What is Astigmatism?
An astigmatism is a defect in the eye that causes the focal point of images to land before or after the retina, instead of on the retina, causing blurred vision. Normally, light and images are refracted through the lenses of our eyes and are refracted onto a single point on the retina, which translates the light in nerve signals that are sent to the brain via the optic nerve. When an eye has an astigmatism, two images fall on the retina (as the focal point isn't correct), and that information gets sent back to the brain as a blurry image. Symptoms of astigmatism are eye strain, headaches (and in some cases, migraines), and blurry vision. This can occur in both or just one eye.
Natural Astigmatism Correction
Here on Earth Clinic you will find home and folk remedies for your astigmatism, as well as discussions about eye care. Currently our most popular treatment for astigmatism is a set of eye exercises, but we are very interested in uncovering additional natural remedies for eye care. If you know of a cure not yet listed here or have tried something successfully or unsuccessfully in the past, please do not hesitate to share your experience with us!
[YEA] 04/08/2013: David from Fountain Inn, SC: "I was diagnosed with astigmatism in my right eye by an ophthalmologist when I was 20 years old while in college. Glasses were prescribed and I bought a set. My right eye had a stigmatism I was told by the doctor. A few years later I picked up a book by an ophthalmologist at a health food store because I wanted to find any alternative to deteriorating visual conditions. That book explained what astigmatism is and it is a simple phenomenon and an equally simple solution to obtain proper vision. First a stigmatism will always develop in the dominate eye. Each person has a dominate eye just has one has a dominate hand, usually right, and even a dominate leg. Mine is left!
To determine which eye is dominate, simply point to a distant object and without moving your hand shut each eye. You will see that the object moves when one eye is used and does not move when the other eye is used. In other words, the eye that is doing the focusing is the dominate eye. What the eye does then is uses one eye, the dominate eye, to dominate all focus actions. Now what happens in time, especially in a "book" focused society (worse now with computers) is the dominate eye will become strained... literally the dominate eye's muscles will be strained and will LOSE the ability to focus. As such the dominate eye will ALWAYS have the stigmatism.
The solution then is to relax the dominate eye and retrain the muscles in the dominate eye to be in proper focus. This is accomplished by a simple exercise. By using an eye chart or my favorite is a distant tree, one puts the palm of the hand over the dominate eye, but allowing light to come through on the sides, and you focus on the distant tree... A tree perhaps a hundred yards away. You focus with the non dominate eye on the limbs of the tree for perhaps ten seconds, then transfer the hand over the non dominate eye and allowing the dominate eye to "re set" by example of the non dominate but non astigmatic eye. Repeat three times. In a mere minute you have reset the stigmatized eye. This is harder to accomplish for a person who has over time put on ever stronger glasses. In that case, the book said the process had to be reversed and go backwards to the lest strong glasses and repeat over weeks to finally get to ground zero. Well, I was fortunate to find this book when I had the first weak set of glasses; as I said when I was only 20 years old. I used the eye chart provided in the book and now, over 40 years later still have that same eye chart taped to my vitamin cabinet. But usually I use an outdoors object, as I said, a distant tree. That's because you can use the limbs of the tree to find more refined focus points... some more narrow than others and so you can intensify the focus exercise.
Well, the book was very extensive and the ophthalmologist went into detail in explaining how a first "test" of children, for example, is almost always wrong and he'd always throw out the first eye test because the pressure on the child would cause the eye to be more strained than normal; hence, often children are diagnosed with problems that really do not have a visual difficulty at all. But once the glasses start, the dependency is ongoing. The need for stronger and stronger glasses is progressive. Unfortunately, I gave that book away over 30 years ago... all but the eye chart that came with the book. But I have shown the eye exercise method to hundreds of people. My eyesight is 20/20. I am nearly 64 years old. I can even see fine print out of a book so long as the lighting is good. I am sorry I do not have the name of the book or the remarkable ophthalmologist who was brave enough to write it. Brave I say because he revealed that children's tests are often flawed. But just remember that the stigmatism can be reversed. Remember I was diagnosed with that in my dominate right eye. And in fact I knew my right eye was off. That was why I went to the doctor to start with. But with one simple eye exercise, my stigmatized eye "learned" what its muscles "should" be by the non dominate eye. I have been so thankful for perfect sight now for all my life thanks to one book. God bless that doctor."Replies
04/09/2013: Mmsg from Somewhere, Europe replies: "David, was there anything in that book about myopia?"
04/09/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, SC replies: "Oh, one last point for how to do the exercise I described above. You begin by covering the dominate eye (the stigmatized eye) and focusing on a distant object with the non dominate (non stigmatized eye) for ten seconds and then WITHOUT blinking, shift the other way around so that you next cover the non dominate eye and again focus on the same distant object for ten seconds; repeat without blinking three times and finally uncover both eyes (without blinking) and look at the object with both eyes. Repeat this three times. (Now you can blink. ) This exercise takes about 90 seconds. Repeat three times a week or when you notice your eyes are "blurring." At the end of the exercise you can actually feel the weak (dominate) eye muscle change. What you are doing is "making" the dominate but strained eye, reset using the non strained eye. And once again,ÃÂ I got this from the book on the subject by an ophthalmologist."
