watching this, you can see the already questionable face.

[00:03:04] Imagine this with tiny beady eyes on top of it. So, you're laughing, but I'm serious. It's just not any good. And then, I went off on this journey. I started asking questions to optometrists. I was traveling a lot. It was really interesting to ask optometrists in different countries. Like Russian optometrist, Italian optometrist versus American optometrist had very different answers to my questions. I started reading biology books, because back then, the internet wasn't what it is now, and eventually got back to the point, where now, I have 20/20 eyesight with no vision correction.

[00:03:42]Luke Storey:  Damn. I'm jealous, dude. And so, your eyes, if you're wearing these thick Coke-bottle glasses, like your vision was really jacked up, and to get back to 20/20 without doing any kind of surgery, or anything invasive, or dramatic like that, that's pretty crazy. I don't think many people even consider that to be a possibility, not the least of whom being professionals in the optometry field, right? 

[00:04:11]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. So, one thing, in hindsight, knowing what I know now, it is incredibly straightforward to reverse your myopia. It's basically just playing the tape in reverse of how your myopia increased, I'm putting it really simply, you just decrease it back the same way. I will readjust to the lower diopters and your vision will be fine. The problem with the professionals is they're professionals at selling lenses.

[00:04:41] That's what they're taught in school. And I'm not trying to be disparaging to optometrists, but basically is, they're taught how to measure your eyesight and sell your glasses. And the business model with their livelihood depends on, in most cases, selling glasses. So, they have a fundamentally, completely different outlook. They're not trying to fix your eyes. They're trying to address the immediate problem.

[00:05:06]Luke Storey:  And so, what was some of the first information that you uncovered and started to try out? Was there a period of trial and error where you tried to do eye exercises or any of these other things that you find, I guess, as you said, that wasn't online, but did you go down any other rabbit holes that ended up not to lead to the fruition of restoring your vision that you eventually found?

[00:05:29]Jake Steiner:  Yeah, I went down every rabbit hole. And this was back in the days when people went to libraries. So, I went to a library and I took out books. I bought books, all the Bates method stuff eye exercises, I tried. I remember one main thing that got me off that whole track because it wasn't working for me, is I would ask optometrist what caused this, and a common answer was it's genetic. And I'm like, how is it that we didn't need glasses 50 years ago or 100 years ago?

[00:06:01] I mean, nobody was wearing glasses. So, were people stumbling around running into rocks at the time? How can a genetic thing just have happened so very recently? And whenever I would dig into the question of how is this genetic, my parents don't wear glasses, my grandparents don't wear glasses, nobody had an answer. So, the genetic thing started to sound like a cop out, and that's what really got me off the Bates method track and into reading vision biology books.

[00:06:29]Luke Storey:  I've always been curious and I've poked around a little online, but what is the basic premise of the Bates method? Like what are the exercises that are suggested to do?

[00:06:39]Jake Steiner:  That is a great question. Dr. William Bates, a hundred years ago, had a hunch, this was in a time where we didn't understand vision biology very well at all, and he had this idea that it's the close-up vision that is messing up your eyes. And he was exactly correct about that. And he basically said that things like palming and many kinds of exercises to relax your eyes. And relaxing your eyes is basically relaxing a muscle in your eye that's called the ciliary muscle. 

[00:07:12] The focusing muscle that, as he correctly surmised, gets a spasm when you look at close-up objects for too long. So, his fix for myopia basically was relax your eyes and get out of close-up. Now, this was in a time where there were no computers, there were no phone screens. Most people weren't spending that much time looking up close like education wasn't what it is today. So, it was much less of a problem. And generally, people weren't wearing multiple diopters of lenses.

[00:07:44] So, at his time, his approach was a brilliant direction. And if optometry would have adopted this idea of looking at the cause, today, we would live in a totally different world, right? We wouldn't live in a world where people wear lenses regularly. That would be much more narrative of, we need to correct the initial problem. That didn't happen. Bates got kicked out. Bates was silenced. That went away. And for some reason, that became a really popular online narrative, as many things are today.

[00:08:20] The problem, though, is Bates method works for very low myopia, not when you're already wearing strong glasses, because those people say, throw away your glasses and all that, which doesn't work with multiple diopters and environments where you're not addicted to your smartphone. So, it's a super cool idea. It was on the right track a hundred years ago, but today, when it's brought up, they're still using a hundred-year-old method that's not that applicable.

[00:08:47]Luke Storey:  So, if this myopia fundamentally, at its core, stems from spending too much time looking at things up close, and now, obviously, I mean, I'm on a Zoom call with you for however long we're on today, and I want to focus on your face, I can't look up at the sky or the wall if I want to have a meaningful conversation. So, if Bates was uncovering this a hundred years ago and there did exist at that point some abundant cases of myopia around the world, were people getting it from working in a factory, or even going back further, would people have developed this eye spasm, or this kind of locking of the eye, or the elongation of the eye from weaving baskets, or chipping arrowheads, or doing something repetitively all day long that's up close?

[00:09:43]Jake Steiner:  Yes. And actually, glasses were invented, arguably, some say 16th century, some say 13th century for monks, because the only people that had myopia that we know of, and myopia back in the day, were monks. And back in that day, the only people who knew how to read were monks, right? And there was a lot of close-up time, a lot of reading, a lot of reading in bad light, which is also not great for your eyes. So, they would sit next to a candle, close to pages, reading and writing. Monks got myopia back in the day, but it was only monks. And the more that prevalence of close up increase, the more myopia increased also. 

[00:10:22]Luke Storey:  Got it. And so, with some of these other exercises, you mentioned palming. So, that's where you would cover up one eye and attempt to read things, or operate using one eye, or sometimes, for example, my eyes feel strained and this has not improved my vision as far as I can tell, but I normally meditate with a really good mask. It's called a, what the hell is it called? Mindfold. It's a really good big blackout mask.

[00:10:50] And at the end of my meditations, typically, I'll open my eyes for a while and try to focus on the darkness where there's nothing to focus on, and I find that when I do that, that kind of eases the strain on my eyes, but as I said, it doesn't improve them notably. So, that kind of methodology has only been effective for a few people then, but not widespread or not with someone like you that had a really kind of severe case of myopia, and now is 20/20. I mean, I guess I'm wondering, as like, why has something like the Bates method and these different exercises persisted, and not just kind of withered away online? Are they working for some people that aren't that bad off or what?

[00:11:37]Jake Steiner:  So, my take on all of that stuff, for one is it doesn't really address the problem very well as it stands today, but the bigger issue is whenever I hear exercise, I already know it's not going to work because you need a habit change for this kind of thing. Because, for example, you can improve your eyesight by about a diopter a year, right? So, I had five diopters, so that's at least five years. And with our lifestyles, we have plenty of things going on, most people can't even get just regular gym exercise together, exercising your eyes on top of that regularly enough and consistently enough just isn't feasible for most people.

[00:12:24] If you were super serious about Bates method, you would be taking the really hard way, but you could improve your eyesight. Also, that ciliary muscle spasms that you get is, by the way, it's called pseudomyopia. And if you're interested in the clinical science, scholar.google.com, I mentioned endlessly on the website. If you want to get away from Google and just all the nonsense that people get up there in search engines, scholar.google.com only has peer-reviewed clinical science. 

[00:12:56] So, it's like a separate search engine. If you type in pseudomyopia in there, you're going to get tens of thousands of search results, and pseudomyopia basically means not actual myopia. Another keyword on there is near-induced transient myopia, which is exactly what it sounds like. Near-induced, meaning caused by near vision, and transient, meaning temporary. So, that's that early myopia where your muscle is just spasmed.

[00:13:23] So, if you got really serious about Bates and you had low myopia, or even if you had higher myopia, you're initially going to get some results just from doing these exercises that help you relax that muscle temporarily. So, you could improve as much of a diopter in a relatively short period of time and be really excited about it long enough to write 10 posts on the internet, right? And that propagates the Bates method thing. But I get so much email from people who say they tried it, and ultimately, the goal of getting back to 20/20 doesn't happen for most.

[00:13:58]Luke Storey:  Right. Okay. That makes sense. And I'm assuming that would be the same for these pinhole glasses. If I'm not mistaken, I might have even emailed you a couple of years ago because I've read somewhere online, Dr. Google, I was like, oh, these pinhole glasses. And so, I was like wearing these stupid glasses around for a while, and you probably wouldn't remember if I did email you, but eventually, I was bumping into things too often. And so, I abandoned wearing these pinhole glasses. I would even wear them on the freeway sometimes. Don't tell that- 

[00:14:30]Jake Steiner:  Who is that rapper? Who was the guy? Didn't some guy popularize these? Who is it?

[00:14:35]Luke Storey:  Right. I forget who it is, but yeah, they have been in vogue under a different name. But I think my theory there was like, I'm going to use these pinhole glasses and drive with my vision fixed on as far distance as I possibly can, and it's strange, but you can actually see with them, which is weird, but of course, that didn't work. Would that be kind of within the same methodology of having to do some kind of eye exercises to improve things?

[00:15:04]Jake Steiner:  Yeah, the practical aspect of this, for me, personally, and now, for a large group of people is, is there something you can do in your regular life without wearing pinhole glasses on the highway? Right? Because how many people are going to honestly do this or do eye exercises? It's just not a high enough priority. If you're talking about going bald, or having muscles, or something that's more vanity-based or pain-based, people would go through the effort.

[00:15:32] But eyesight is fixable enough with Lasik, or glasses, or the contact lenses that the amount of effort somebody will invest is going to be relatively lower, as was mine. So, for me, the thing was I'm only going to do a thing that I can make a habit, especially in hindsight. And in hindsight, it's also, what got me off of all these things in part was I started looking at causality. And people yell at me a lot about this, because they say, you're taking the long way, just give me the steps.

[00:16:05] But you're going to chase down the next pinhole glasses thing until you understand the basic biology, until you understand why this stuff, all of this stuff is not going to work. Like what I just started with, the pseudomyopia thing, that's how your myopia started. So, the first time you go to the optometrist and you get the first pair of glasses, you're getting a fix for something that is not being addressed. That muscle spasm persists and they're just giving you glasses to hide the symptom, right? So, the more you understand about the underlying biology, the less you're going to get confused by weird approaches that you find online.

[00:16:45]Luke Storey:  So, when it comes to true myopia versus pseudomyopia, well, I guess it's not genetic, but are there some people whose eyes actually have something wrong with them or have been damaged and they have true myopia that's just never fixable, and then there's another group of people that can change their habits and behavior, and use a methodology like the one that you've discovered to reverse it? In other words, is there myopia that's real and not reversible, or is all of it fixable to some degree?

[00:17:20]Jake Steiner:  There's absolutely real myopia, and that, I don't have any answers to. For example, the lens in front of your eyes is responsible for 70% or so of refraction. So, if there's something wrong with the curvature of that lens and you have myopia because of that, that your biology wasn't able to correct, neither can I or neither can you with things I might suggest. Also, eye biology is actually really interesting. When you're a baby, you're far-sighted, you're hyperoptic.

