BETTER EYESIGHT MAGAZINE by Ophthalmologist William H. Bates (Natural Vision Improvement) 132 Magazines-Index; Year, Month, Article...LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR - Prints and Speaks Better Eyesight Magazine in Italian, Spanish... any languageCopyright, Disclaimer - Introduction, Directions, Video, Dedication to Ophthalmologist William H. Bates, Dr. Bates Biography, Bates Method, Natural Eyesight Improvement History.FREE Original, Antique Un-Edited Better Eyesight Magazine. BOOKS - Paperback, E-Books - This Entire Better Eyesight Magazine Website and 14 Natural Eyesight Improvement Books2 Books; The Cure Of Imperfect Sight By Treatment Without Glasses and Perfect Sight Without Glasses by Ophthalmologist William H. Bates M.D.Stories From The Clinic by Emily C. A. Lierman, BatesUse Your Own Eyes & Normal Sight Without Glasses by Dr. William B. MacCrackenStrengthening The Eyes - A New Course In Scientific Eye Training By Bernarr MacFadden, W. H. BatesMedical Articles By Ophthalmologist William H. 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July 1928

Dark Glasses Are Injurious – Fundamentals: Glasses Discarded Permanently, Central Fixation, Favorable Conditions, Shifting and Swinging, Memory and Imagination, Rest, Palming, Blinking, Mental Pictures – Stories From The Clinic; 101. An Artist Suffering From Presbyopia: Presbyopia and Double Vision Relieved by Treatment by Emily C. Lierman – Questions and Answers - Announcement



JULY, 1928

Dark Glasses Are Injurious

He was a very intelligent chauffeur, and very polite and popular with most people. I enjoyed listening to his experiences in driving various types of cars. Nothing seemed to give him so much pleasure as to get into a “jam” and get out without suffering any injury to his own car or without tearing the “enemy” apart. The “enemy,” as he explained, were the numerous other cars which were driven by chauffeurs who did not understand their business very well and who enjoyed teasing the inexperienced drivers.
One day we were driving to the seashore. The sun was very bright and the reflection of the light from the sun on the water was very strong and made most of the occupants of the car very uncomfortable. Personally I enjoyed the strong light of the sun. The chauffeur did not wear glasses for the protection of his eyes from the sun or dust and I asked him if he had ever worn them. He very promptly answered me by saying that he had worn them at one time, but discontinued wearing them because he found that after wearing them for a few days, his eyes became more sensitive to the light than they were before. He said he could not understand why it was that when he wore glasses to protect his eyes from the dust he accumulated more foreign bodies in his eyes than ever before. This seemed strange to the people in the car and they asked him to explain. It was decided that when the dust got into the eyes, the glasses prevented the dust from going out.
The eyes need the light of the sun. When the sun’s rays are excluded from the eyes by dark glasses, the eyes become very sensitive to the sun when the glasses are removed.
Eye doctors sell sunglasses knowing it will lead to unclear vision, prescriptions for eyeglasses, eye surgery. Lack of sunlight causes cataracts and other eye problems.


By W. H. Bates, M.D.

GLASSES DISCARDED PERMANENTLY: Glasses should be discarded permanently because it is impossible to cure people by treatment without glasses when glasses are worn for long or short intervals of time. All cases of myopia (and presbyopia) are increased by the wearing of glasses. If glasses are not worn, the vision of most people improves without other treatment.

Just removing glasses causes the eye muscles/eyes, brain to function natural, correct, return to clear vision - on their own, without knowledge and practice of Natural Eyesight Improvement.
(Modern teachers allow reduced/weaker eyeglass lenses if necessary for driving… they are worn as little as possible and discontinued when vision is clear enough to drive… safely. Vision improves much easier, faster when glasses are not worn.)

CENTRAL FIXATION: When the vision is best where the eyes are looking, and worse where the eyes are not looking, central fixation is evident. Central fixation when properly used is a relaxation and a benefit. It is interesting to observe that one cannot have perfect sight without central fixation. One should not strain and make an effort to obtain central fixation of a letter or any object, as by so doing, imperfect sight is very soon apparent. The normal eye shifts unconsciously from one part of an object to another, seeing the part regarded best and other parts worse, and the eye with imperfect sight must acquire this habit by practicing it consciously until it becomes an unconscious habit.

