“Rebuild Your Vision” is a $97 clone of readily available free information. This Internet-markete supposedly authored by a pilot is based upon a “controversial” regimen he claims to develop. The email ads for this “system” send you to an even slicker web site asking for the “low price” of $97 for a booklet about eye exercises “guaranteed” to improve your eyesight. Is it a scam? Is it a rip-off? Does it work? You’ll never find out, largely because of an increasingly pernicious Internet industry that offers fake product review sites. You’ll also never be able to find out about the credentials of the alleged pilot — none apparently exist on the Internet, nor are they provided at her own alleged web site. So, should you spend the $97? We recommend not, for the following reasons:
1. There’s a reason this sales pitch is slick — they spend a lot of marketing money to get it to you. Who is paying for that? You are.
2. If you look for a review of the product, you are deluged with lots of fake review or “scam” sites that simply direct you to the main sales site or offer some pablum talking about how the product is highly rated or recommended. (such as scamX.com and infoscamreviews.com) The marketers for this service paid to have these fake sites thwart any customer looking for real reviews.
3. We were unable to independently verify that the person touting this information was actually a pilot. If the website fails to feature the credentials of the author and/or if a Google search turns up nothing about this person, you can bet this is a marketer driven product. In correspondence, we asked the author to prove his credentials, but he declined (see comments below) This alleged pilot appears to have never given an interview and never made a personal appearance — in fact, the only thing you can find out about him on Google is that he’s linked to this scammercial. We did find evidence that Orlin claimed to have been accepted to the U.S. Navy fighter pilot school, yet one enterprising blogger found that he never flew airplanes…..instead he became a “motivational speaker”. Oddly, there’s no online evidence that he’s ever spoken anywhere.
4. Perhaps most importantly, there is an abundance of free or low-cost vision exercise information on the Internet. Amazon offers a number of ebooks that cost nothing and provide the kinds of well-established eye exercises that can help vision. The titles include: “How to Improve Your Vision Naturally”, “Vision for Life”, “Eyesight and Vision Cure” and “Living Without Glasses”. Even easier, you can just click this link and find four eye exercises described by a qualified optomistrist.
5. The testimonials offered in the video do not offer the full names or backgrounds of the individuals who are touting the product in very terse, well-crafted and well-lighted videos.
In fact, a New York-based optometrist has posted some very useful and time-proven exercises for close-up vision improvement which include:
LETTER READING—for better scanning accuracy and conscious eye control when reading or using a computer. Preparation: Type up a chart with four rows of random letters, just large enough that you can read them while holding the page at a typical reading distance (type size will vary depending on an individual’s vision). Leave space between each row. In row one, type all capitals, one space in between each letter…row two, all lowercase, one space in between each letter…row three, all lowercase, no spaces…row four, wordlike groups of random letters arranged as if in a sentence.
Exercise: Hold the chart with both hands. Looking at row one, read each letter aloud left to right, then right to left. Then read every second letter…then every third letter. If your mind wanders, start over. Over time: When you master row one, try the same techniques with row two…then row three…then row four. If you find that you have memorized parts of the chart, make a new one using different letters.
NEAR AND FAR—for improved focus and focusing speed when switching your gaze from close objects to distant objects (such as when checking gauges on a car as you drive). Preparation: Type a chart with six to eight rows of random capital letters, each letter about one-half inch tall (or as tall as necessary for you to read them from 10 feet away). Tack the chart to a wall and stand back 10 feet.
Exercise: Hold a pencil horizontally, with its embossed letters facing you, about six inches from your nose (or as close as possible without it looking blurry). Read any letter on the pencil, then read any letter on the chart. Keep doing this, switching back and forth as fast as you can without letting the letters blur. Over time: Do this with one eye covered, then the other.
PENCIL PUSHUPS—to promote eye teamwork. All you need is a pencil.
Exercise: Hold a pencil horizontally at eye level 12 inches from your face (or as far as necessary to see the pencil clearly). With both eyes, look at one particular letter on the pencil…keep looking while bringing the pencil closer to your face. If the letter blurs or doubles, it means that one eye is no longer accurately on target—so move the pencil back until the letter is clear once more…then try again to slowly bring the pencil closer while keeping the letter in focus.
THE “HOT DOG”—for improved flexibility of the muscles within the eye that allow the lens to change shape. No props are needed.