[00:17:53] All babies start out not being able to see clearly up close, or most babies as far as we know. And the reason for that is the eyeball itself, the retina where your visual signal is processed, it's in the back of the eyeball, and the lens we just mentioned is in the front, and the space in between is kind of malleable. The eyeball changes in length throughout your life. It's not a growing thing. It's an adjustment that continues happening. And the goal of the eye is to get the light to focus exactly in the back of the eye on the retina.

[00:18:27] And there's a feedback mechanism in the eye. Again, in Google Scholar, you can look all that up. It's fascinating. That continues adjusting the length, so the light focuses exactly on the retina, and that happens all the time. A measurable change in the distance in the length of your eye can be measured in as little as 60 minutes. So, within one hour, your eye can change its length enough that we can measure it based on refraction. So, as a baby, eyeball is too short. 

[00:18:59] And then, through this mechanism of feedback, the eye elongates until the child can see clearly near and far. That's where the whole thing starts out. And then, for most of us, myopia is, the eyeball has elongated to where the light no longer focuses on the retina, and the eyeball has elongated because we're wearing glasses. That kind of starts off the rabbit hole of how that initial fix that hides the ciliary spasm, you put on those glasses, now, you can see perfectly clearly for a while.

[00:19:35] But behind the scenes, your eye is saying, wait a minute, the light is focusing incorrectly on my retina now, and that feedback mechanism now starts adjusting your eye to get longer to account for the glasses, right? And that's why after a year or two, the glasses aren't strong enough anymore, and you need newer, stronger ones because your eye is always actively adjusting itself, not understanding that there's a lens in front of your eyes that's changing.

[00:20:03]Luke Storey:  So, if you were to dissect a cadaver, one that had perfect 20/20 vision and one that had pretty severe pseudomyopia, would you actually find a different-shaped eyeball. In other words, does the physical form change, and then it's stuck there kind of relatively permanently or is it something that's always fluctuating?

[00:20:28]Jake Steiner:  It's always fluctuating. And actually, you don't even need to wait until you die and dissect somebody. There is equipment that can measure the length of the eyeball. It's usually used for intraocular surgery, like when they implant lenses in your eyes. But you can go to an ophthalmologist and get your eyeball length measured today. And yes, the length varies and that doesn't just go in one direction. That's why the word growing is the wrong word. It's an adjustment, and it will shorten, also, over time.

[00:21:01] And there's clinical studies showing this going in both directions. So, your eyeball will shorten your eyeball, no longer elongate. There's a ton of animal studies, but there's also human studies that show that this actual length, what you were saying there moments ago, it doesn't get stuck at this particular length. The eye will also shorten the same way it elongates, which, this is what makes myopia reversible.

[00:21:25]Luke Storey:  That's interesting because I've observed this phenomena that's repeatable and consistent, and that is, if I get up in the morning and I'm going to find my prescription at some point and tell you what my numbers were last year when I last checked them, but if I get up in the morning and I start looking at my phone before I go outside and look at the horizon or get some bright natural sunlight in my eyes, say, I just get cracked out and like addicted to my phone for the first hour, and I'm doing emails and social media stuff, which I avoid whenever possible, I do notice that then when I go outside and try to see something in the distance, whether it be a license plate, a couple cars up, or a street sign, or something like that, my eyes are noticeably worse when I've started the day looking at up-close stuff. Does that make sense in your paradigm?

[00:22:18]Jake Steiner:  Yeah, that's exactly what happens. So, the ciliary muscle shapes the lens in your eye to where the light focuses on your retina. So, this is like the focus in a camera, basically, just a little bit more sophisticated. And it's a circular muscle. And the closer you look at something, the more that muscle tightens up. There is no pain feedback loops. You can't feel strain in that muscle. But basically, literally, the closer you look at something, the more that muscle tightens up to shape the lens. So, if you're doing social media at a laptop distance, the muscle is a lot more relaxed than when you do it at a phone distance.

[00:23:01] So, now, you've got a muscle that's really tight and that is habitually really tight. So, now, when you go back to the distance, the muscle won't completely relax. And when it's not completely relaxed, the lens in your eye shape for an intermediate distance, right? So, now, the focal plane that you have, that you're stuck with is not far enough to let you see clearly to that license plate. That's all that's happening. So, if you were in front of that phone, and your eye, that muscle is in this position that you put it in too often, this tense position, it just doesn't want to relax all the way. If you take enough time, it will slowly go back to being fully relaxed, and you can see as clearly as you would otherwise.

[00:23:45]Luke Storey:  And this would be supportive of the idea that throughout evolution, humans would never have spent hours and hours looking at something up close. I mean, if you're going back pre-agriculture, we would have been migrating around the planet in small groups of 50 or 60 people constantly scanning the horizon for food, looking for somewhere to settle down, looking for predators, enemies, et cetera.

[00:24:12] Like I notice when I get out of the city and I go visit my dad in Colorado, I notice that, wow, I'm really looking far away most of the time versus being in urban environment where everything's kind of close and you just get habituated to this close-up vision and you really never look very far, because in many cases, especially in a city, your vantage point is obscured by buildings, et cetera. I mean, not even get outside at all because you work indoors, and sleep indoors, and you never see the horizon or really try to test your vision for a long, long distance, where, evolutionarily speaking, I'm assuming we would have spent most of our time looking far away.

[00:24:57]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. And that's where the biology, the least amount of effort required is how everything is designed, right? And if we spent most of our time looking up close, evolutionarily speaking, that muscle will be relaxed, and closed up, and tensed for distance, which would then make sense, right? But we are definitely evolved up until very recently and we do have close-up time, and close-up time is fine. Honestly, I spent six-plus hours a day close up dealing with screens and I still have 20/20 eyesight.

[00:25:29] It's the details that made the difference. It's that you pick up your phone while you're eating breakfast, and you hang out with friends, and you're on public transport, and then this distance that people think, they don't spend that much time on, but when you look at the screen time, whatever app, it tells you, it was the rest of your day, that's one thing that's too much, right? And then, the rest of it is, whenever I ask people what kind of hobbies do you have that require distance vision?

[00:25:59] If there's a long silence, that's the other half of the problem, right? One-half is the screen time that you really don't need, and the other half is, you're not actually using your eyes for anything that requires distance vision, right? We can live in the modern world just fine, and you can have 20/20 eyesight in the modern world just fine if you control the screen addiction and you do something with your eyesight.

[00:26:24]Luke Storey:  I notice as I do these podcasts now increasingly on Zoom, which is how I started them four years ago, and then I got really spoiled doing so many of the shows in person through traveling and just living in Los Angeles where people either live or pass through, I find my eyes get really strained now to the point where it's like, I have this mic stand here, you can see, right? And I've been playing with like how far away from my screen can I get and still see my notes and kind of do my job because I do notice there's like a dryness in my eyes.

[00:26:58] And then, as I said, if I go outside after this and I've been staring at two-and-a-half feet or whatever it is from my giant desktop monitor here, there's a marked hit that I take to my vision. And so, I think that we're probably dealing with an epidemic now of, as you indicated, device addiction and just people that make their living more increasingly online and working remotely. And so, when it comes to the device hierarchy and that distance, give me worst-case use to best-case use.

[00:27:41]Jake Steiner:  Don't use a phone. Don't use a phone. And that's what I tell the worst thing. I see this because, so I get, on average, about 700 emails a day. I can't possibly read them all. I have an admin that deals with my emails and we've developed a system to where I get categories of email. Like these emails were about this X amount. And the amount of emails I get from parents dealing with kids younger and younger has been increasing dramatically. And every so often, I pick a few out to ask them questions and it's universally the case that these things become the babysitter, right?

[00:28:20] So, a three-year-old is at three-year-old arm's length distance, which is a very short distance watching cartoons for three hours, then they go to optometrist, then the optometrist says, your three-year-old needs glasses. Like that's where it starts. Like the phone, I don't use my phone. If I'm traveling, I check a map or I check restaurant recommendations, and that's it, right? I defer all of my responding to messages and whatever else happens to an iPad thing now.

[00:28:53] And I'm not trying to have more devices, but that, if I put it on a table, like it has a keyboard thing, and I have this ritual now, where I go to a coffee shop if something comes up that I need to deal with and I'll spend half-an-hour, because now, I have a distance that, I'm this far away from the screen, which is infinitely better than the distance we hold the small screen. You're right, like to have it at—you watch people looking at their phone, they don't hold it far enough because the screen is so small. 

[00:29:24] You're not immersed in that experience, which is, get it really close to your face. Number one worst thing. And you can tell the difference of a half-hour looking at your computer monitor distance, again, your ciliary muscle is not nearly as tight. That's the name of the game. The further you are away from the thing, the less tight the ciliary muscle is, the less time it will take you to get it back to normal, right? So, if you have this podcast, and then you have an hour walk or something that doesn't involve screen, your eyes are fine again. 

[00:29:55] Like for example, myself, it's different for everybody, but for me, it's about three hours. I can go three hours on screen, and then as long as I get half-an-hour-plus break overall throughout the day, I'm fine, right? If I go five hours on the screen, then I'm screwed. That muscle spasm doesn't go away. Like you go outside and you look at car license plate, they're a little bit blurry. That's no big deal, as long as that blur goes away in a reasonable amount of time. 

[00:30:21] And you'll find that there's an amount of time that you can be on the screen, go outside, and then a half-hour later, everything looks fine again, but you exceed that time, and no matter how much time you spend outside, things just stay blurry. And that's one of the things that's worth figuring out, because once you know what that is, you can set yourself that limit, then you're not really at least making it worse.

[00:30:44]Luke Storey:  And that would also indicate to me that, say, you're out on your patio reading a book and you're really immersed in that book, that book's going to be really close, and you might be tempted to get really drawn into it, and only look 12 inches from your face for a long period of time, would it be helpful to even take mini breaks and like look across the yard, or at the building next door, or having your eyes just adjust incrementally if you do have to commit to two or three hours of computer time, or reading, or something like that, or does it not really make a difference?

[00:31:21]Jake Steiner:  It's, yes, it makes a difference, but I'm very practical minded. For me, it's, I'm personally not going to take these many breaks, because when I'm working, I'm just getting stuff done. There's nothing consistently that I found that consistently—God, I'm so envious of the cigar right now. That gets me away consistently enough that it would work, right? I'm immersed in my work. I can't handle an alarm stopping me from being where I need to be. So, with lots of experimenting and lots of other people have tried, we found that you don't need to disrupt your workflow with these mini breaks. Some people like it. Some people find it beneficial, but it's not necessary.