04/10/2013: David from Fountain Inn, SC replies: "Hello "Somewhere in Europe" This exercise (given by the opthomologist) I've described above is helpful with blurring vision of distant objects. Myopia is then helped by such an exercise. I've used it now for forty years and when I began I had blurred vision but the exercise immediately corrected the problem and now, all these years later, no glasses...20/20 vision."
06/15/2013: Krishna from Chesterfield, Mo replies: "My son 5 years old is having astigmatism. Please let us know the exercises which will cure naturally without correction glasses. Please let us know your contact details."
Lime Juice and Rose Water
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/11/2010: Gean from Salina, Ks: "Hello, does anyone have any experience with putting rose water mixed with lime juice in the eyes? I have read that it will cure astigmatism if mixed one part lime juice to four parts rose water. I tried it and it really stings. So I diluted it with a lot more rose water and it still stings. Is this normal? Is it supposed to sting? And would rose water by itself also work? Any advice would be appreciated."Replies
08/12/2010: Lily from Brisbane, Queensland replies: "Hi Gean, please be careful about putting anything into your eyes, you can end up with a horrible infection or even worse, blindness. Try some of the eye exercises listed in EC, or google the words 'natural vision improvement' and see what you can find. You will find that the eye drops in the pharmacy are completely sterilised for your protection but the rosewater and lime will not be. Wish you lots of luck with your vision. Lily."
06/21/2009: Char from Columbus, Ohio: "I have myopia and astigmatisms in both eyes. One eye is slightly weaker than the other. I have been looking into Plus Lens therapies as well as the use of supplements to improve my eyesight, however I have not seen anything that addresses eye conditions with astigmatisms. Does anyone have any thoughts on ways I can improve the myopia and astigmatisms too? Thanks"
EC: There are a few astigmatism remedies on this page. Myopia remedies are here: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/myopia.html
06/21/2009: Joyce from Joelton, Tn. replies: "To Char from Columbus, Ohio:
I can help on the astigmatism, as I had the problem back in my 20's. I happened to read some of Edgar Cayce's books along about that time and read his recommendation for lumpy eyeballs (astigmatism) and tried his exercises and happily found they worked. It is every simple. Roll your head clockwise l0 times as close to your shoulders, back and chest as you can. Then roll head counterclockwise l0 times. I did this morning and night and soon found I could read fine without eyestrain and without wearing my glasses for astigmatism. Went without glasses at all for about l5 or twenty years until age related presbyopia (your arms get too short to hold your book far enough out to read it) caught up with me. When I had to get reading glasses the only thing the opth. mentioned was the presbyopia, so I asked how about the astigmatism, to which he replied I didn't have any.
When I told him that I used to have it, he said you don't get rid of astigmatism. I just smiled and said apparently I did because I had to wear glasses several years until I did the exercises that made them unnecessary, as I left his office."
07/22/2009: Char from Columbus, Ohio replies: "Thanks so much for the post Joyce. I will be giving those head rolls a try asap, and I am looking forward to some great results. Thanks again, Char."
09/27/2011: Kim from Harrow, Middx replies: "I found your head roll theory on astigmatism very interesting, however when I do the full head roll I do hear grinding noises which concerns me. I looked for advice on the internet and they advise not to do a full head roll but just to do it to the left and then to the right, otherwise you could cause damage to the neck. Any advice???"
12/25/2012: Warren from Atlanta, Ga replies: "You don't want to compress the vertabre in your neck too much, but if there is no pain you should be safe. I am a massage therapist and Yogi and do head rolls frequently."
[YEA] 08/05/2008: Kathleen from Rice Lake, WI: "I am 19 years old and have had astigmatism since before I was in kindergarten. It's such a burden to me and up until a year or so ago I wore glasses and finally got contacts because they started making cheaper ones that weren't glass.
Anyways, I was researching for any cures and since I absolutely love this site, I started here, but was quite disappointed there was nothing listed for astigmatism. So I found multiple sites which pushed for lasik or glasses and contacts. But the problem with these is that lasik doesn't always solve the problem permanently. And I don't like to give those who push non-natural alternatives because I personally believe that God put all these plants and things on earth for a reason, not to just look pretty.
I eventually came across a site which mentioned Rose water and how it has been used for years to help with poor eye sight. I searched "Astigmatism Rosewater" a little more to find out what this stuff is about and how to make it. I'm not completely sure how come it helps so much, but it works apparently and since there are no added things to it, that is good enough for me. I searched for how to make rosewater and the easiest one I found, which I use is:
1. Pick fresh rose petals that have no pesticides and insecticides. If you're unable to obtain such petals, then go to your local flower seller and ask for organic roses. And if they don't have them, then wash the rose petals REALLY well in cold water, not hot.