FAVORABLE CONDITIONS: There are many ways in which the vision may be improved by having the conditions or the environment favorable. There are many facts to be considered when discussing the most favorable conditions for the improvement of the sight without glasses. Some people see better in a bright light, while others see better in a dim light. The distance of print from the eyes where seen best also varies with different people.
It is natural to suppose that to secure relaxation or rest the hours of sleep should be increased. While this may be perfectly true, it is difficult to harmonize the fact that increasing the hours of sleep does not always promote relaxation or rest of the eyes. Many people will retire with their eyes feeling perfectly comfortable, yet they may be awakened during the night by severe pain in their eyes. During sleep, eyestrain may be so severe or continuous that no rest is obtained for the nerves of the eyes or other parts of the body. (As I have stated in previous issues of this magazine, I have examined the eyes of patients with a retinoscope while they were asleep and have found the eyes to be under a great strain. Sleep, therefore, is not always a favorable condition for the improvement of the eyesight.)
The optimum distance or the distance at which the vision is at its best is widely variable. Some people may have normal vision at twenty feet but not at fifteen feet. Others are able to read fine print better at twelve inches than at six inches. By practice one can improve the vision so that it will be normal under all conditions.

SHIFTING AND SWINGING: When shifting is done properly, it is practiced easily, without effort or strain. When one shifts from a point to the left to a point to the right, the swing produced is continuous, regular, and promotes relaxation. It is possible to shift with the eyes closed with as much benefit as with the eyes open. There are some people who cannot shift with the eyes open without a strain and yet they can shift or swing or imagine perfect sight with the eyes closed.
Whenever the head and eyes are moved from side to side, one should imagine that stationary objects are moving in the opposite direction. This should be practiced at all times until the habit is obtained. (The various swings are described in the June and other issues of this magazine.)

MEMORY AND IMAGINATION: A perfect memory is a great benefit in obtaining perfect relaxation of the eyes as well as all the nerves of the body. One cannot remember a letter or other object perfectly unless it has been seen perfectly. When the memory is perfect, the imagination may also be perfect. Some people with a good imagination find it easier to imagine a letter or other object perfectly when they do not expend an effort in trying to see it. Knowing what the letter is, with the aid of the imagination, one becomes able to imagine that it is seen perfectly. (Familiar objects, Eyechart)
It is well to keep in mind that many patients believe that they see large letters perfectly when they do not and they can be tested by bringing the card up close to the eyes. The vision should be just as good at fifteen feet as it is at one foot. By improving the memory and imagination one improves the vision.

REST: Rest or relaxation of the nerves of the eyes, mind and all other parts of the body is necessary before perfect vision can be obtained. When the nerves of the body are at rest, it is possible to remember, imagine or see all letters or other objects perfectly. It is not possible to remember, imagine, or see anything without perfect relaxation. Perfect relaxation or rest comes without effort. When the mind is at rest, any effort to improve the memory, imagination or sight is wrong. (Use the memory, imagination in a easy, relaxed manner.) When the eye is at rest, it is perfectly passive. The eye at rest is never stationary: it is always moving. This seems a contradictory statement to make, but it is a fact which does not permit of any explanation.

PALMING: One of the best methods of obtaining relaxation is by palming. There is more than one way of palming. One very good way, however, is to cup both hands, press the sides of the palms together, and place the two hands over the closed eyes and in front of the nose. When done properly, all light is excluded, one sees black perfectly and relaxation is obtained.

BLINKING: When the normal eye is at rest, the eyelids are continually closing and opening. Blinking may be done so rapidly that it does not become conspicuous. Moving pictures (movies) have demonstrated that the normal eye may open and close, or blink, five times or more in one second. The habit of blinking may be acquired by remembering to blink at frequent intervals. All patients with 15 diopters or more of myopia may blink five times or more in one second when the eye becomes normal and myopic alternately five times in one second. There are no exceptions to this truth.

MENTAL PICTURES: The mind is capable of imagining all kinds of mental pictures. When the mind is at rest and the memory and imagination are perfect, all kinds of mental pictures are produced. When the mind is under a strain, the memory and imagination are imperfect and mental pictures are indistinct and cannot be remembered for any length of time. Central fixation when properly imagined is very helpful. With its aid a perfect mental picture may be obtained easily. When a mental picture is remembered easily and perfectly, the vision is benefited.
Shift on the mental pictures. Imagine them as a movie, a motion, active picture in the mind.