[00:32:09]Luke Storey:  So, your paradigm differs from your average well-meaning and highly educated optometrist, in that if I go to an eye doctor, the message I'm getting is that my eyes are broken, they're not fixable from myopia, from being nearsighted. And so, the only solution to that is getting a prescription for contacts or glasses. And from your perspective, using these different techniques and some of the other training that we can go into, some of the different habits and things like that, is that, that system in and of itself, because the monetization piece of an optometrist, again, I'm sure they're all well-meaning and great people, is to sell glasses, so they don't have a vested interest in telling you, hey, there's really nothing wrong with your eyes, your eyes aren't broken, it's just that you have a muscle spasm in your eyes, they're elongating from close-up work and they're getting essentially stuck in that position.

[00:33:16] So, rather than them having that knowledge or sharing the knowledge with you, they're giving you glasses, which in my experience of having had a couple of prescriptions from just your average optometrist down the street, they're giving me a really strong prescription that exceeds what I actually need to the point where I'm seeing like a goddamn eagle now, when I really don't need to see that clearly, that far. And when I put them on it, it's almost like so unnatural that it's like, I didn't even see that way before.

[00:33:50] So, is there a fundamental kind of misunderstanding throughout that industry? Because I remember talking to the last optometrist I went to, I found one that was more, I guess, like what would be the equivalent of like a functional medicine doctor versus just an allopathic, straight Western doctor. And he indicated to me that he was going to give me the lightest and least-severe prescription possible because he didn't want me to get too used to that crystal clear vision.

[00:34:21] So, he kind of met me in the middle with something that would still allow me to see clearly, but not accustom myself to seeing that razor-sharp distance vision, but I think that's because he was kind of an alternative optometrist. I think there's a name for it. But when I first went, they were just like, give me the maximum. And if I hadn't ever discovered your work and just studied it a little bit, I probably would have been wearing those distance glasses for my computer work and just wearing them all the time.

[00:34:48] But I kind of got the concept of becoming habituated or addicted to that clear vision. So, now, I really only wear my prescription glasses if I'm driving at night for the most part, because I just find, I get strain and it's probably not that safe for me in certain cases, like driving on a mountain road to not wear my glasses or something. So, is there like a systemic misunderstanding there, in your view?

[00:35:16]Jake Steiner:  I used to. The endmyopia.org is kind of a timeline, like the rings on a tree, you can kind of dig back of my attitude, how it used to be years ago, and able to really rail against optometry, because whenever I would have a conversation with them, they would refute my point of view. And my point of view is based on established, peer-reviewed clinical evidence. And their point of view is based on this pseudoscience of, it's genetic. So, I used to be really upset.

[00:35:50] I used to just go on a terrible rant, which I enjoyed a lot, actually. But what it turns out is, it's supply and demand. Most people, given the choice, and I stopped talking to people in my personal life about myopia because people don't care. And what I found is what people want is the problem solved and moving on, right? Like if you tell me, I can pop these contact lenses in and I think about my vision exactly 48 seconds per day when I go woop, and the problem is solved versus crazy boy here who says, I need to spend less time on screens, and go outside, and have hobbies, I'm going to pick the 48 seconds and be done.

[00:36:30] So, what most people want is the subscription to your eyesight model that optometrist sell, whereby you just keep buying new stuff from them, and your vision is fine, and you don't have to take personal accountability, you don't have to change habits, you don't have to revisit addicted behaviors you might have. So, the reason that's so popular to a large degree is because that's what people want. When I first started this, I thought it was going to be a revolution, whatever, and I realized the scope of the bullshit, right?

[00:37:03] Like all of us can have 20/20 hindsight, I was like, wow, this is going to be a fundamental change in how we deal with eyesight. Nothing's changed. Nothing's changed. And most people that you talk to are like, that is really fascinating, and we'll do nothing about it. Like we've talked for years, right? I mean, it's just like, it's not high enough on the priority list and they're good enough solutions to where you go, the contacts will do. So, I finally come to the realization that optometrists largely exist because that's what people want.

[00:37:37] The unfortunate part, and the part that bothers me and that one thing that I would like to change is that people would be made aware that this is not the only option. Like you go to McDonald's because you want to, you know it's bad for you, but you want to go there. McDonald's isn't out there promoting a message of, this is the only food to eat, whereas optometry is promoting this idea of, you're genetically broken and you have to buy the subscription, as opposed to, you're too lazy to do something about it, and this will do.

[00:38:08]Luke Storey:  Well, I think that speaks to the allopathic Western medicine model in general. I know people in my field, guys, well, I guess it's not just guys, it's everyone, that's into biohacking, and alternative healing, and health, and things like that, kind of poo-poo Western medicine, as if all of those doctors are just greedy A-holes that just want to make money, and are happy to give you surgery or drugs to treat a problem, and never look at the underlying cause, but I think what you point to has to do with the depth of laziness that the average human has when it comes to changing their lifestyle and changing their habits. 

[00:38:49] And then, Western medicine, I mean, if I have heartburn and I go to the doctor, they're going to give me something to reduce the amount of hydrochloric acid that my stomach produces rather than say like, hey, how much gluten are you eating? You know what I mean? Which for me, gluten gives me heartburn like every time. I'm pretty good with it now, but it goes in waves. But if I go to the doctor and didn't know that there were options or didn't know to look for kind of the root cause, as you've done with optometry, I would be lazy and very happy to just say, cool, give me the pill to fix it because I don't want to change what I'm doing. 

[00:39:24] I want to just eat my fast food and do my thing. So, it's like, the system is broken, but it's not necessarily the fault of the doctors or optometrist, it's that they're meeting the demand of the public. And the public, by and large, is lazy and don't really want to address the root cause and make fundamental changes to their behavior and lifestyle to alleviate what is ultimately going to be a symptom of their behavior.

[00:39:53]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. And that's what I finally arrived at. And I feel bad. And unfortunately, I can't delete many years of the website. I mean, I could, but there's so much helpful content mixed in with these angry rants at optometry, where now, I'm realizing, it's nobody's fault. This is just, everybody's happy with this solution. And it makes sense because I talked to another friend of mine who was really insightful on this, what can you accomplish in your life? And he was talking about, you make a list of the 10 things that are the most important to you that you want to accomplish and show me getting past the first three, right? People don't. 

[00:40:33] He's like, okay, even the top three things that you want to do in your life are hard enough to accomplish. And for most people, that's maintaining your employment, and feeding your kids, and some basic health, and bam, that's it. I mean, eyesight would be like number 14 on that list because you can go pop those contact lenses and the problem is solved. My issue is just, now, it's five-year-olds, right? The five-year-old is not making a choice, and nobody's telling the parents that this is not a babysitter, the smartphone is not a babysitter. It's now gotten to the point where things are really uncool when it affects people too young to make choices for themselves.

[00:41:15]Luke Storey:  Well, it's funny, as you talked about earlier, the example of a young child holding the phone in front of their face as far as a three-year-old arm can reach, what comes to mind for me is also the EMF exposure that's inherent to device use. And that's something that I feel really concerned about, although I don't have kids, but it takes everything I have to see a friend of mine who's got a kid and they're sitting there with an iPad in their lap or like six inches from their face. 

[00:41:45] And I've measured all these devices with a building biologist with very sophisticated equipment, and the amount of EMF that any electronics put off is insane, but specifically, those that are wireless are sending and receiving data through RF fields, and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular service, et cetera. And so, I think it's a double-edged sword when you combine the damage to one's eyes and vision, but also, the fact that they're being radiated. So, I think this is really sage advice for parents to take responsibility for their children when your job is to protect that child, to do whatever you can to mitigate the exposure, not only that's going to hurt their eyes, but also, affect their biology, possibly long term, from just being constantly in those fields.

[00:42:39] So, it's kind of a multi-pronged issue. And add to that, the exposure to non-native blue light, which is something I talk about a lot on this show, because it's an emerging body of evidence, shows that it's not only damaging to our circadian rhythm and the production of melatonin in our sleep, et cetera, but also that the blue light, in and of itself, is really damaging to the eye. Have you looked at that piece at all with speaking of what I call non-native blue light, that very narrow, unnatural alien spectrum of light that literally doesn't exist in nature anywhere, but is radiating from LED lighting, fluorescent lighting, all of our devices, et cetera?

[00:43:23]Jake Steiner:  Yes, I have. And I have a little bit of a simplistic view on this because the thing I know about is myopia, and that kind of takes up enough of my time to where I'm not visiting other rabbit holes. On the periphery, so just prefacing it with, don't take my advice on this is, I think the main issue, because what people do is they buy glasses that supposedly block the blue light, pay a bunch of money, supposedly, that blocks the blue light. They think the problem is fixed. And my bigger issue with all these things is back to the thing of, don't spend three hours on Netflix with your blue-light-blocking glasses thinking, that fixed the problem.

[00:44:06] That's like drinking Coke Zero, going, I'm not eating sugar now. The fundamental issue is still the screen. And then, all of these companies, they're selling you a thing and trying to make you feel better while scaring you about the blue light. So, my first reaction of blue light is always, remove the cause of the blue light, which is the stupid thing, right? Like there are other ways to entertain yourself. We are in this, oh, man, we're going to get on a tangent here. I'm stuck on the island and it is all hippies. It's just hippies.

[00:44:42]Luke Storey:  It's a thing? 

[00:44:44]Jake Steiner:  In [indiscernible] , yeah. It is just because everybody's gone, the tourists are gone, right? Like that's all that's left. And one of the things that we have observed here with a friend is, we never see them playing on their phones, doing acroyoga, and they're making things, they're communicating, they're hanging out. It's noticeable like we go to dinner and everybody who's at dinner is talking to each other. Nobody's on the phone. Stark contrast to when I was in Bangkok, when I'm in Hong Kong, when I'm in Singapore, when I'm anywhere, when even during meals, even out in nightclubs, people are on their phone, right?

[00:45:27] Like that's the fundamental thing, and that's when people look at me weird sometimes when I say, don't be on Netflix for three hours in the evening. Like, what else would I possibly be doing? Right? So, the blue light is like a tiny, yes, for sure, increasing body of evidence that there's a problem, but what there should be an increasing body of evidence for is that us living in this isolated bubble, staring at the screen, emitting blue light, the problem is that we're in the space as opposed to interacting with each other.

[00:45:59]Luke Storey:  Right. So, you have a fundamental psychological detriment, and that we're losing hobbies, passions, human connection, our ability to interact with one another socially. You've got the blue light, you've got the EMF, and you've got, of course, the tendency of people to get sucked into that device and get their eyes to lose their ability to focus, and defocus, and change the distance with which the eye can acclimate. 

[00:46:38]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. The biggest thing, and this is another little, I'm going to stop being on the side tangent, I think the biggest thing that we're losing that I finally realized from these things is boredom. And boredom is the fundamental motivator of everything, right? Because once you get bored enough, you're going to call friends, you're going to go out, you pick up a hobby, you find a passion, you do a thing, but this thing removes boredom because the millisecond you get bored, you pick the thing up and you scroll through Instagram, or Facebook, or watch YouTube, or whatever you do, and you instantly are no longer bored, which I think that's where, fundamentally, the whole problem starts, is when you're no longer bored enough to do something with your life.

