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Eye-training method to cure refractive error debunked in Vietnam

Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 14:00 GMT+7

Multiple eye-training centers in Vietnam have recently boasted of a method of curing refractive errors in the eye without surgery, but the method is yet to be tested by research.

Many online sites and Facebook pages have advertised methods to cure refractive error without surgery.

Ha Vy, a trainer at one of the eye centers making the claims, said that her eyes, previously nearsighted, are now better than the average pair of healthy eyes thanks to the method.

Vy said that her method is a combination of meditation, yoga, and qigong, consisting of breathing and eye-strengthening exercises.

According to Vy, the center offers courses ranging from 12 sessions to 200 sessions, with a 50-session- course priced at VND 15 million (US$672).

Merely snake oil?

Pham Nguyen Huan, vice director of the general planning department at Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital, revealed that there had been no scientific research accepting eye-muscle training as a method of correcting refractive error.

According to Huan, the exercises in the method sould constrict the pupils due to rapid eye adjustments, allowing the eyes to see further over a short period of time.

This short-term effect is the “cure” boasted on by the eye-training centers.

Huan advised those with refractive error to seek treatment at professional eye care facilities and observe progress every six months. Furthermore, resting one’s eyes is recommended during periods of work or study.

Parents should also allow their children to participate in outdoor activities to prevent the aggravation of refractive error.

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