It is a fundamental truth that when one letter of the Snellen test card is seen perfectly, all the letters of the Snellen test card can be seen perfectly. When the sight is perfect, a letter is remembered, imagined or seen as well with the eyes open as when the eyes are closed. The vision of one letter of the Snellen test card can be improved with the eyes open by practicing the memory or the perfect imagination of the same letter alternately with the eyes closed. Whatever is done to improve the memory of one letter is a great benefit, because all the other letters are improved at the same time. This truth can be demonstrated in all cases. There are no exceptions.
One patient who visited me recently was a girl of about fifteen years or age who announced that she would have to be cured that day because her parents would not allow her to spend any more time. By teaching her the fundamentals, this girl became able to improve her memory, imagination, and sight until she could read all the letters on the test card perfectly. By remembering the first letter of each line perfectly, by imagining it perfectly, she became able to see it perfectly, because with the help of the retinoscope she demonstrated that when she imagined the first letter on each line perfectly that her near-sightedness was cured temporarily. When the first letter of each line was seen perfectly, not only was the letter seen without any error of refraction, but she was able to read all the strange letters on each line with normal sight. She did not imagine the other letters; she actually saw them.
Usually when persons have become able to read a familiar Snellen test card with normal vision and to read it continuously, they are able to read a strange card, and to read it just as perfectly as the familiar card.
A knowledge of the fundamentals which can be demonstrated during the process of the formation of cataract has suggested successful treatment. The most important fundamental to consider is that cataract always disappears when the memory or imagination are perfect.
Many cases if opacity of the cornea which have been preceded by diseases or ulceration are benefited or cured by an intelligent use of the fundamentals. The law of fundamentals has proved the fact that an imperfect memory will cause an opacity of the cornea. It is not too much to believe that conical cornea is caused by eyestrain. If this were true we would naturally expect that when the eyestrain was relieved that the conical cornea would be benefited. It is a good thing to know that “this is the truth.”
Acute or chronic glaucoma in which increased tension is present has always been relieved by practicing the fundamentals as described above.
In the normal eye the tension of the eyeball is always normal. Tension can be produced by an imperfect memory and the tension can be lessened or corrected completely by the practice of a perfect memory, perfect imagination, and a perfect optical swing.
The encouraging thing about the fundamentals is that they are always true without any exceptions, that they always suggest successful treatment and that they always explain the cause of imperfect sight.
See Fundamentals, Better Eyesight Magazine July, 1927.