[00:47:33]Luke Storey:  That's hilarious. Yeah, there's a lot of elements to that. And I always appreciate tangents on this show because this show is one big tangent, often. Going back to, let me see where I want to go with this.

[00:47:48]Jake Steiner:  Can I say one more thing before I forget it? Because you said EMF, and that's another giant tangent, and this is another thing I know nothing about. About these Apple AirPod things, they stick in your ear. And it took me literally over a year to put this together, and I'm not saying this is true at all, unrelated to myopia, just because you're talking about EMF, is I had serious mood swings. Like I was so angry for no reason.

[00:48:20] And I stopped wearing them because one of them died and the mood swing just went away, to the point where my girlfriend was like, what happened to you? You're so relaxed all the time. Like you used to just be so angry. And then, I bought new ones, and it came right back. And that's when I was like, as soon as I wear these things for two or three hours, I'm just incredibly, aggressively irritable. 

[00:48:45]Luke Storey:  Yeah, ear pods are, I mean, I do my best to not proselytize and tell people what to do. I mean, do as you wish, live and let live as long as you're not harming other people. Go for it. Do your thing. But I've measured these ear pods and different Bluetooth devices, wearables, and things like that, and they emit an incredible amount of radiation. And the thing that's insane about the ear pods, and I'm glad that you have that anecdotal experience and you learned your lesson, was you have to understand that those ear pods are not only communicating from the side of your head, picking up the Bluetooth signal from wherever the device is, but they're also communicating to one another to create a stereo reception.

[00:49:33] So, literally, you're shooting Bluetooth, I mean, it's radiation, that's what RF is, it's radio frequencies, that's how data travels, is using radiation in the air, you're literally frying your brain. It's like having like a cellphone on either side of your head. Whenever I see people with those, it's like, takes, I'll be on a Zoom call and someone would be using them, and I'm just sitting here like, Luke, don't say anything, don't say anything. They didn't ask your advice.

[00:49:52] It's not like someone's like, hey, Luke, what do you think of these things I'm wearing? So, I just sit here the whole time like, oh, God bless you, God bless you. I hope that you're safe, and send them good energy because it really is. And on that note, I'm going to go ahead and take a sideline here, too, and this might not be something you have any awareness of, but when I first contacted you about my vision problems, I was unknowingly living directly under two massive cell towers that were about a hundred yards from my bed.

[00:50:22] And they were in kind of a full wall on the top of an office building across from my apartment. And so, I had no idea they were there. And I'm very EMF-aware, very sensitive, I would never knowingly live anywhere near a cell tower. And it was while I was living there that my vision, seemingly overnight, just went bad on me. And I didn't even know that it was happening until I took one trip to New York, and I got off the plane, took an Uber into the city, and was hungry, so I set about to find something to eat.

[00:50:55] And I found myself on the streets of Manhattan getting terribly disoriented and kind of dizzy. And I was getting lost, trying to find, looking at the map on my phone, and I thought, what the hell is wrong with me? And then, I looked up at one of the street signs, and I realized, holy shit, I can't read that goddamn sign. And that was the first time I ever knew that my eyes went bad and the onset of it was so sudden. Now, of course, in the years prior, had been using devices more and more obviously, and my career had moved into more of an online business, I'm spending more time on devices and computers, whereas my prior career involved just driving around all day, basically.

[00:51:39] But my eyes started to go bad, and become extremely irritated and dry all the time, and just kind of like red, and itchy, and all of that. And then, six months after my eyes went bad, I discovered the cell towers. And then, I started doing research. And one of the primary symptoms of radiation sickness and acute radiation exposure is vision problems, dry eyes, headaches, irritability, dizziness, vertigo, migraines, all this kind of stuff. And so, there seemed to be a correlation with the onset of my vision problems when I was living there.

[00:52:18] Now, unfortunately and fortunately, when I moved, all of those other symptoms went away, but the loss of my 20/20 vision persisted. And so, I think it's just worth alerting people that the device used and always looking close up is definitely a factor, as you've indicated and, for sure, proven, but there is an element of acute exposure too that can be really bad for your eyes because your eyes are part of your brain. And one of the ways in which radiation affects you the worst is the effect that it has in your brain, specifically, due to the fact that your brain is mushy and susceptible, and you have a very thin skull.

[00:53:00] So, I just want to throw that out there. Now, what I did when I found out about your work is I heeded the warning of not getting addicted to really strong glasses. So, as I said, I went to an optometrist and they tried to give me this crazy, clear vision. I'm like, I don't want this. So, I found that other optometrist that was a little more holistic. And I told him, I want the least amount of correction possible while still being able to safely drive, basically, and he was willing to comply with that request.

[00:53:33] And then, I went for maybe a year or so and wore my glasses only when they were absolutely necessary, but yet when I went back again, my vision had gotten a little bit worse and my prescription got higher. So, that was maybe a year ago, and now, at this point, I just really try to never wear my glasses, I try to limit screen time, et cetera, but thus I have not been able to ultimately fix it. So, I don't know if that's a question or just a statement, a warning to people like, hey, radiation can also really affect your vision negatively. Have you heard anything about that side of it? I know you're not an expert on the EMF, but is that something that could potentially be an issue from your point of view?

[00:54:20]Jake Steiner:  It could be. I don't have enough information to really say, I've seen this happen with any consistency. Eyesight is related to a lot of things. Literally, you could have a pizza and a coke, and your eyesight will get worse because you have an insulin spike. Like eyesight, if you're not wearing glasses that are so strong, that everything is just crystal clear no matter what, like if you have normal human natural vision and you're paying attention to it, you will notice that a bad night of sleep, stress, like a lot of people are losing their jobs, especially lately. I've been getting a lot of emails. People are like, I'm super stressed, lost my job, my eyesight is X amount worse now. Your vision is very strongly correlated to your whole experience and environment. I don't doubt that EMF radiation could play a part in it, but I don't have enough information to say, yes, this is what's happening.

[00:55:19]Luke Storey:  Got it.

[00:55:21]Jake Steiner:  At the same time, measuring your eyesight yourself, I think, is really important because going to the optometrist is, one, a snapshot of your vision in that moment. As you mentioned before, like if you go to the optometrist after you edit a podcast, your vision is going to be worse than if you were just out for a weekend hike, right? So, it's just, that vision in that moment is a snapshot. That measurement is also highly subjective because lighting, for example, significantly affects your vision. So, if you're looking at an eye chart in that nice room right there, you're going to get a completely different result than if you look at that same eye chart at night with just some fluorescent lighting, right?

[00:56:05] So, both the measurement environment and your own eyes in that moment can vary a great deal. So, the best way to measure vision is to do it yourself. Distance to blur is one thing. So how many centimeters, inches you can see before you see blur, and recording that? And if you do that consistently, if you do it like a few times a day in the beginning, and then once a week, and then a couple of times a month, you'll have context to be like, this is my actual eyesight. So, that'll give you real information as opposed to going to that optometrist one day and letting all those variables give you a result that may not be that meaningful.

[00:56:46]Luke Storey:  Dude, that's so true, because now that you mention that, when I said that, my eyes had gotten worse, I really think that the year later when I went to the optometrist, that I was just having a particularly bad day because I didn't sleep well or whatever, I might have had a lot of screen time, whatever it was. And then, I was kind of forced to get a new prescription, because that day, my eyes were just kind of fatigued. But then, when I put it, because I just wanted new glasses, and if you go to get glasses, maybe they won't do it on an outdated prescription, right? Even if I go in there like, no, I want the weak ones from last year, they typically won't do that. So, I had to get a new prescription, and now, I'll put on my old glasses and I see just fine with those.

[00:57:29] So, I really don't think my vision actually changed, to your point. So, that's very interesting. And this is also the point at which I got stuck when I started digging into your work a couple of years ago was the, which is probably not that complicated, but when you talk about measuring your own eyes, that's where I got lost, and I was like, well, we're getting into some algebra here. This is like way above my pay grade when it comes to the mathematics of it. So, could you walk us through the practicality of measuring one's own eyes? Like, how do you actually do that? You get a vision test you put on the wall with a tape measure, like how do you actually determine over the course of time what your average eyesight really looks like? 

[00:58:15]Jake Steiner:  Sure. And actually, working on an iPhone app that'll do the measuring for you, because I found exactly what you said, people have that issue, that first step. Because one thing I found is once you start measuring your eyesight, you will improve your eyesight, because once you have that data, it's addictive almost, where you're like, huh, it was 37 centimeters yesterday and it's 42 today, you get into it. But measuring, it's enough of a hurdle where a lot of people just go, okay, I don't have it.

[00:58:46]Luke Storey:  That's with the ball area.

[00:58:48]Jake Steiner:  Well, in the next month or two, the thing's going to be ready, where literally, you look at your phone, and at the distance that you start to see blur, you hit the button and it tells you your eyesight. It'll save the data and it'll chart it for you. So, a lot of that challenge, yeah, if I don't go broke first, that will be out-

[00:59:08]Luke Storey:  Tester right here, bro, send me the development link when you have it because that really has been kind of the sticking point for me. 

[00:59:17]Jake Steiner:  I also want to throw this in, when we keep saying prescriptions, and I just have to say this, glasses are clear, curved pieces of plastic. This whole word, prescription, it's only a prescription because the lens manufacturer spent millions of dollars lobbying to make glasses a prescription. You can buy over-the-counter medicine that, if you take too much, will kill you. Just go into the local pharmacy, over-the-counter stuff, like pain medication that you just buy over the counter, incredibly dangerous, potentially. Glasses, clear, curved pieces of plastic.

[00:59:53] There is no known reason that, that would have to be a prescription other than the wholesale cost of quality lenses with all the coatings is about two dollars. And literally, I mean, that's how you can buy glasses online for 10 bucks is because lenses cost nothing to manufacture. And the way, back in the day, lens manufacturers tried to protect their giant profit margin is to make sure that you can only buy those lenses from outlets that they control, right? So, the only way you're going to pay $200 for a pair of glasses that costs like, whatever, 40 bucks for the frame and $2 for the lenses to the optometrist. 

[01:00:33] Like the optometrist buys the lenses for two bucks. The only way to make that happen is to make it so you can only buy there, and then have the word prescription automatically makes you feel like you're a patient. They call you a patient. It's just ridiculous. And then, you don't question why these things are 200 bucks. I just had to get that out there because we keep using the word prescription and I dislike the word because that's how they get you in this victim frame of, you're sick and you need this thing.

[01:01:01]Luke Storey:  Right. So, on that note, what about someone who has macular degeneration or someone who is far sighted, and unlike myopia, does actually have something wrong with their eyes other than just a muscle spasm issue?

