A Modern Day Guide for Improving Your Eyesight Download your FREE copy & get signed up for our newsletter

We respect your email privacy

ESH #76 | Rod-Cone Dystrophy

What is Rod-Cone Dystrophy?

This hereditary vision condition is explained pretty well in it’s title. Dystrophy is the medical term for degeneration, to waste away. In Muscular Dystrophy the muscles degenerate; whereas in Rod-Cone Dystrophy it is the rods and cones that degenerate.

What Are Rods and Cones?

In the retina (the part of the eye that turns light into visual signals) the rods are responsible for seeing in dim light and for seeing motion. The cones which are the closely packed photoreceptor cells in the center of the retina are, on the other hand, responsible for seeing color and fine detail.

What Can I Do About This Condition?

So far this is pretty straight-forward. If you have diagnosed with this condition you have undoubtedly been told you should expect a degeneration of your night vision and a degeneration of your ability to see color and fine detail and that there is nothing much you can do about it.

However, we would like to suggest that the “Use It Or Lose It” Rule applies here too. If you continue to stimulate and strengthen your rods and cones we believe you can stave off this degeneration. We know this from working with clients and from our own personal experience. Will was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa and Richard with Optic Atrophy. We have used eye exercises to strengthen those areas of our vision that were weak. So you see, what you can do about this diagnosis is pretty straight-forward too: Use your rods and cones!

Strengthen Rod Cells

If you don’t use your rod cells because you are never in the dark, how can we expect them to fully function when we need them to? This is relevant for everyone; not just those of us with eye conditions that make it difficult to see in the dark. Will trains his eyes to adapt to the dark by not turning on the lights immediately when he enters a room. If he is  looking for his keys, he leaves the light off. Similarly, as the sun sets he will wait as long as possible before turning on the lights. He also goes on night walks. Since his neighborhood is pretty safe, he can go for walks when it’s dark, allowing the rods to be as active as possible.

flash light eye exercise

The second technique for strengthening the rods is performing eye exercises in the dark with flashing lights. These exercises can be found on our website under Peripheral Vision Eye Exercises. By stimulating the rods with movement and dim light you are helping to activate those weaker cells even more. You can even do these exercises before going on a night walk or before going anywhere that is dark to help activate the rods ahead of time.

Straighten Cone Cells

MayraThe cone cells which are found primarily in a small area of the retina called the macula are responsible for sending clear crisp colorful images. These cone cells desire maximum amount of light in order to function at their best and for you to see clearer.

We can explain this visual process by using a solar panel as an analogy. As the light comes into contact with the solar panel, the light is converted into electricity which is then taken to a place to be stored or used immediately. If there is not much sunlight, then we get less energy and power.

In our everyday lives the macula is regularly underused because we ignore fine details in our surroundings and we tend to avoid bright light. The Sunning and Shifting Eye Exercises found on our website activate the cones and retrain the brain to look at smaller and smaller details, making the eyesight clearer.

Tip of the Week: Adjusting to Bright Light and to Darkness

In the Tip of the Week Will and Richard give some simple techniques for adjusting to bright light when you are bothered by it (photo phobia) and adjusting to dark environments as you enter them.


Did this help? Please leave any comments below.

Audio Version

Difficulty playing the audio above?

Join us:


  • mohd

    I have rod cone dystrophy

    Is there treatment

    Please help me

    • envision

      Try a combination of retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration programs for the next six weeks and see if you notice a difference. Best wishes Will and Richard.

  • Jeanette Lemberg

    You kindly sent me the free e book but it seems that I need an account with winzip to download it. Do you have another way for me to download the book so I can understand the inspiring work you are doing?

    Best wishes to you,


  • I have 2 kids 5$7 years old,they both have LCA”LEBER CONGENITAL AMOURSIS,and specially my son’s Vision is getting worse,he is losing his sight slowly,they are severely light sensitive,far Sighted and near sighted too.they are too young to do any exercise,so is there anything that can help them?,pls let me know,thank you.

    • envision

      Hi, although we could give some advice, we highly recommend contacting the school for self-healing and ask to speak with Meir Schneider. He has a lot more experience working with infants. You can email the school at: officemanager@self-healing.org

  • Worried mom

    My 7 month baby has been diagnosed with rod cone dystrophy and has high myopia of -13 and -23. Can you please advise me? What can I do for my baby. Thank you.

    • envision

      Hi, although we could give some advice, we highly recommend contacting the school for self-healing and ask to speak with Meir Schneider. He has a lot more experience working with infants. You can email the school at: officemanager@self-healing.org

      Bests wishes.

  • Hibiscus

    Is there any exercises for glares? I experience a heavy mist especially when out in the sun.

  • Sathya


    I am diagnosed with RP retinitis pigmentosa, can you advise me with exercises for natural improvements.

  • Althea

    Hi there,
    I am highly myopic and I have had countless operations: cryotherapy, laser & macular hole surgery on both eyes. Now I am severely sighted with very little vision in both eyes especially my right eye. The right eye has more distortion & a few white blank spaces. Is there any hope for me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *