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October 1928 

    No Glasses For Quick results – Nystagmus – Stories From The Clinic; 104. Case Reports by Emily A. Bates (Emily C. Lierman before Marriage to Dr. Bates) – Questions and Answers


BETTER EYESIGHT

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

OCTOBER, 1928

No Glasses For Quick Results

The first and best thing that all patients should do after their first treatment, or before, is to discard their glasses. It is not always an easy thing to do but it is best for the patient and for the teacher. It is true that at one time I did not encourage patients to learn the treatment unless they discarded their glasses permanently. But since I have studied more about my method and have encouraged some of my clinic patients to wear their glasses at times while under treatment, I find that some of them obtained a cure but it required double the amount of time that was required to cure those who discarded their glasses permanently. During the treatment when the glasses are worn temporarily, even for a short time, the vision sometimes becomes worse and in most cases a relapse is produced. It is much more difficult to regain the lost ground than ever before, and sometimes causes much discomfort.
Glasses for the correction of myopia do not fit the eyes all the time. To obtain good vision with glasses an effort is required to make the eyes change their focus to have the same error of refraction as the glasses correct. When the vision is benefited most perfectly by glasses it is necessary for the eyes to change frequently. To learn the amount of myopia in the eyes by trying different glasses to find the glass which continuously improves the vision best is usually difficult because the amount of the myopia changes so frequently. To change the amount of myopia requires an effort. Some people complain that no glasses fit their eyes permanently. These cases are benefited by discarding their glasses for a longer or a shorter period while being treated. Patients who require good sight to earn a living and find it difficult to discard their glasses while under treatment, have been able to make slow or rapid progress in the cure of their imperfect sight by wearing their glasses only when it was absolutely necessary.

Modern teachers allow the use of reduced, weaker, 20/40 eyeglass lenses if necessary for driving, safety until the Bates Method brings the vision to a level of clarity where eyeglasses are not needed. The strength of the lenses are repeatedly reduced as the vision passes through clearer and clearer levels of clarity. Reduced lenses do block natural eye function, produce strain, eye muscle tension, slow vision improvement but not as much as 20/20 and stronger eyeglass lenses. Reduced lenses allow the eyes, vision to improve, reverse back to a normal state. The lenses are worn as little as possible and a further reduced pair is kept ready since the Bates Method can bring a sudden, sometimes unexpected increase in vision improvement. As vision improves, stronger lenses will not provide adequate clarity. Avoid astigmatism lenses. Astigmatism sections in the eyeglass lenses prescription increase, speed impairment of the vision and eyes health.
   
 
       Warning;
If the clarity of vision has progressively declined, the patient has been wearing stronger and stronger eyeglass lenses for years; -3 and up, +2 and up, (but in some cases this can include even weaker glasses) the patient must STOP wearing eyeglasses. Weaker reduced lenses can be used to drive, work... safely but there is risk of detached retina, cataract and other eye problems developing when advanced vision impairment has occurred. The eyeglasses will increase the impairment of the eyes health and vision. If any advanced eye condition such as; a retina problem, blood, capillary vessels leaking, retina tearing.., macula degeneration, glaucoma, cataract... ; STOP wearing the eyeglasses. Eyeglasses CAUSE, INCREASE these conditions and can lead to blindness.   This includes contact lenses. Never wear contacts for any reason. 


Nystagmus

By W. H. Bates, M.D.

When the eyes move conspicuously from side to side, regularly or continuously, the condition is called nystagmus. These movements occur so frequently in connection with serious diseases of the eyes that the presence of this symptom is an indication that the cure of the eye disease will usually require much time and attention. So seldom are eye diseases with nystagmus cured that many physicians believe that most cases with nystagmus are incurable. I have found that many of these so-called incurable cases will recover by treatment.
We have observed that many eyes with imperfect sight do not have nystagmus but acquire it at almost any age. It has been produced repeatedly by a conscious stare or effort to see. It has been relieved by conscious relaxation with the aid of palming. When the patient is reminded that the stare or an effort to see is injurious, he becomes better able to lessen or relieve the eyestrain which is usually very harmful. Patients with nystagmus have less control of the movements of their eyes and for this reason require more supervision and help before they become able to use their eyes properly without strain.