An Artist Suffering From Presbyopia

By Emily C. Lierman

An artist, aged 61, who had for many years painted portraits of people who are well known in the West, suddenly became unable to go on with a painting which was almost completed.
Before I tested his vision with the test card or asked him any questions at all, he told me his story. As a boy, he began to paint landscapes and ships of all description and when his parents found that he was especially interested in painting, they encouraged him to make it a special study in school. Before he was twenty years of age he painted heads of young children, and the expressions of the faces as he painted them were so life-like that older and more experienced artists were anxious to have him do work for them. Later in life he came from England to California and there he has become well known because of his work.
I became acquainted with him through a cured patient of Dr. Bates who had some painting done by this artist. She had noticed that he was straining his eyes to see at the near point and that at times the work was not satisfactory to himself. He got into the bad habit of using a magnifying glass for the fine details of a certain painting he was doing. He told me that he had been seriously thinking about giving up the work that he loved so much, but his wife objected strongly to this because it made him melancholy and despondent.
He had worn glasses for twenty years and the four latter years he had tried bi-focals which were unsatisfactory. His oculist failed to help his double vision which interfered greatly with his work; he would see two brushes instead of one, and two objects where there was but one. Having become well known among the artists in the colony where he lived, it was not easy for him to decide what was best for him to do.
His eye test was, Right vision 15/40, Left Vision 15/20. When he read the letters of the test card with his right eye, all of the letters appeared double – the large letters appeared double as well as the smaller ones. When he read with his left eye all the letters were clear.
I began treating him by improving the vision of both eyes together until he became able to read 15/15. Then we began to work with the right eye while the left eye was covered with a black patch. Palming helped him a great deal, so while he was under treatment he was encouraged to keep his eyes closed and covered with the palms of his hands for half an hour or longer each time. I again tested his right eye with the test card. The double vision still continued, even though the vision had improved in that eye.
I directed him to palm for a longer time and to get a mental picture of a painting he had been working on recently. I improved his vision during his first treatment to 15/10 with the right eye as well as with the left and the double vision temporarily disappeared. Mental pictures of the work that he loved to do relaxed his mind and he himself realized that it was the strain that produced the double vision and that he had been using his right eye more than the left.
How many people are there in this world who know that they are really using their eyes correctly? I fear that there are many who do the same as my patient did in unconsciously using one eye more than the other; that is to say, he strained more with one eye than he did with the other.
See ‘switching close and far, both eyes, one eye at a time, both eyes together again’ for perfect, equally clear, balanced vision in the left and right eyes at all distances in the Book: Do It yourself – Natural Eyesight Improvement and on the website  If I can make myself more clear to those who are interested in this article by explaining how double vision can be produced consciously, as well as unconsciously, I should like to do so as follows: If one will press the lower lid of the eye with the forefinger, while both eyes are open, one can immediately produce two objects where there is only one. The harder the pressure against the lower lid, the further away the one object moves from the other. One is real and the other is, of course, an illusion.
I believe that it is a good thing to practice this consciously where one is troubled with double vision. When the double vision becomes worse consciously, one is very apt to become able to cure this error sooner than is expected. One can imagine how my patient must have strained his right eye in order to produce the double vision constantly, not only while he was at work but at all times while he was awake. (Tense outer eye muscle placing pressure on the eye.)
I had a pair of discarded glasses in my office which were left by a cured patient who gave them to me as a souvenir. I used a paper to cover the lens of the left eye and removed the glass entirely from the right. In this way my patient was able to practice for a length of time with the right eye without having to use his hand to keep the other eye covered.
(Holding the hand up leads to tension in the arm, shoulder, neck, back, eye muscles. Use a eye-patch.)
I placed a large test card on the back of a chair which I located about a foot away from the patient’s eyes. I then gave him a small test card to hold in his hand. (The letters of the small test card were similar to those on the card which was on the chair.) The patient was directed to look at a letter of the test card in his hand and then shift to the same letter on the card a foot away. By doing this he avoided staring. When shifting is done correctly, not only is the vision improved, but one is relieved of strain in all other parts of the body. The patient practiced the above for more than half an hour with the result that during the next half hour we were able to improve his distant vision and he did not see double.
I was not so sure about the patient being able to continue the treatment at home by himself, so I advised him to come again a week later. When I saw him again, he said that he had noticed a decided improvement in distant objects while driving his car, and also for near work such as reading his correspondence, but when he tried to do a little painting, he did not find the shifting so easy, and because of that he could not avoid the double vision at that time. I was pleased to hear that he had improved to some extent and that it was only left for me to solve his problem of avoiding double vision while at his work.
During this lesson I described a way to shift from a letter that he was writing to a small test card which was placed on the desk to the left of him. He glanced at any letter that came within his line of vision, remembered the letter, and looking back to his pen and paper he was able to continue writing for a while without knowing that he had eyes. But going back to the work which meant fine details and getting them accurate had caused the same kind of strain which produced double vision.
I had him try the following: I tore a test card in half and by making a hole in it made it similar to a palette. He held the card in his hand blank side up and on it were placed letters and numerals in different places. He was told to imagine that the numeral which was placed in the upper right-hand corner of the card was a certain color to be used for the painting. He was to place the right hand under the numeral and then point to the card with his right hand. Then again he placed his finger on a letter which was placed on the lower left-hand corner of the card and then shifted to a card about a foot away, always pointing to the duplicate of the letter on the card in his hand.
While practicing in the above way he did not once complain of double vision, so he was advised to try this method at home and to write me within a few days, giving me a report of the progress he was making. He could not wait a few days, so he wired the next day telling me that he was successful in shifting from the palette and paint that he was using to the canvas and to do it in an easy way, without effort or strain and by doing so, for the first time in a long while he did not see double while at work.
I helped him a great deal by advising him by mail. For a while I did not hear from him and finally one day, I received a telephone message from him. He was at the home of one of the subjects whose portrait he was painting. This man was seated in a wing chair with his one arm placed over the side of the chair. My patient stated that his vision blurred as he tried to finish the details of this painting. The harder he tried to relax and to remember some of the things I had told him to do, the worse his vision became.
I asked him to start swaying his body slightly from side to side and to imagine that the telephone was moving in the opposite direction to the way in which his body was moving. He said that he could do that very well and that when he blinked while he was swaying it was restful. I told him to keep this up for about five minutes or longer and then to go back to his subject, and imagine that he was moving his body from side to side as he did while he was talking to me over the telephone.
I told him that I would be in my office for the rest of the day, but the arrangement was made that if he had no more trouble in completing this painting that I would not hear from him again that day. He did not call again. Sometime later he wrote me a letter, telling me that for the first time he had noticed that some of our test cards had imperfections which he explained to me in detail. Dr. Bates and I had noticed the mistakes in the printing of some of the cards, but it was seldom that the patients had noticed these small defects. It pleased me very much that his sight should improve to such an extent that he was able to detect these mistakes.
Another method which I used during his treatment has also helped others in their particular line of work. I gave him a small test card with the Fundamentals on the reverse side and asked him to hold it where he could see the print best. He said that he could not see it well at any distance, but if he held the card at arm’s length, he could read the Fundamentals up to Number 6, without the sentence appearing double to him. He thought he had made a fine discovery when he found that he could read to sentence Number 3 by squeezing his eyelids together. I gave him a hand mirror and asked him to look at himself while he squeezed his lids together, and asked him if he thought it would look well for him to go through life reading in that way.
The strange part of it was that he did not squint very long while he was looking in the hand mirror, because, he said, he did not like the expression of his face.
I placed him at my desk with the hand mirror in front of him, about two feet away. I gave him the Fundamental card to hold and told him to shift from the white spaces of the type to the mirror and to look at his eyes each time he looked in that direction. He said that shifting from the narrow white spaces of the Fundamental card to the mirror helped to avoid the double vision at that time, so I told him to practice it. By alternately palming and shifting from the microscopic type to the Fundamental card type, he became able to read the finest print on the card at six inches without double vision.