[01:01:22]Jake Steiner:  You go to an ophthalmologist? One of my first recommendations, and this is no shade at the optometrist, I always say go to a place where when you walk in, you're not seeing frames for sale. You're not seeing fashion brand frames for sale. That's what you want. You want to go to a medical doctor who deals with eyesight, who makes their money by diagnosing eyesight issues, not by selling glasses. The first cue is, if you walk into a mall, like a shopping mall, and you see a shoe store here, and then an optical shop there, whatever they say inside about prescriptions should be a question mark. Like how many medical facilities do you see in a shopping mall?

[01:02:08] It is a charade where they sell 200-dollar things that cost them a very small fraction of it, and that's not just me. There was an article in the LA Times, a huge article in the LA Times exposing LensCrafters. A senior executive that had left LensCrafters was, a whole night, it's a fascinating article talking about how they're making 6,000% profit on selling glasses. Yeah, in your town's paper, nobody reads those anymore, but it's worth looking up, LA Times, and the glasses rip off, they'll bring up that article. So, it's not just me saying this. This is genuinely the thing. So, if you have an eye condition, don't see an optometrist, see an ophthalmologist.

[01:02:57]Luke Storey:  And that would be if you have something more serious other than just this nearsighted, fixable myopia.

[01:03:06]Jake Steiner:  Right. Correct. Yeah.

[01:03:07]Luke Storey:  Right. Okay. Like there was some damage to your eye or something that was, in fact, genetic or something like that. Like I think my dad has had glaucoma for a long time, for example, from roughhousing too much in his 20s and getting in too many fights, and eventually, that glaucoma started to, I don't know if they were related, but eventually, now, he's starting to get this macular degeneration issue, which those things would have nothing to do with too much screen time and too much looking up close, and there's actually something wrong with the eye in that particular case.

[01:03:45]Jake Steiner:  In those cases, I don't know. Like, I'm not one of those people that I'm not saying Western medicine is bad and you don't need anything except for the internet. There are plenty of issues where I personally would go to an ophthalmologist, regular checkup, a good idea. If they say there's something wrong, probably listen to them. Like I'm only dealing with a thing that is caused by eyestrain from looking up close too much, and then buying a two-dollar and 200-dollar retail thing that's a quick fix that then causes more of the symptom. So, I'm staying far away from medical things.

[01:04:25] And while there may be better answers than medical fixes for the issues, I just don't know. Like literally, this was me fixing my eyesight and realizing it's fixable. And as I was realizing this and being excited, going to optometrists, going, holy crap, can you believe this? And then, them responding really negatively, me becoming frustrated, and then using what is now Endmyopia as an outlet, basically, to vent my frustration and troll them during my morning procrastination, you know what I mean? Like that's all it is, and it's all I know. Like people ask me all the time about serious issues. I'm like, honestly, I have no idea.

[01:05:07]Luke Storey:  I appreciate your humility because there are many armchair scientists and doctors out there that want to know everything about everything. So, I think it's quite honorable that you're able to stay in your lane and not make recommendations that you're not qualified to make. And I would say that, too. But on one note there, I just have to throw something in because I'm also a truth seeker, and someone who's bothered by deception, and scams, and myths that perpetuate, along the lines of those mall eyewear stores and mall optometrists, there's also this kind of marketing scam that is becoming quite pervasive, where there are marketing glasses that are called blue-blocking glasses that don't, in fact, block the spectrum of light that is damaging to your eyes, to your melatonin, to your circadian rhythm, and how they'll show you that—and these are the clear glasses where you can't even tell—they don't have any kind of amber filter or anything like that, like the real blue-blocking glasses do.

[01:06:11] And even in that space, I'm learning, there's a lot of misconceptions with cheap ones you can buy on Amazon that don't actually block the right narrow bandwidth of light that interferes with your sleep, et cetera. But I went to an optometrist, and said, yeah, I want to get prescription glasses and do you have any blue-blocking lenses? And he said, oh, yeah, for sure. So, he got out these clear lenses, and I thought, I don't know, the ones I've seen are like amber, dark amber color, like the ones that I wear at night, a couple of brands that even advertise on my show periodically.

[01:06:42] And he said, no, no, it blocks it. And then, he took a little blue laser and like shown it through the lens, and on the other side of the lens, there's no blue light coming through. And then, he got a regular pair of glasses and the blue light did indeed show through on a white piece of paper. And so, I thought, oh, wow, it's blocking blue light, but that's a completely fraudulent scientific basis of manufacturing that really is of no value. So, I think it's worth noting for people that go buy some Tom Ford designer glasses that are part of their Blue Block line, when in fact, it's not really doing anything for that particular issue.

[01:07:21]Jake Steiner:  It's like vitamins. My sister used to sell vitamins, so she got really into the world of vitamins. And that is one epic scam, not all of it, but a lot of it, and there's no regulation. So, the same thing is with blue-blocking glasses. There's no requirement for these guys to go through any testing, to any validation. It's not approved by the FDA or anything like that. So, anybody can say whatever they want about these things. Buyer, beware, absolutely. 

[01:07:50]Luke Storey:  Right. So, when it comes to the myopia piece and we're just going to the optometrist and thinking of them as all-knowing, omniscient experts, is it true that—like let's say I had never heard of you and I went to the optometrist, and they said, yeah, you don't have 20/20 anymore, wear these glasses, and if they didn't tell me, yo, don't wear these distance glasses when you're looking up close, don't wear them all the time, I would have probably been wearing those every time I worked on the computer or did anything. I would have just been resigned to the fact, well, I guess I'm someone that wears glasses now and I just wear them all the time.

[01:08:33] Is there a risk in further impacting this myopia issue from wearing glasses all the time when you don't actually need them up close, et cetera? And I think that would be especially true for people that wear contacts, that who's going to come up to their computer and pop their contacts out, because now, they don't need to see distance? They're just going to wear them all the time. And does that make this issue become worse, where your prescription is going to get stronger and stronger over time?

[01:09:02]Jake Steiner:  Yeah, two things there. The contact lenses, one issue. With glasses, the thing that causes your eyeball to elongate, as the eyeball elongates, your myopia is worse. The eyeball elongates, what we talked about before, it's because you put glasses minus lenses in front of the eye, there's some kind of a stimulus that causes the eye to elongate, which equals more myopia. That stimulus in a large part is called hyperoptic defocus. Also, on Google Scholar, all of these things are on Google Scholar. 

[01:09:33] Like I've invented nothing, right? I've just taken puzzle pieces and put them together. Hyperoptic defocus is when the light doesn't focus on the retina, and not in front of it, that would be myopia, but it focuses slightly behind it. Like you put the lenses in front of your eyes that correct your distance vision, right? That moves the light further back in your eye. And now, you're using those glasses while you're in close-up mode so that light is pushed back further than it should be.

[01:10:03] And sometimes, it's on the periphery, and it gets complicated, the mechanism is fairly complex. But the basic idea is whenever that light is not focusing on the retina but would focus behind it, that's the stimulus that makes your eye grow longer. So, the main thing that causes your eyes to get "worse", worse really just means longer, they're not actually worse, they're just adjusting, is wearing distance glasses doing close up. If you always took your glasses off that are made for this distance vision during close up when you first got the low diopter ones, you don't need glasses for close up, your eyesight would never really get "worse".

[01:10:44] It's just mainly primarily wearing distance glasses during close up that causes the progression of myopia. Contact lenses are a little bit of a different issue because contact lenses also cause your eyes to get dry, your blink rate is reduced by like a factor of five. When you're looking at a closeup object, you stop blinking, so you stop producing or moving tear fluid that your eyes need, so now, you're getting dry eyes with your contact lenses. So, contact lens used during close up is even less great for you than using glasses. But basically, you would avoid most of the repeat visits to the optometrist by taking those things off when you don't need it.

[01:11:26]Luke Storey:  And that leads me to the next question along the same lines around these different surgeries, laser surgeries, and Lasiks, and all this kind of stuff. I have two brothers that became nearsighted around the same time I did. And one of them got some variation of Lasik surgery and his eyes were perfect afterward. And it's been quite a few years and he's done quite well. I think he gets dry eyes a little bit and he's a graphic designer, so he does a lot of computer work for hours and hours a day with those fixed eyes through the laser surgery.

[01:12:06] And he indicated to me that his vision has gotten a little bit blurry over time. This is going back probably 10 years that it has gotten a little bit blurry on distance. And to me, that's kind of scary, because it's like, well, what do you do then? Like then, you had Lasiks, now, you have to get glasses also? Whereas my other brother, the younger one, he kind of did one of the budget Lasik treatments, you know what I mean? It's like, I don't know where, he found an ad in the newspaper, some is like, cheap Lasiks, and just went to whatever place at a mini mall in the valley or something.

[01:12:42] And he's had a horrible time with dryness. He has to carry on eye drops all the time. And it's really been quite problematic for him. So, his vision is clear, but his eyes constantly irritate him. So, what's your perspective on that as an option? So, we've got glasses, we've got contacts, we have that Lasik surgery. What is that doing exactly when they do those types of surgeries to the eye in relation to myopia?

[01:13:12]Jake Steiner:  So, if you're going to do Lasik, the budget version is always the best choice. Like whatever the cheapest ones you can find. So, on the FDA website itself, and I have links to it somewhere, they have statistics showing the Lasik surgery side effects that are permanent. And when I first saw that, I couldn't believe, I thought it was a fake site. Like I had to go back to the FDA website and just go, is this really the FDA website? Because the statistics quoted there, it was shocking to me that this is an approved procedure.

[01:13:50] I recommend for anybody who wants to look into this. Start with the FDA website. Find the Lasik side effects page. It's been years. I haven't looked at it in a long time, but it was just a shocking amount of side effects that are permanent, that I just couldn't believe that was on the FDA website. The reason I found that is because a guy named Dr. Morris Waxler, who was the head of the FDA committee, apparently, who got Lasik approved, right?

[01:14:19] Like he worked for the FDA, got Lasik approved, later, left, and since then has been campaigning heavily, saying that was the biggest mistake of his life, should have never been approved, it's a dangerous and terrible idea. Morris Waxler, if you Google him, all over the place. And the guy is genuinely tortured by this. We've spoken many times and he feels like a personal responsibility that he let this happen. Of course, it's not. The next guy would have approved it also. Very profitable, lots of possible side effects.

[01:14:51] I'm not a Lasik specialist, but I get a lot of email from people, a lot of email that's heartbreaking of all the side effects that happen. And the dry eyes thing is one of the lesser ones, but still, apparently permanent, where now, you have better vision, but you have some issue that you can't get around. And apparently, in a lot of cases, that flap, don't quote me on this because I could be wrong, but I've been told several times by people who wanted to be fighter pilots that they couldn't become a fighter pilot because they had Lasik surgery before. And apparently, that flap never fully heals. So, during the high-G-force maneuvers, that flap can move.

[01:15:34] So, they're not letting people who had Lasik surgery become pilots in aircraft that have high-G maneuvers. Supposedly. I've been told this many times, but I never went and had an official instructor tell me that this is factual. But apparently, there are problems with the permanence of the surgery and there are a fair amount of side effects. To me, it seems to be an incredibly risky procedure when we understand the causes of elongated eyeball, the eyeball will shorten given a bit of time in lower correction glasses. So, it's a hugely unnecessary risk to take. If you're going to go that route, I would just rather wear contacts or glasses, and don't undergo a procedure where the side effects may not be reversible.

