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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September 1928 

                                  Eyestrain – Aviator’s eyes – Stories From The Clinic; 103. Test Card Practice by Emily C. Lierman – Questions and Answers - Announcement



BETTER EYESIGHT

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO THE PREVENTION AND CURE OF IMPERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES

SEPTEMBER, 1928

Eyestrain

The eyes of all people with imperfect sight are under a strain. This is a truth. Most people believe that during sleep the eyes are at rest and that it is impossible to strain the eyes while sound asleep. This, however, is not true. Persons who have good sight in the daytime under favorable conditions may strain their eyes during sleep. Many people awake in the morning suffering pain in the eyes or head, neck. Often the eyes are very much fatigued and have a feeling of discomfort.
There may be also a feeling of nervous tension from the eyestrain, or there may be a feeling as of sand in the eyes. At times all parts of the eye may be suffering from inflammation. The vision is sometimes lowered for several hours whereupon it begins to improve until it becomes as good as it was before the person retired the night before. Many people become alarmed and seek the services of some eye doctor. Usually the doctor or doctors consulted prescribe glasses which very rarely give more than imperfect or temporary relief.
There are various methods of correcting eyestrain occurring during sleep. Palming is very helpful even when practiced for a short time. A half an hour is often sufficient to relieve most if not all of the symptoms. In some cases the long swing, practiced before retiring, is sufficient to bring about temporary or permanent benefit. Blinking and shifting are also helpful. Good results have been obtained by practicing a perfect memory or imagination of one small letter of the Snellen test card alternately with the eyes open and closed. A number of patients were benefited and usually cured by remembering pleasant things perfectly.


Aviators’ Eyes

By W. H. Bates, M.D.

Military, Pilots

AVIATION is becoming more popular than ever before. The writer has treated many aviators who had, within a few months, acquired trouble with their eyes which made it dangerous for them to continue to fly. During the war a Major, an Aviator in the Army, consulted me about his eyes. His principle trouble was dizziness. He was wearing glasses for the correction of a slight astigmatism. The glasses did not relieve the dizziness. At this time a large number of aviators had been killed by falls.
The history of this aviator was very interesting and valuable. He was positive that a number of years previously when he began to practice flying that his sight was normal - 20/20 with each eye or with both. After a few years he noticed that his sight was impaired and that he had attacks of dizziness which did not last long in the beginning. These attacks of dizziness would come without warning while he was flying about one thousand or more feet above the ground. While he was conscious of the dizziness, he noted that his machine (plane) started to fall and continued falling until the dizziness stopped. It was some months before he realized that with every attack of dizziness the machine fell a greater distance, and he feared that these spells would ultimately cause his death.
Like most Army and Navy men, the Major did as he was told and was cured by me. This is the way it was done. I tested his eyes with the ophthalmoscope and retinoscope and found no disease of his eyes. The retinoscope revealed a small amount of astigmatism in each eye. His vision for the test card was 20/30. When he closed his eyes and rested them, the astigmatism became less and his sight for the test card became normal - 20/20. This was accomplished in about an hour. The improvement was only temporary, however, and he was given advice for treatment at home. A large test card was given him with directions to read it with each eye separately at twenty feet. He was directed to rest his eyes often by closing them. It was suggested to him that he look at one letter which he remembered better with his eyes closed than he imagined or saw it with his eyes open. By repetition, his vision for the known letter improved and his sight for unknown letters and other objects improved until his vision became 25/10. He was under treatment for about a month and he was seen at irregular intervals during that time. Since that time I have not heard from him personally.
Other aviators have been benefited by the same treatment. There is a right way and there is a wrong way to use the eyes when controlling a flying machine. The time required to do the wrong thing is just as long as the time required to do the right thing. The aviator can also demonstrate that an imperfect memory, imagination or sight is more difficult than a perfect memory, imagination or sight.
    For example, a small letter “o” can be remembered imperfectly on one of the lines of small letters of the Snellen test card, (this will cause strain, blur) but a stare or strain to see it with a white center as white as snow may require much effort, time and trouble. (this will also cause strain, blur) The imperfect whiteness of the letter soon disappears while its blackness turns to a shade of dark or light gray, all covered by a blurred cloud. The concentration, the effort to see, brings on discomfort, fatigue, pain, dizziness and other nervous symptoms which are all difficult to remember, imagine or feel. The memory, imagination or sight can only be demonstrated easily when exercised without strain. The successful pilot when at his best is always doing the right thing.
When riding in a fast moving train, the telegraph poles, although fastened to the ground, appear to move in the opposite direction. But any effort to stop this movement brings on a strain which may cause much pain, dizziness, fatigue or other nervous discomfort. The Major, who recognized the bad effects of dizziness from imperfect sight, believed that the dizziness, if sufficient, could cause fatal accidents when flying. He became able consciously to produce dizziness by eyestrain or by an effort to improve his vision.
He was taught to imagine the floor to be moving when he walked about his rooms. Swaying his head and eyes from side to side enabled him to imagine the floor to be always moving. When he steered his plane to the right, all objects seen appeared to move to the left. When he moved to the left all objects seen appeared to move to the right. He was able to lengthen the apparent movement of stationary objects. The wider the movement, the less was the sight improved, while a shorter movement of the eyes or head was followed by a greater improvement.
It was difficult for him to demonstrate that perfect sight can only be obtained by rest and prevented by an effort. But when he had learned that it was a truth without an exception he soon became able to demonstrate the facts. He was encouraged to improve his vision by using various or all parts of his machine as objects for testing and improving his sight. The more successful he was in improving his memory for objects, the better was the vision. We can only remember perfectly what we see perfectly; we can only imagine perfectly what we remember perfectly; we can only see perfectly what we imagine perfectly.
The time required for a cure varies with individuals. The eyes of some aviators may be under a greater strain than that of others.
The aviator should demonstrate that shifting the eyes or moving the eyes from one small part of his plane to other objects is restful and that his sight is always improved by resting his eyes. Blinking or closing the eyes and opening them quickly is also a rest. He should also demonstrate that closing the eyes for a few seconds or longer and then opening them for a shorter time is a benefit to the sight. Palming or covering the closed eyes with the palm of one or both hands when done right always improves the vision. Blinking, shifting, or palming can be practiced before entering the plane and so accidents may often be avoided.
While attacks of dizziness are a frequent cause of accidents, many of them fatal, there are numerous other causes which are just as serious or important. Many fliers of airplanes seldom have accidents. What is the secret of their success? It is due to their control at all times in all places.
Control of what?
The answer is: Control of the mind, control of the eyes and of all the nerves generally.