Exercise: With your hands at chest height about eight inches in front of you, point your index fingers and touch the tips together, so that your index fingers are horizontal. Gaze at any target in the distance and, without changing your focus, raise your fingers into your line of sight. Notice that a “mini hot dog” has appeared between the tips of your fingers. Still gazing at the distant object, pull your fingertips apart slightly—and observe that the hot dog is now floating in the air. Keep the hot dog there for two breaths…then look directly at your fingers for two breaths, noticing that the hot dog disappears. Look again at the distant object and find the hot dog once again. Continue switching your gaze back and forth every two breaths.
As your close-up vision improves, you may find that you need less-powerful reading glasses—or none at all—for your day-to-day activities.
A California optometrist has posted similarly free information online that offers additional exercises. He points to researcher done at University of California, Riverside and Brown University which used eye exercises to improve the eyesight of 16 younger people (average age 22) and 16 older people (average age 71), and is published in Psychological Science. He recommends the following three exercises performed 3-4 minutes, twice or three times per week:
Improve near vision and far vision. Practice this simple eye exercise for three or four minutes a few days a week.
Instructions: Look at a calendar on a wall about 10 feet away. In your hand, have another object with numbers or letters, such as a small calendar or an open book. Cover the left eye with your hand. Look back and forth from the far object to the near object, focusing on and calling out a letter or number from each. Example: The “J” in June from the far calendar and the “12” in June 12 from the near calendar. Do this five to 10 times, calling out a different letter or number each time. Cover the right eye, and repeat the exercise. (You also can use an eye patch to cover one eye and then the other.)
Improve peripheral vision—the “other” visual system. Corrective lenses correct only central vision, when the eyes focus straight ahead, so that you can read, drive and see details sharply. But there are two key parts to the visual system—central and peripheral vision. And improving peripheral vision improves every aspect of seeing, from visual acuity to contrast sensitivity. Everyday enemy of peripheral vision: Stress. Under stress, people see less, remember less and typically the visual field constricts. But there’s a simple exercise called “palming” that relieves stress and eases eyestrain.
Instructions: Sit at a table with your elbows on the table. (Put a pillow under your elbows if that’s more comfortable.) Breathe easily and deeply, relaxing your body. Close your eyes, and notice what you’re seeing—it’s likely there will be visual “chatter,” such as spots and flashes of light. Now cup your palms over your closed eyes, and visualize (create mental imagery of) blackness. Example: Visualize yourself out on the ocean on a moonless night on a black ship on a black sea. The goal of the exercise is to see complete blackness. Do the exercise for as long as you like, from 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
Improve “binocularity”—seeing out of both eyes. A common but little-recognized vision problem in older adults is a lack of binocularity—one eye is not processing visual detail, which decreases visual acuity and depth perception (crucial for stepping off a curb or walking up stairs without stumbling or falling). This exercise can help you see with both eyes.For this exercise you’ll need a Brock String, named after its inventor, the optometrist Frederick Brock. It’s a simple device—a 10- or 12-foot string with several colored beads on it. (The Brock String is widely available online for around $10 or less.)
Instructions: Attach one end of the string securely to a wall with a nail, tack or tape. Sit 10 feet away from the wall, holding the string so that there is no slack. The closest bead should be about four feet from your eyes. Hold the string to the side of your nose and look directly at the closest bead, using both eyes—you should see two strings going toward the bead and crossing either in front of or behind the bead. You’re “seeing double” because the device is engineered to generate a double-image, similar to what you might see when your eyes are relaxed and unfocused. This experience helps you become aware that you’re seeing out of both eyes. If you see only one string, you’re not seeing fully out of both eyes. And if the strings cross in front of or behind the bead, your eyes aren’t aimed right at the bead. The goals of the exercise…
- Keep both strings “turned on” (your eyes will get a “feel” for how to do this).
- The strings should cross at the bead—if the string crosses ahead of the bead, look a few inches beyond the bead…if the string crosses behind the bead, look in front of the bead.
We recommend that you check out these low-cost or free books or web-based exercises before forking over $97 to the AWOL fighter pilot. And beware ANY Net-based sales pitch that has uncredentialed, slick video presentations with no independent reviews. It may not be a scam, but it is probably a rip-off because it is overpriced for what it is offering. In this case, there’s lots of good vision exercises in the marketplace offered at a fraction of the cost of “Rebuild My Vision”. Save your hard-earned money.