[01:16:19]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I think I was I was put off by it because I was the one that went to pick up brother number one when he had it done. I walked in the reception office at the place where he had it done, and he comes out, and they lead him out, and both his eyes are bandaged up, and I had to lead them to the car, and we were roommates at the time. And so, I had to like lead him to go take a leak and make him breakfast. And I was like, holy shit, this is hard core, man. I mean, I forget, two or three days or something, his eyes are completely bandaged up. He was essentially blind temporarily.

[01:16:56] And that was enough for me to be like, whoa, if I ever lose my vision, this is before that happened for me, but I was like, yeah, I don't think I'm ever getting on board for that. It seemed to be incredibly invasive. And one of those things like one false move and you, it seemed to me, could end up blind. Like you scratch your nose or something in the middle of it, and they're like, oops, eh, they just lasered the wrong part of your eye or something. It's a very Frankensteinian kind of operation there, so I was definitely turned off by that.

[01:17:28]Jake Steiner:  There was a news reporter in the US, this was some months ago, committed suicide after Lasik because her vision was just so screwed up. And she committed suicide, it was in our Facebook group, a lot of people talked about this, a lot of people came out talking about their own Lasik surgery experience, and having had side effects and depression because of it. Because even if it's "just dry eyes", that's enough to, if you're living in that constant discomfort of pain, that is not, for the rest of your life, to me, just seems to be too much of a risk to, even if it's a couple percentage points. Like if a hundred people go in there and 95 people are fine, to me, that's still way too big of a risk. An elective procedure, right? Like you don't need it. You're not going to die without it.

[01:18:17]Luke Storey:  Right. Likewise. There's something else I wanted to ask you about. And again, I know like I often cover things that I guess might not have expertise or even an awareness about, but it's worth asking. Something that concerns me with vision is the flicker rate of the lighting in our environments, whether that be LED lighting in your home, on your devices, televisions, fluorescent lighting, things like that. I personally am very sensitive to light flicker just in terms of brain function, and how I feel, my mood, et cetera, to the point where if I go in a big box store like Target or something like that, I mean, it's like, I immediately just start getting confused and irritable.

[01:19:00] And then, as I did some research, found that some people are really irritated by lighting that flickers and lighting that has a flicker rate is becoming more prominent because it's energy-efficient, because essentially, it's turning on and off repeatedly, I forget how many, 60 times a second or something like that. And so, what that does is it causes your pupil to dilate and contract rapidly to catch up with that light turning on and off just like it would in a dark room if you were to flip the light switch on and off, right? 

[01:19:32] So, it's very fatiguing to the eye and the brain because it's unnatural. There's no flicker in our natural environment because the sun is just a static light source. Another interesting thing is the only time in nature you would see light flickering is if you're running through a wooded area and there's daylight or sunlight flickering through the trees, which would mean you would be in a really high-stress state, either trying to catch something or not be prey, right? 

[01:20:01] And that's the only time in nature, evolutionarily speaking, that we would have been in a light that goes, tick, tick, tick, and flickers like that. So, I've gone to great lengths to actually measure the flicker inside the lighting in my house. And there's no light that flickers in my whole house because I'll film it with slow motion on my iPhone, and you can see, it turns on, turns off, turns on, turn off, about that fast. So, it's really interesting. Have you heard anything about light flicker, or observed the effects of it, or is that something you're even aware of at all?

[01:20:32]Jake Steiner:  No, thankfully not. And again, I avoid as many of the rabbit holes as possible because ignorance is bliss, as they say, right? So, no. The short version is I really haven't and I wish I didn't know, because now, I'm going to find the slow motion recording on my iPhone. And heart disease, I had a podcast with a fantastic guy discussing heart disease. And he said, there's something called a CAC scan, a coronary artery calcification scan. I don't know if you've heard of this. 

[01:21:07]Luke Storey:  I have, yeah. 

[01:21:09]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. So, you're aware of this. I wasn't. My parents are both doctors, right? My dad told me to go on statins because of cholesterol. I didn't, of course. In all of this, and I get every year checkups, I go to the fancy hospital, I do all this stuff, I've never heard of this until we had this podcast, to the point of why I don't like rabbit holes. And I couldn't believe this. And we had a fantastic conversation and I wasn't aware of this. So, I started researching it after the fact, that the calcification of the coronary arteries is the determining factor of a heart disease.

[01:21:41] And you can measure this thing. And there's multi-million-dollar devices in many hospitals that allow you to get this checked out, and that you can prevent progression of heart disease, and maybe even reverse it with nutrition. I was like, this has to be a conspiracy theory, having not heard of this. I went to a hospital. It was actually in Bangkok. I was in Bangkok at the time. It's this futuristic Star Trek machine with a rotating disk that spins around and like measure slices of your heart.

[01:22:17] And I didn't have any coronary artery calcification, but that's apparently a real thing, and that would be a way to know if I'm going to get heart disease, the likelihood that it's going to kill me and I could possibly prevent it, never heard of. This is going back to the light flickering one, like there are so many things where I really wish that was a good thing to know about, but where it's like, how many things can you become aware of without just starting to either be completely a conspiracy theorist or just never wanting to deal with modern life again, right? 

[01:22:52] Because I mean, the light flickering sounds like that could certainly be a thing. Every time I walk into a shopping mall, my eyesight just goes to shit. That fluorescent lighting just does not agree with my eyes. If I spend more than an hour in a shopping mall, my eyesight is just terrible. I've never considered that the flickering could be a thing. And now, I kind of wish I didn't know because it makes a lot of sense. And there are so many of these things where if we took a step back and we took a more natural approach to things or not the cheapest way for the light to turn on and off, and save some money, that's so often, we're better off with the simpler solution than with the madness. 

[01:23:35]Luke Storey:  Described a huge part of my, I don't want to say struggle, but being in the business that I'm in, I'm privy to information like that, and I'm so curious, and I love to learn, but there is this tight rope of having an awareness of issues like this, but not walking around in fear, and being paranoid, and causing yourself ultimately psychological, and then physical harm by being in a state of anxiety about it, right? 

[01:24:08] So, if I walk in Target, and I go, wow, this lighting is really harsh, I don't like it, that's one thing, but if I go, oh, my God, this is hurting my brain, this flicker is like confusing my pupil right now, I mean, then it's like an added level of damage that's being caused because you're focusing on something that's wrong. So, I think for me, that's something I'm always kind of working on, is to build a lifestyle and educate the listeners of this podcast how they can build the same lifestyle if they so choose that is more in alignment with nature, but also, to accept that there are just some things about modern life that you can't change and to be paranoid.

[01:24:50]Jake Steiner:  You're smoking a cigar. I love that, right? Like you have to just go, at some point, you have to draw the line, and be like, something's going to kill me and I'm going to enjoy it at least, right?

[01:24:58]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Well, sitting here in my studio and I know exactly where the Wi-Fi router is. I tell you, it's like about 10 feet from my head right now. And I don't like that because I know what that could mean. But the fact is, well, I choose to live stream on my devices, and they're not hard-wired, like my computer that we're talking on is now, so it's like, I just put it out of my mind because I've accepted that it's the way it is. And I know that worrying about it is going to be more detrimental to my health and well-being than it just being there.

[01:25:30] In other words, it's like double jeopardy when the things, potentially harmful, and your thoughts about it are also harmful. And if you look at the power of placebo, right? It's like, now, someone could listen to this show, and every time they're on their phone, be like, oh, my God, I'm going to get myopia. You know what I mean? So, it's like that fine line of awareness without anxiety of a relaxed awareness, where you go, okay, this is less than optimal situation, but it is what it is.

[01:25:58] So, now, let me get back to being happy and having a sense of well-being, and feeling safe and secure, and just calming my nervous system down. And if there's an intervention that can be implemented without being incredibly neurotic about it, then I'm going to do that. So, in my case, it's like change the light bulbs in my house. That takes me about an hour, and then it's just done, and I never think about it again. So, I'm not sitting, going, oh, my God, is this light flickering, it's just fixed? 

[01:26:26] I want to get back to some of your methodology, and also, of course, let people know where they can find your work, and your Facebook group, and courses, and things like that because one thing I really like about you is that this is your passion and you've created a business around it. But as people will find on your website, it's really funny when it comes to the money part. It's like, yeah, I'm selling something, but the way you approach it, I really dig, because you're like, yeah, now's the part when I'm going to tell you, it's going to cost some money, and here's like 80% of the shit you can do to fix it for free.

[01:27:01] But if you want to take it to the next level, there is different training and stuff available. So, I like the way you very transparently, and in a funny way, like sell something online. But when it comes to the methods of actually fixing it, which I'm sure people are like, yeah, okay, so it's a problem, how do I fix it? So, one is the reducing the screen time. We've established the hierarchy of device distance, you could say, right? Best to worst. And then, getting in the habit of learning how to measure your eyesight, at what point it gets blurry, and you're making an app, which sounds amazing to make that more simple for simpletons like me. 

[01:27:42] If we're not doing exercises in the way that they're presented in something like the Bates method, where we're rolling our eyes around, or squinting, or covering our one eye and this kind of stuff, tell us about active focus because I know that's part of your recommendations and anything else that might be helpful to people that listen to the show, and go, I want to start doing something right now because my eyes are getting a little weird or I want to, in fact, reverse what I have going.

[01:28:14]Jake Steiner:  Okay. There's a lot to unpack on this one. The approach is very simple. And the reason I joke around about buying stuff online, because you really don't need to, I invest in business because I'm a stock trader, so it's not my main monetary focus. I just don't like it losing money. And like doing this app, like all this stuff costs a ton of money. So, I like it to at least break even, which is why I'm not that focused on, you have to buy stuff. The approach to reversing myopia is simple enough to where you don't have to pay me for.

[01:28:46] The main thing is measuring. Like if you have any kind of measuring tape, the stuff you can buy an Amazon for a dollar or two that people use for clothes-making, like the soft measuring tape is the easiest, if you can use any measuring tape and just put it on the side of your eye, like where the bone stops, and then measure the distance to—I like books, like books are easier than screens, no flicker, no refresh, no backlight, just a white page with black text on it.

[01:29:18] Hold the book close enough to where the text is absolutely not blurred, and then move it back slowly until the text changes at all. Like usually, it's not blurred at starts, but it's like, instead of being black, it starts to look like a little grayish, a little fuzzy, or anything changes. That's where the refractive error starts and you just measure that distance. There's a calculator on the website that converts it to diopters. You don't have to. You can just write down what that distance is.