Questions And Answers

Q – Some days I can read the Snellen test card to the 15 line, while at other times only to the 30 or 20. Why?
A – When the eyestrain is less the vision is always better.

Q – While palming is it necessary to close the eyes?
A – Yes.

Q - Are floating specks serious? Sometimes they just flood my eyes like clouds of dust and greatly frighten me.
A - Floating specks are not serious. They are always imagined and never seen.

Q -  By following instructions in the book, can cataract be benefited without consulting a physician?
A – Cataract has been benefited by following the instructions in my book without consulting a physician.

Q – I find conscious blinking a strain, because I close my eyes temporarily and seem to hold the eyeball stationary. If I shut my eyes for a longer period would that be blinking?
A – No; the normal eye blinks consciously or unconsciously without effort, without strain, and does it quickly.

Q – If the sun and light are beneficial, why do you advocate the shutting out of these two by palming?
A – To obtain relaxation. The sun strengthens the eyes and palming rests them.

Q – Why, after palming for ten minutes or longer and my eyes are rested, do I feel sleepy?
A – The palming is not perfect. Try imagining stationary objects to be moving when you palm.

Q – When I read and blink consciously, I lose my place. Why?
A - This is caused by strain, which prevents one from remembering the location of letters.

Q – Explain what you mean when you say “imperfect sight, imperfect memory.”
A – If you see an object imperfectly, blurred or gray instead of black, you cannot remember it perfectly.
You will remember it as you see it.

Q – If there a possibility of palming wrong? I can obtain some benefit, but later I feel strained.
A – Palming may be done properly or it may be done wrong. I would suggest that you read the chapter on palming in my book.

Q – I get nervous if I palm for any longer than ten minutes at a time. Can I obtain as much benefit by palming for short periods at more frequent intervals?
A – Yes.

Q - What is the circular swing and how is it practiced?
A – The circular swing is described in the June number of “Better Eyesight.”


Several back numbers of “Better Eyesight” from 1919 to 1925, ordinarily listing at 30 cents per copy have been reduced to 10 cents per copy. These numbers contain articles on cataract, glaucoma, myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism, presbyopia (old age sight), ect.