When the efficiency of the mind is at its maximum, it is at rest. Nothing is done consciously or unconsciously. It was a shock to the writer to discover with the aid of the retinoscope that the greatest strain of the body occurred during sleep. Strain is always accompanied by a loss of mental control when things go wrong. Accidents, fatal accidents, always mean a loss of mental control. The fact should be demonstrated. It should also be demonstrated that it is more difficult to fail than to succeed.

“Lindy” (Charles Lindbergh - Pilot) could not have crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a 3,000 mile journey, by making a constant effort to obtain nervous control. The effort would have caused fatigue, and no man can have control of his nerves by using some form of effort. Dizziness is caused by prolonged effort and no man could fly very far when dizzy.
The eyesight of even the best of us would become imperfect in a few minutes or less. Now let me ask how many of the best aviators could be efficient if their sight should become imperfect?
Control is necessary.
How can it be obtained? Very easily. First demonstrate that doing the wrong thing - like staring, straining or making an effort to remember, imagine or see - requires an effort, while resting the eyes or mind is easy and requires no effort.
It is a common experience for many people to fail to remember a person’s name. An effort to remember it always fails but if they rest their minds by thinking of something else the name comes to them without their volition. A perfect memory can be obtained by practice. Perfect mental control comes or is manifest when the memory is perfect. Practice is important and very necessary. One may see and remember familiar or well known objects with the eyes open but better with the eyes closed. By alternating, the memory with the eyes open improves until it becomes as good as with the eyes closed. This means mental control of the mind, eyes, and all the nerves of the body.
The imagination can also be improved by practice. For example, if a well known or familiar letter of a sign or print on a card can be imagined more clearly than it really is, the vision of all parts of the letter is improved as well as the vision for other objects which were not seen before. Imagining the letter alternately with the eyes open and closed is a benefit to the imagination and the memory as well as to the sight. The aviator can improve his control by improving his memory, imagination, and sight, while flying. It is not necessary for him to practice on letters or other objects several miles away. He can practice successfully, more or less continuously, on the face of his compass or some other part of his machine. Finally he should remember that perfect control can only be obtained by rest and not by any effort whatever.

