It is impossible for there to be a single cure for cancer because cancer is not a single disease but, rather, a category of similar diseases. Like cancer, there can be no single cure for blindness as blindness can be caused by a war injury, an eye disease like retinitis pigmentosa or glaucoma, other diseases like Diabetes and measles, parasites as in river blindness, accidents, macula degeneration and a whole slew of other issues. So, why then did I see an article in The Jerusalem Post described as a "review" that provided an entirely uncritical description of a dietary supplement called VisiSharp that claims to cure every type of blindness?
The answer is simple, the manufacturers of VisiSharp, a pill that contains some vitamins and herbs, are trying to make money from the many blind people who want to see again. They are also taking advantage of people who are in the process of losing their vision and are desperate to have full vision again. In brief, these people are con artists looking to make a fast buck off of our community while providing nothing of value in exchange. And, for all intents and purposes, the Jerusalem Post ran what is essentially an advertisement for a useless product in a manner that made it look like an actual article.
Every year that COVID doesn't cause it to be postponed, my lovely wife Susan and I attend the QED conference in Manchester, England. Most years, I give a short (10 minutes or so) talk at the Friday Skepticamp about issues around blindness. This year I was planning on talking about bogus cures for blindness that one can find by searching the Internet and exposing more of these fraudulent businesses.
VisiSharp is by far not the only bogus cure for blindness but it's the only one I'll be discussing in this article. I may do more pieces on other fake remedies in the future though.
This is a short article by my standards. You can read the original article for more details. I must also add that you should not take medical advice from a blogger like me. I am not a scientist nor do I know much about medicine. There are a lot of legitimate resources for medical information online and PubMed is probably the best. Before taking any sort of medicine, alternative or real, you should discuss doing so with your physician as even bogus alternative remedies may contain harmful ingredients as they are almost entirely unregulated.
Alternative Medicine In General
There's an oft used quote about alternate medicine that goes, "What do you call alternative medicine that actually works?" and the answer is, "Medicine!" In fact, many drugs and other treatments used in mainstream medicine were originally derived from plants and other naturally occurring substances. Alternative medicine, in the US at least, is not allowed to make specific medical claims so you can't advertise a product as VisiSharp is being touted in the article in the Jerusalem Post. In the US, any company making specific medical claims for their product must get FDA approval which requires that one demonstrate the efficacy of the remedy they are hoping to sell. VisiSharp has not even applied for FDA approval.
Claims Made By VisiSharp
The article in Jerusalem Post says, "They claim to have discovered a proven method of restoring 20/20 vision to anyone, regardless of their visual impairment." As I wrote in the introduction, this is impossible but apparently the Jerusalem Post allows grifters to publish articles in their publication without any critical review given to what they say.
The article also states, "This has conducted no clinical trials or peer-reviewed research," which should be a serious red flag for anyone considering purchasing this product.
At the end of an article that says nothing but great things about VisiSharp, the Jerusalem Post adds the following, "Eyesight breakthrough? That's what this claim to be. Two of these tablets restore 20/20 vision, achieve perfect vision, and treat major eye health issues. VisiSharp contains a small number of various substances associated with eye and vision health. However, these substances are unlikely to restore 20/20 vision, correct blindness, treat vision loss, or give other major benefits." I suppose they wanted to maintain some level of journalistic integrity in what otherwise reads like a paid promotional piece from the company that makes VisiSharp.
When it comes to medical claims, anything that sounds too good to be true is too good to be true. If you spend a little time and search the Internet for cures for blindness, you'll find everything from acupuncture to homeopathy claining to cure at least one form of blindness. VisiSharp is the only one I've ever heard of that claims to cure all blindness.
Don't buy this product and before you do try some sort of alternative remedy, be very skeptical of the claims it makes as they are almost always bogus.
James Panes says
I had a long, difficult, angry transition to being blind. I would have been a prime candidate for this type of snake oil. I’ve seen ads for this crap on Youtube. The ads are easy to spot as they all use a computer generated, vaguely british or Australian male voice. They claim to cure just about every ailment you can imagine.
DON’T BUY ANY OF IT!!!
Instead immediately report the ads as inappropriate. There is no way to report them as a straight up scam. But there should be.
Although a cure, that’s right a cure, not a treatment, for my condition is possible, we have the technology and clinical trials for a cure for a condition very similar to mine has already been successful, the cost of the treatment is currently $850,000 US. That’s outragious! Even if I had that kind of money, I wouldn’t pay it.
What really burns me up is that there are people out there who will try to make a buck by swindling the blind, the disabled, the poor. I would like to see these people convicted for fraud and sentenced to life, serving the very people they seek to con.
JD Townsend says
We all, to some degree, believe in magic.
I recall an artist, losing his sight by RP, who traveled to a rural English town to be stung by a special breed of bees. The multiple stings were on his neck and were, surprise, painful. He reported a short period of improved vision followed by a rapid decline in usable vision. Yes, he was quite intelligent and accomplished. No, I was not encouraged to follow in is footsteps.
Until one finds their footing as a functional person, we grasp at straws.