[01:29:44] And the main thing that gets you into this whole thing is measure the distance after you spent three hours on Netflix and see that number go down because something happens in your brain that goes from this theoretical, this is interesting, to, wow, this affected me when the distance changes. Measure the distance when you're not in a naturally lit room with full-spectrum lighting. If you want to get crazy about it, you can measure the locks and see how bright the light is. 

[01:30:15] Measure that distance where the blur starts on that same page, then go in an artificially lit room with some narrow artificial UV spectrum that has the same locks, and look at that centimeter distance, and it will be different, right? Once you start realizing how much your eyesight fluctuates, that gets you into this whole thing. That's why I'm doing the app because I realized, where you got stuck and where people get stuck is measuring sounds, I don't have a measuring tape, and the temptation comes from, you eat a pizza and have a coke, and then measure the distance, as your insulin is spiking, and it's lower. 

[01:30:51] And then, you start realizing how all of this stuff plays together, right? And once you know the distance, now, you know like it equates to X amount of diopters, right? Like it gets the X amount of centimeters, that's the same as, say, for example, two diopters. So, I need two-diopter glasses to correct my eyesight. So, you go online and buy yourself a pair of minus 1.75-diopter glasses, and when you get those, just put those on and see how you see with those.

[01:31:21] It's that simple because the word prescription really irks me because it's not a prescription, it's just lobbying for clear, curved piece of plastic. Print out an eye chart, put it on the wall, see how your eyesight is with that minus 1.75, right? Like that awareness of, you're not a victim of a thing and you don't need the optometrist to tell you what correction you need is, one, incredibly liberating, and two, puts you in this place of where you feel like you're in charge and it's now an interesting project, right?

[01:31:53] Like whatever your connection is right now, if you go down by a quarter diopter, and you look at the eye chart and see how your vision is affected by that, it becomes a thing you can't resist, because tomorrow morning, you're going to check that eye chart, right? And then, you're going to check it after a night of drinking, and go, oh, that was not good. And that is what gets you—people who make it that far, in many cases, I want to say in most cases, but very frequently, get back to 20/20 eventually because that process is so engaging and that reduction, like once you make the first reduction, you're like, I have control over this, right? 

[01:32:28] This doesn't just go up. I don't just go to the optometrist. They don't just write 200-dollar prescription that I then fill, right? I can actually get a lower one. The active focus thing is something that generally takes people a little bit of time to discover, is entirely natural to our eyesight. Anybody who's never worn glasses has active focus. It's basically something is a little bit blurry at any given distance, and you just blink at it, and you will it to clear up.

[01:32:57] There's always that little bit of where your eye didn't focus correctly or there's a little bit of margin like sandbagging, right? Like if you really need it to clear up without squinting, you can clear it up. And most people who have never worn glasses just instinctively do this and know how to do this. If you've worn super strong glasses that stump that ability, you might have forgotten how to do it, but it's basically just, you look at something that's too blurry to read, and you blink at it, and you're like, what does it say?

[01:33:25] And then, it just clears up enough to read. That's all active focus in. And if you wear glasses that are strong enough to where you can recognize your friends, and walk down the street, and drive safely, in California, I'm pretty sure that's 20/40 eyesight, right? So, whenever optometrists refuse to sell you whatever kind of glasses you want, the law mandates 20/40. So, when they say, you can't use last year's prescription, if you can see 20/40, yes, you can, and they're just trying to sell you stuff, right? 

[01:33:55] Like the whole thing is kind of a rabbit hole, but it boils down to just, buy glasses that let you see clearly enough without becoming a crutch to not make you do any effort, right? And that's two pairs of glasses. That's one for close up. If you can see your computer screen fine without glasses, just always take them off. Never, ever, ever, ever wear distance glasses for close up. If your glasses are over two diopters in general, you need something for close up that's usually a-diopter-and-a-half less.

[01:34:28] I have free email series that also explains all this stuff for people who get lost in the details, can't write it down. So, you have about a-diopter-and-a-half less for close up. That gives you that computer screen distance with a little bit of challenge. So, if you're sitting ergonomically comfortable, that distance should let you see the screen clearly, but if you move your hand back a little bit, it's just a little bit blurry, you blink at it, it clears up, that's enough to prevent a lot of the close-up strain.

[01:34:55] That's how you can get away with eight hours a day of screen time by wearing correction low enough and challenging eyesight. And then, when you go outside, you wear glasses that are strong enough to see, but not so strong that you don't have to make an effort, and not so strong that a bad day isn't clearly a bad day. That's all the method is. That's why I joke about, you don't need to pay me money because it is literally that simple.

[01:35:21] Two pairs of glasses that address your two main distances, and don't make them any stronger than they need to be, and challenge your eyesight. And if you do that correctly in a million little details that you may or may not need, you improve your eyesight by just under a diopter a year. So, for somebody like me with five diopters, that's about five years, but it's not five years of work, it's one set of habit changes, and then you forget about it, right? Like I adopt one new hobby, like I kite surf, right? Like that is my thing. That takes up X amount of hours a day of focused-distance vision.

[01:36:00] And then, I have six-plus hours of screen time that I break up in three-hour chunks, and my vision stays 20/20. And even if your vision is, even if I would have been at minus five, this set of habits of, not going to wear glasses for close up, I have a distance hobby, I'm taking enough breaks, would improve my eyesight by itself without me having to do exercises by just almost a diopter a year. You spend about a month, a month or two, like getting into it, tinkering with it, figuring it out, and after that, it's just an autopilot, process where every three or four months, you buy a new pair of glasses that are lower than the last one.

[01:36:44]Luke Storey:  Wow, that's cool. When it comes to the active focus, like I have something written on my wall, a reminder, it's not written on the wall, piece of paper taped to the wall, I'm not doing graffiti in my studio here, so when I'm sitting right here, I can read it, but it's like double vision, kind of blurry. So, if I wanted to practice active focus, I would get close enough to that piece of paper where it's totally clear, then back up a little bit where I have to kind of do that trick to make it clear and keep increasing that threshold of distance so that it remains clear as I back away. Is that-

[01:37:28]Jake Steiner:  That's an interesting way to find it, but then as an ongoing habit, it is just a matter of the glasses you wear are never so strong that you can see everything perfectly.

[01:37:39]Luke Storey:  Got it.

[01:37:39]Jake Steiner:  Like you go to Starbucks, and it's kind of dark in there, and the menu on the wall is just small enough to where you can't read every bit of it without blinking at it. The ideal thing is to where you make your glasses, that amount of diopters to where you have to use active focus consistently, right? Like it's kind of something as a discovery process, to where you don't want your glasses so weak that you can't recognize people's facial expressions, but that license plate that's like at the end of the light up there is blurry, and you just built that habit of going, what is that, a Z or an A, and you just blink at it. Making that habit, a subconscious, almost a subconscious habit is a stimulus that makes your eye go, woops, I'm not quite right. I'm not quite right. And that ongoing stimulus habit is what improves your eyesight.

[01:38:30]Luke Storey:  Cool.

[01:38:30]Jake Steiner:  Finding is a challenge, and then building a habit is a challenge, but once you have it, as long as you wear glasses that always keep you a little bit challenged, the rest just happens. 

[01:38:41]Luke Storey:  And I'm assuming that the active focus practice that you're describing, that you habituate yourself to can also be practiced without any glasses at all. Like my glasses, for example, are only necessary when something is pretty far away. So, anything in my immediate surrounding is legible and clear, but I would just do that active focus habit, whether I'm wearing glasses or not, it's just a matter of like how far in the distance the thing is that I'm trying to focus. So, if I go into a coffee shop, and I'm like having a little hard time reading the menu rather than putting my glasses on to really just see if I can get my eyes to comply with my demand of like, no, I'm going to read if that's a Frappuccino or a cappuccino, right? Is that the idea? 

[01:39:30]Jake Steiner:  That is exactly the idea, and that's all you need. It's a little more challenging when your eyesight is almost fine, because then you're always at that threshold. And I have a few other tricks for that, but that's another longer story. For somebody with more diopters, it's really easy because they just keep reducing and they're always in a challenging spot. If your eyesight is good enough to where, mostly, you're fine, you kind of wiggle back and forth on that threshold, and slowly, you're improving. 

[01:39:57] If you make this a consistent habit, a year from now, your overall vision will be better, but it's the good days, bad days thing. The good days, bad days are less noticeable in somebody with minus five, but if you're already almost fine, you only sometimes need glasses, it can be somewhat frustrating on a shorter timeline because it seems better, you're like, wow, it's really better. And then, there's like three months to where you're like, it's really not better. But it does gradually improve as long as you build that consistent habit of challenge.

[01:40:30] And that's why glasses are also useful. Like I tell people not to never wear them because you want that reference clarity. You don't want to get used to the world being in a semi-blur. Sometimes, you put those glasses on and that reminds your visual cortex, this is how clear things are, right? And then, when you take them off, you have that, okay, this is not correct, because sometimes, people never wear glasses. They just get used to frappuccino and cappuccino looking the same, and then you don't get that stimulus.

[01:41:00]Luke Storey:  Right. I think you just described me because I'm so paranoid of wearing my glasses that I just accept that things are always kind of blurry when they're a certain distance away. And yeah, that's interesting. 

[01:41:13]Jake Steiner:  So, one thing you can do if you're paranoid is low-light conditions, the refractive error is more noticeable, movie theater, nighttime walk, neon lights, all that stuff. For example, if you only wear your glasses at night and not necessarily all the time, then you have enough of a different environment to where it's not going to negatively affect your eyesight, but you're still going to appreciate more clarity.

[01:41:36]Luke Storey:  Cool. That's useful. Yeah. There are two times in which I will always have to wear my glasses or the experience is ruined, and that's watching TV, which is in the room where I watch TV, is probably 15 feet away. And I can see what's going on, but it's annoying because it's blurry. And the other one would be going to the movies, which we don't do anymore now that our society has been transformed into a dystopian, totalitarian nightmare.

[01:42:04] But if I go to the movies, the movie will completely suck if I don't have my glasses. I've made that mistake before, I sit down, and I'm like, oh, shit, I forgot my glasses. And it's just like, okay, well, you're going to have to tell me what's going on because it's going to be quite blurry. So, that's good to know. I can give myself a little bit of leeway there and not be so paranoid about wearing my glasses and perhaps do it when it's a low-light situation.

[01:42:30]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. And that's how Endmyopia turned from the simple set of, it's super simple to fix your eyesight into a million details because there are so many scenarios. Because, for example, you can absolutely wear them at night because you want that clarity enough of the time to wear, you almost subconsciously are always aware when things are too blurred. You want enough lens to where the blurriness isn't your default, right? Because then, you're not trying to practice active focus.

[01:42:59]Luke Storey:  That's cool.

[01:43:01]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. I got one more question for you that I would be remiss to not ask, and that is, I want to go into my—it's funny, this far away from my monitor, I'm doing some active focus because I'm looking at my Dropbox folder, I'm like, medical, number 10, okay, I can see it.