Test Card Practice

By Emily C. Lierman

My experience with school children and with people who are advanced in years has proved to me that daily test card practice is the quickest way completely to relieve eyestrain and imperfect sight. It is the custom always to give a patient a large test card with a small pocket size test card for home practice. Patients are encouraged to write for more help if needed further to improve their vision if they no longer come to the office for treatment. There is not a day goes by but that a patient will report that he did not have time to practice reading the test card for the improvement of his sight.
This is a natural thing, because most of us have more plans made for the day than we have time to carry out. For that reason we find the miniature test card very valuable. The card is just large enough to be placed in a dress or coat pocket. It is not necessary to spend any extra time at home in practicing with this card if the patient has a journey before him in going to or from business. Riding in trains, taxicabs, the subway or surface cars will give the patient time enough to improve the vision by practicing with the little card, even if it is only for ten minutes at a time.
If one is riding in the subway, either sitting or standing, one can use the small test card by holding it about six or eight inches away and shifting from a letter of the card to a sign directly opposite. If the print of a sign looks blurred, the print will soon clear up if one practices shifting and blinking from the letter of the card up close to the letter of the sign.
Many people whom I have helped in this way have enjoyed practicing with the signs and small test card because by the time they arrived at their destination their eyestrain was entirely relieved. It is so much easier then to use the memory for objects seen without effort or strain. One can remember part of the sign which was seen in the subway and if during the course of the day there should be a strong desire on the patient’s part to put on glasses again, all he has to do is to close his eyes for part of a minute and remember that sign. Instantaneous relief sometimes follows and this encourages the patient to practice. These small test cards are always available at the Central Fixation offices for a very small sum and there is always someone there to explain how the card can be used successfully.
Children like the small test card with numerals. The numbers are distributed so that wherever the eye glances there is always some number which can be seen perfectly within a normal distance from the eyes. Children, as a rule, are not satisfied until the card can be read normally with each eye separately. Over each line of numerals there is a small number indicating at which distance the normal eye should read it. School children who have never been to the office or seen Dr. Bates or myself have been able to improve their imperfect sight to normal by the daily use of this small card.
Sometimes children do need encouragement from their parents or from their school teachers, because they forget just as grown folks do when a thing should be done for their benefit. I have been asked this question many times: “How about younger children who cannot read or write?” For them we have a card called the “pothook” card which contains inverted “E’s.” It does not take long for a two-year-old to be taught how to say which way the “E’s” are pointing. Children soon learn how to say whether the “E’s” are pointing up, down, left or right. By shifting from one “E” to the other, they notice the white spaces between the lines of “E’s.” Unconsciously they notice that the black letter “E’s” become blacker or appear to, which is a good thing for the sight.
The “pot hook” test card is also used for sailors who have difficulty in reading flag signals at sea. Many mid-shipmen from Annapolis are at the present time using this card for the benefit of their sight.
There is a small black card with white letters for those who are partially blind, which is of great benefit to them. Such a patient is placed with his back to the sunlight and while the sun is shining on the black card, the white letters appear more clear and white and by closing the eyes often, avoiding the stare, the vision is not only improved, but if there is any pain or discomfort it soon disappears. The patient is advised to hold the card up close to the eyes and while the card is moved slightly from side to side about an inch or two, relief soon comes. The patient is then advised to hold the card a little further away day by day.
    Patients to whom the large test card beginning with the letter “C” is given at the first visit find the pocket size test card, which is a duplicate of the large one, a great help. They shift from the small card, which is held in the hand, to the large card which is placed ten, fifteen, or twenty feet away. The patient looks at a letter of the small card, closes the eyes to rest them for part of a minute and then looks at the card in the distance and sees the same letter on the same line, (Switching close and far on identical familiar objects) which in most cases becomes clear and easy to see without strain.
    For those who do close work, more than one small test card is used. During work hours two cards can be placed on the desk, for instance, or near to their work. One is placed to the left and the other to the right at an even distance of about two or three feet, or a little closer. The shifting, which is done rapidly and only takes a second to do, is done by first shifting from the work to the card at the left, back to the work, over to the card on the right and back to the work.
The patient soon notices that the small letters which were not seen clearly appear distinct. There are times when patients become discouraged because the sight does not appear to improve as rapidly as they expect. Sometimes the vision even becomes lower, which is discouraging. If those patients who have been to Doctor Bates can get in touch with him and explain just where the difficulty lies, the advice that will be given is sometimes all that is necessary.
I hesitate to mention my book to the subscribers of our magazine, but I always mention it to my patients. In it I have described as carefully as I could how important it is for patients to continue practicing after they have seen the Doctor. It is written so that everyone with eye trouble will find an article which will apply to his case. Those who have Dr. Bates’ book find my book of additional help, and it is because of this that I mention it at this time. At the time the articles for my book were written, I had some blind and partially blind patients, an account of whose cases can be found in my book. Since the book has been written I have had further experience in treating difficult cases, which I try to explain in each number of the magazine.
I have found that practice with microscopic type is most helpful in near-sightedness. The patient holds the fine print as close as he can, looking at the white spaces between the black lines of type while blinking and then looking out of a window, for example, or at a distant corner of the room.  Then; looking at, shifting on the black fine print, remembering, imagining and seeing the fine print dark black and clear, then looking to the distant object and remembering, imagining, seeing it clear. Practice shifting on, remembering, imagining the fine print, then distant object, then fine print again, then distant object again… clear with the eyes: open, closed, open. Practice with both eyes together, then one eye at a time, then both together again. If vision is less clear in one eye, practice extra time with that eye to bring the vision equal, perfect in both eyes. Patch the eye not in use. Looking at the white spaces relaxes the eyes, mind. This improves the clarity of the vision. Then, look at the print, it is seen clear.