2. Boil some water and for every packed cup of rose petals add 2 cups of boiling water.
3. The petals will start to lose color and the water will gain a bit of the color the petals were.
4. After pretty much all of the color is gone (it's ok if some of the petals didn't lose their color) use a strainer to rid the water of the petals. Squeeze the remaining water from the petals and dispose of the petals.
5. Let the water cool a bit because you don't want to burn your eye :S
6. This is an optional step: For every 8 oz. of rosewater, you can add either: a small small small amount of lime juice OR add a grain of alum. I personally wouldn't recommend both because that sounds like it'd be painful...
That is the simplest way to make it. And to put it in your eye, you should get an eye dropper and add a few drops like 3-4 times a day. If you don't have an eye dropper handy, wash your hands really well and then dip your finger in the rosewater and let it drip off your finger into your eye.
Here are a few of the links I found that seemed the most helpful:
This one has a post by someone who offered many helpful hints. I haven't tried any, but they don't sound like they'll do any bodily harm. I do know for a fact that staring at the sun at the indicated times does not do any harm to your eyes! I have no clue what the pressure points the person was talking about are...
I have just begun this endeavor only a while ago and I know it's working. My eyes are beginning to hurt because my glasses are too strong
I pray the best for all of those who suffer with astigmatism and other ailments of the eyes!"Replies
08/06/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Hi Kathleen, astigmatism is lumpy eyeballs which I figured came from uneven pull from the eyes that move the eyes, so when I read of Edgar Cayce's eye exercises, I figured that they would probably help alleviate the problem. This exercise is to roll your head as close to your body (back, chest, and shoulders) as you can l0 times to the right & then 10 times to the left. I did this twice a day, upon arising and when retiring to bed. After a few weeks of this I stopped wearing any glasses for years. When my arms started getting too short to hold my reading material far enough away to read it (presbyopia in my later 40's) I went to have my eyes checked & was told I needed reading glasses. I then asked him what about my astigmatism and was told I didn't have any. After I remarked that I wore glasses for astigmatism for several years before doing some eye exercises and going without them for more than 10 years, so my eye exercises must have gotten rid of it. He then informed me that you don't get rid of astigmatism. I smiled at the optometrist and told him that the glasses prescribed by an opthalmologist for astigmatism was needed because of eye strain until after the exercises eliminated the need for glasses for years afterwards."
08/06/2008: Teresa from Kenedy, Texas replies: "Joyce, when you do the eye exercises, do you keep your eyes open or closed as you rotate your neck?"
08/07/2008: Kathleen from Rice Lake, WI replies: "Hey thanks for the response! I never heard of that before, sounds easy enough. I'll have to start doing this too! :)"
08/08/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Answer to the question on whether to close eyes of keep them open on the exercises: I don't think it matters but I usually kept mine closed because you can get a little dizzy with all the rolling. You can actually feel the pull on the muscles controlling the eyes when you do this exercise. I wish you could have seen a patient (probably in her middle 30's) who told me that she had crossed eyes as a toddler & her mother did not want to go the surgical route and instead went the route of exercising her eyes. She said, "Thanks to her, I can do things with my eyes, that others can't do", and proceeded to face me and roll both eyes in opposite directions (the right rolled to the right while the left eye rolled left) for several rounds. I was so amazed that I didn't think to ask her where her mother found the instructions for those eye exercises. I wish I had asked her what they were. If I hadn't seen her I would not have believed anyone could do that (except maybe lizards)."
09/07/2009: Abramo from Brooklyn, New York replies: "Hello, I've been doing Edgar Cayce's eye exercises for about half a year now and my eyes are worse than when I started. I experienced temporary headaches even while in the middle of the exercise but they soon disappeared. The exercise isn't a total loss because my neck feels so much better. It's limber the way it use to be when I was young so I will continue with the exercise. If my eyesight improves I will make sure to write again but until then it has done absolutely nothing for my sight."
07/23/2011: Julester from Wilmington, Usa replies: "Bates Method Eye Exercises work wonders."
07/08/2013: Ghazala from Nottingham replies: "Hi, it is essential that you do palming alongside the eye exercises otherwise the extra eye strain can make the eye sight worse. 6 minutes a few times a day is all you need."
07/08/2013: Richard from Atlanta, Georgia replies: "It is known by every eye doctor that one of the causes of worsening astigmatism is rubbing your eyes whether by finger or other appendage."
07/08/2013: Kelly from Cambridge, Ma replies: "Palming does not involve rubbing. In fact, it doesn't involve touching the eyes at all.
Palming = cupping your hands and resting the heel of your hands on your cheekbones so that you are essentially covering your eyes, except that no part of your hand actually touches your eyes or your eyelids.
I can't vouch for whether or not it's a fix for astigmatism, but I can vouch for its efficacy in relieving eye strain in general. It's super relaxing. Your eyes feel so refreshed afterwards."