[01:43:17] By the way, this is where some things are more challenging, because, for example, if you're editing a podcast, I noticed because I'm doing my own, sometimes, when you're that focused, you end creeping in because you're too focused on your work, and reminding yourself to go, okay, it's going to take me longer to see the timeline, but I'm going to move back. Like those little details make a difference over time.

[01:43:40]Luke Storey:  Cool. Alright. So, I'm going to tell you what my latest, and again, I think this is just on a bad day because it was—well, actually, let me tell you both of them, and I want to do this because there might be someone like me out there that doesn't understand diopters and what any of these goddamn numbers mean. I was 48 years old or something, the first time I had to go in and get glasses. I don't know the terminology or what anything means written on my prescription, but the first time I went, it was distance, right, is 1.25, distance, left, 0.75. 

[01:44:20] And then, a year later, when I went back to the same optometrist, the distance, right, was 1.25, and the distance, left, was 0.75—oh, wait, I'm not looking at the same one. Jesus Christ, hang on a second. I'm like, wait, those numbers were the same. No, no, no. Oh, my God. It's fucking funny, dude. Well, we'll just go with that. But you know what, I think I did—oh, this is hilarious. I forgot I did this. And I hope no one from whatever regulatory agency ever listens to this, but because I didn't want stronger glasses the last time I got some new glasses, man, I had my graphic designer Photoshop the date on my prescription to change it to the-

[01:45:16]Jake Steiner:  I didn't hear anything you just said there. People buy glasses online a lot, and I get these comments off, and nobody ever checks. But when they ask how to get a prescription, one was like, I don't know. I don't know. 

[01:45:28]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Well, no, I didn't really do that, I was making a joke. A good friend of mine heard about his cousin's girlfriend. 

[01:45:38]Jake Steiner:  Somewhere in a country where glasses are not prescriptions, which those countries exist.

[01:45:42]Luke Storey:  So, let's just go back to the right 1.25, and the left, 0.75. From your perspective, I would think, since you went down from a diopter of five to 20/20 vision, that what I've got going here is absolutely fixable if I commit myself.

[01:46:00]Jake Steiner:  Okay. The first thing there is, that's how there's so many details in this, there's something called ocular dominance, where one of your eyes is stronger than the other, which is the case in every human ever, and it's apparently part of how you measure distance, right? So, one eye is stronger than the other. What optometrist for some reason don't get in their education is that is a natural thing and it's not meant to be corrected differently.

[01:46:29] What you have there's a half-diopter difference, right? Like 1.25 and 0.75, what you actually want is a pair of minus one-diopter glasses. Forget one eye is stronger and one is weaker because what you're doing is, if you're overcorrecting the "weaker eye", it's not weaker, it's part of the system where one eye is stronger than the other, then you're negating the natural system of how your visual cortex interprets a visual signal, right?

[01:47:00] So, whenever there's a small difference between the two eyes, one of the things that happens is if your myopia gets higher, the distance increases. Like now, your one is much "weaker" than the other because the optometrist overcorrected the eye that is the non-dominant eye in this scenario. So, 1.25 and 0.75 means you need to buy a pair of minus one-diopter glasses, this is not prescription advice. I'm assuming you're living in Costa Rica or somewhere where you can just go buy these, right?

[01:47:32]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I always shop for my glasses outside of the United States. Yes.

[01:47:37]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. Whatever you do, whatever the rules are, it's not that easy to switch if you're wearing these consistently, it will feel weird, you're not going to like it. But if you almost never wear your glasses, the best thing to do is have some activity that's challenging without glasses, like watching a movie with subtitles for like 10, 15 minutes and trying to read it, and becoming frustrated, and putting on the new minus ones, and your brain will be so happy about the correction that it's not going to remember that it used to be in different focal plane.

[01:48:09]Luke Storey:  Cool. That's awesome.

[01:48:10]Jake Steiner:  That's because you want your natural focal plane and the artificial one to be as close together as possible because it's confusing for your visual cortex to go, why is one eye, all of a sudden, stronger than the other one when you put on your glasses? So, that's an extra step in making it harder to accept your natural vision when the glasses change the relative focal point, right? To put on the minus one, it's just, everything moved a little bit.

[01:48:37] Put on your current glasses, left eye move more than the right eye, and that makes your visual cortex unhappy because it doesn't naturally occur. And the feedback it's getting is, something's wrong with the eyeballs, right? So, if you get anxiety and stuff like that from these focal plane changes, that's another thing that happens at some people, it's just, your visual cortex is the biggest part of your cortex, it goes, there's something wrong here, when the relative focal plane is teaching.

[01:49:02]Luke Storey:  That's really interesting. Wow. Thank you for that information. The last thing I want to ask you, and I found this to be a little confusing, I think I might have mentioned this to you a couple of years ago, is that this particular optometrist also prescribed some computer glasses, and those, I have around somewhere, although I don't really use them, but they do make it—I notice if I wear the computer glasses, there's a little less strain from working 18 inches away or however far I am from the monitor typically, but those say, right plane O, and then left, plus 0.5 O. 

[01:49:39]Jake Steiner:  Wow. Interesting. That makes no sense at all because that plus, so plus goes in the opposite direction, plus is for far-sighted people, and the plus should actually make it more difficult to read. It should be more blurry, instead of less blurry. Close the eye where the plane O side is with those glasses on, and then compare how you can read the screen with the plus lenses. About what age range are you?

[01:50:08]Luke Storey:  I'm forty nine.

[01:50:10]Jake Steiner:  Because that's usually when people have presbyopia, like they have challenges reading a post, like these things would be clear with the bushlands, that's a presbyopia symptom.

[01:50:19]Luke Storey:  Got it.

[01:50:20]Jake Steiner:  And then, I would definitely not wear those because that'll just make it worse.

[01:50:23]Luke Storey:  Okay. Cool. Well, I think I lost them because it was hard for me to habituate because I don't really need them, but it did seem to kind of bring things a little closer and magnify them, which made me be able to just kind of sit back a bit. But anyway, they're gone. That's very useful. Thank you for the information. I'm assuming I'm not the only one listening that doesn't know what any of those freaking numbers mean.

[01:50:50]Jake Steiner:  But easy to figure out. So, for example, your distance, and I didn't mention this at all, is when you measure your distance, the centimeter distance of how far you can see clearly and diopters is a direct conversion. It's just 100 divided by the centimeters equals diopters. That's it. Like I don't like math either, right? But it's that simple. Like I have my phone, so say you can see 40 centimeters, so 100 divided by 40 is what? 2.5, right? 

[01:51:27] So, 2.5 diopters is the glasses you need if you can only see 40 centimeters. So, if you're sitting in front of a book, and you're measuring the distance, and it's at 40 centimeters, it starts to be blurry, then you need minus 2.5-diopter glasses to have perfect vision. And the formula is just 100 divided by the distance. So, diopters is nothing other than how far can I see before there's blur. 

[01:51:55]Luke Storey:  Oh, cool. Thanks for the education.

[01:52:01]Jake Steiner:  I should probably have mentioned that way earlier, because I know, I can see your eyes going, oh, whatever, math, that way, but it's really just distance to blur, you can express it in centimeters, you can express it in diopters. It's 100 divided by the distance. That's it.

[01:52:15]Luke Storey:  Got it. Cool, man. Cool. Very good. Okay. So, that brings me to the close here. And I want to know where people can find your Facebook group, website, when you anticipate this app for measuring your distance site is going to come out, give us any links, anything people can do. I know you've got like that email series. I think I had last time I was looking at your content, it was really great and informative, and actually kind of helped me at least make some progress in learning about this stuff. So, what can people do if they're like, cool, I have this, I want to fix it?

[01:52:53]Jake Steiner:  So, endmyopia.org is the website that has everything that you need. The seven-day email guide, I like as a starting point. It's seven days because there's so much information there that it requires a little bit of spacing out. That's all you really need to get started. All the stuff we talked about here, close-up glasses, distance glasses, diopters, the conversion, how to measure, is all on those seven days. So, that seven-day guide is on every page of the site. 

[01:53:21] Just put in your email, I'm not going to spam you afterwards. That's all you're getting. From there, there's a link to a YouTube channel, which has my cringy face on it, explaining a lot of these concepts in a lot of videos. Our Facebook group that has 17,000 or so members right now, and is very active, 12,000 or so members, according to the Facebook stats are consistently there. There is a link to a forum. So, if you don't like social media, we also have a forum that gets really nerdy, one guy bought the machine that measures your actual Axial Length.

[01:53:54] And for the last year, he's been measuring how long his eyeballs are and how much they're shortening. So, the form gets super nerdy if you want the real rabbit hole. We're also finally making a wiki. So, that's community source, so you don't have to necessarily read all my rants-filled website articles to get all the content. That's coming out in the next few days. And all of the general social media and all this stuff that you need, endmyopia.org will take you to all of it.

[01:54:25]Luke Storey:  Awesome, man. Alright. I've got one last question for you, and this will be probably a bit of a surprise, I hope. You've taught me and the audience a ton today. Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work that we might be able to go check out?

[01:54:42]Jake Steiner:  Wow. That is a surprise. That is a surprise. I don't have a good answer for this, because for one, I'm terrible with names, and for the other, I read a lot. Like on average, I'll read, not lately, not lately, since I've been stuck here, but two or three books a week is pretty common for me to just read stuff. My favorite, I'm going to give you one, and this might sound a little stereotypical maybe for California, but Buddha. Because especially with these rabbit holes, and especially with all the stuff, like just finding the inner peace to not care, understanding things, realizing things without an emotional attachment is probably my biggest all around, how do I still enjoy life, while living with this awareness of all the things that you're learning, and that I'm learning, and that way around. So, as far as teachers go, that would probably be one out of three pick. I don't really have two other ones because I have-

[01:55:52]Luke Storey:  I mean, that one's a big one, dude, so that gives plenty. 

[01:55:57]Jake Steiner:  And it may sound like one of my best friends here who is 23, but is older than me when it comes to maturity, it's all Buddhist stuff. Every time, I'm like, how do you come up with this thinking? It is always Buddhist stuff. And the social media and Instagram of being lost and stuff, going back to something that's been figured out so long ago that we need to get back to and away from the emotion of how many people like my stuff.

[01:56:31]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Thank you. Well, that's sage advice and that definitely qualifies for a great recommendation. And with that, I will bid you farewell, my friend. And I'm really, really pleased that we had the opportunity to finally get this podcast recorded. You've been in my email folder of like people to interview for a long, long time. And finally, the stars aligned and we're both motivated to get it done. So, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom and expertise with us today.

[01:57:05]Jake Steiner:  Yeah. Thanks so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. 

[01:57:05]Luke Storey:  For sure, man. Alright. I'll talk to you soon.


Link to the Search Page
Cacao Bliss
Link to the Search Page

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information provided by lukestorey.com is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is your responsibility, along with your healthcare providers, to make decisions about your health. Lukestorey.com recommends consulting with your healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition. The products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

continue the discussion at the life stylist podcast facebook group. join now.