As I have said in this magazine before, all cases cannot be treated alike. There may be in one room at the same time ten or more cases of myopia, cataract, glaucoma or any other disease of the eye, and yet perhaps only one of the group would respond to one kind of treatment. For that reason, all cases have to be studied by the doctor or teacher and if one method of treatment does not help, another method must be applied immediately, so that the patient does not become discouraged. It takes just as much time in a great many cases to cure a simple case of imperfect sight as it does a more serious eye trouble, and yet it does not require a college education to be able to be cured of imperfect sight by the Bates Method.

Switching, shifting on letters on two – three identical eyecharts (or 2-3 identical fine print cards) at two-three different close distances improves close vision and reading distance.


Questions And Answers


Q – (1) How long should one palm and how often?
(2) How young a patient can you treat by this method, and up to what age can you expect results?
(3) Is astigmatism curable by this method?
A – (1) As often and as long as long as possible.
(2) Age is not a factor in the cure of imperfect sight without glasses. Patients as old as eighty-two have been relieved. Children can be treated as soon as they are able to talk.
       Babies, children can be rocked, swung in their mothers arms, cradle…, different objects moved in front of the eyes to prevent staring, to get the eyes shifting, activate relaxation.
(3) Yes.

Q – How long has the method been known?
A – Its evolution began thirty-five years ago. It has improved as experience has been gained and is still improving.
        The Modern Bates Method consists of many new, improved versions of the original treatments and new methods; Left and right Brain Hemisphere activation, integration, color treatment, Infinity swing, posture,
        movement, positive thoughts/emotions are a few examples.

Q – Why is it a rest to read fine print? I should think it would be more of a strain.
A – Fine print is a relaxation, large print a menace. The December, 1919, issue of this magazine explains this in detail.
        Fine print activates perfect central fixation, tiny shifting eye movements, short swing, fine tuned detailed vision. The mind, eyes become perfectly relaxed when reading fine print because that is the only way it can
        be read.

Q – Must the body be at rest before the eyes can be cured?
A – When the eyes are relaxed, the whole body is relaxed.

Q – Which is more beneficial, the short or the long swing?
A – The short swing, if you can maintain it.
        Short Swing Example: Shift on a small fine print letter or period and see it show oppositional movement.

Q - Trying to make things move (oppositional movement) gives me a headache. Palming gives me more relief. Why?
A – Making an effort to do a thing will not help you. When you are walking on the street, the street should go in the opposite direction without effort on your part. Some people get more relief from palming, while swinging helps others more.

Q – Are the “movies” harmful?
A – No. Quite the contrary. Send for the magazine on this subject.

Q – Why do “movies” hurt my eyes when they should benefit them?
A - Unconscious strain. Do not stare at the pictures, but allow the eyes to roam over the whole picture, seeing one part best. Also keep things swinging.

Q – Is a hemorrhage on the outside of the eyeball fatal?
A – Rarely.

Q – Is central choroiditis curable and does it require much treatment?
A – Yes, choroiditis is curable. It requires a great deal of treatment in some cases.

Q - Should one imagine a thin white line along the top of a word or sentence or just at the bottom?
A - If you can imagine it at the top as easily as you can at the bottom, do so, otherwise imagine it only at the bottom.

Q - If the lens is not a factor in accommodation, what is its purpose?
A - The lens is for protective purposes, just as fat is a protection to the bones of the body.

The lens also bends/refracts light rays, focuses the rays onto the retina. The cornea also refracts/focuses light rays. The cornea and lens also control the amount of light that enters the eye. Most eye professionals state the lens also changes shape to produce accommodation, adjust light rays from close objects to focus on the retina.
Light rays from close objects diverge; this is why the lens/eye must change shape to bring the rays onto the retina for clear close vision.
Light rays from distant objects are basically parallel, focus perfectly on the retina so the lens/eye do not need to change shape to focus light rays from distant objects onto the retina. The round eye shape is set perfect for focus of parallel light rays. Dr. Bates stated that the lens does not produce accommodation. He states that the outer eye muscles (oblique) slightly lengthen the eye (as a camera works) to focus on close objects.

Q - If strain is the cause of imperfect sight, why are not all affected in the same way? Why is it that some have myopia, others astigmatism, etc.?
A - Different people react in different ways to strain. Some have mind strain, some nerve strain, some physical strain, etc. All these tend to cause various ailments. One’s temperament also has a great deal to do with it.

One strain can lead to secondary, and third…strain, all which increase each other. Example: A persons uses incorrect posture and experiences neck tension which results in some eye muscle tension and slight blur. This is the first type of strain. Then the person squints, stares, uses effort to see. This causes a new secondary type of strain and increased blur. The person begins to worry about the blur, eyestrain and a new third strain (worry) occurs, and more blur. The person starts wearing eyeglasses which is a forth strain and greatly increases all four strains. Four different types of strain are now in the visual system, mind.
The Natural Eyesight Improvement teacher shows the student how to identify and remove all types of strain.
Left and right brain hemisphere imbalance, dominance, suppression, negative thoughts, emotions, using effort to see at close and far distances, squinting, staring can cause different types of strain, unclear vision at certain distances, other abnormal eye conditions.

Q – When doing the swing, what does one move, the head or eyes?
A – The eyes are moved in the same direction as the head is moved.

Q – Does massaging benefit the eyes?
A – No, because it does not relieve the mental strain which caused the eye trouble.

Modern teachers know that; Body, shoulder, neck, face acupressure point activation and muscle massage does improve the sight, health of the eyes by relaxing the eye muscles, improving eye movement, blood, oxygen, lymph, nerve flow/circulation to the brain, eyes. Joint, vertebrae alignment, muscle massage, relaxation in many different areas of the body has a direct affect on the eyes and improves the clarity of vision.
Improving the state of the body, its relaxation helps remove mental, visual strain.
Appling Bates method also removes strain in the mind, eyes, body, muscles, nerves.

Q – Is practicing under a strong electric light as beneficial as practicing in the sun?
A - If the sun is not shining, the strong electric light can be used with benefit, although more benefit is derived from direct sun treatment.

Q – Can one remember perfectly and see imperfectly?
A – It is impossible to remember perfectly and see imperfectly at the same time. Perfect sight can only be obtained with the aid of a perfect memory. When the memory is perfect, the mind is relaxed and the vision is normal. Imperfect memory requires a strain of the eye which produces imperfect vision.

Q - Can one blink too quickly and too often?
A - The normal eye blinks quickly, easily and frequently. Blinking can be done correctly or incorrectly. Some people, when they are told to blink, squeeze their eyes shut, or close them too slowly and then open them spasmodically, which is wrong. When the normal eye blinks, things are seen continuously. 

Announcement

Dr. Bates wishes to announce to his patients that he is moving his offices from 383 Madison Avenue, New York City, to 18 East 48th Street and will be treating patients at the new offices after October 1st. The Central Fixation Publishing Company will also be located in the same building, 18 East 48 Street, New York City.