All patients with nystagmus cannot be treated in the same way because I have not found two alike. The treatment which is helpful in one case may not be of any benefit to any other.
One patient, a woman aged twenty-five, who was born with a very bad case of nystagmus and who also had mixed astigmatism, with retinitis pigmentosa, was under my observation at different times for a number of years. In the beginning her vision without glasses was 10/200 in each eye. She obtained a vision of 10/70 in each eye with the aid of the glasses which corrected her mixed astigmatism. Without glasses her vision improved to the normal temporarily with the aid of palming, shifting, and swinging. She also became able to read without glasses. The nystagmus was also benefited at the same time. The patient was encouraged and practiced the relaxation exercises more continuously.
In her case, palming was the most beneficial treatment of her eyes, both for the nystagmus and vision. This may have been due to the fact that when she palmed with both eyes closed, she was able to remember black letters on a white card more perfectly with her eyes closed than with her eyes open. She was also able to remember or imagine white letters on a black card better with her eyes closed than with her eyes open. When she remembered letters perfectly, her eyes became relaxed and her vision for trees, flowers, the colors of the spectrum, red, green and blue as well as other objects and other colors was perfect without any effort or strain whatever. Her memory seemed perfect to her because she could remember letters and other objects as well at twenty feet or farther as she could at two feet or nearer. Palming helped her to remember things better. The longer she palmed the better became her memory. With an improved memory her sight became much improved and the nystagmus became less. The palming improved her memory of the notes of her music. Many of the black notes had a white center which she remembered better by the aid of palming.
It is important to mention that the sun treatment also lessened the nystagmus and improved the sight because the eyes became relaxed. This improved her sight and lessened the nystagmus. In the beginning the sun treatment was not so beneficial as it became later, after palming. The sun treatment was employed with the aid of a strong magnifying glass which focused the light of the sun on the outside of the upper lids, the glass being moved rapidly from side to side for short periods of time. For several weeks this treatment was given daily whenever there was sun, and the nystagmus and vision decidedly improved.
(There have been cases of nystagmus treated which failed to improve by the sun treatment. Other methods were then employed.)
With the improvement of the nystagmus, this patient’s vision for distant objects and her ability to read also improved. The inflammation of the retina at the same time improved remarkably. In the beginning of her treatment a large part of the retina of both eyes was covered with black pigment spots. The ophthalmoscope was used each time she came. It was noted that these black specks became less numerous and finally disappeared. The fields of each eye were improved and the night blindness from which she suffered became less.
Her visits to the office were very irregular and uncertain, with the result that the improvement which she obtained during this time was not continuous. She earned her living as a music teacher. When she neglected to practice the treatment which I recommended to correct the tension, stare, and strain, her vision became worse and she lost her occupation. Having to depend upon her family for support was embarrassing to her. She came again for treatment after an absence of over a year. She told me that she was ready to come at regular intervals whenever I advised her to come.
While she was away she had a relapse but did not lose all the improvement that she had gained; there was an improvement in the nystagmus, but it was not rapid or conspicuous. This patient was examined with the aid of a moving picture camera. She was able to lessen the movement of her eyes and was able to show on the screen how it was done. When these pictures were taken by an expert, the doctors who were invited to be present testified that when the nystagmus became less or disappeared and the vision improved it was because the stare, strain, or effort to see was corrected. What I have been unable to prove in my publications, the moving picture (movie) screen proves.
My patient gradually and steadily improved until she became able to see well enough to resume her work. Her vision for distant and near objects improved so that she could see better without glasses than she had formerly seen with them.
While the moving picture work was in progress, this patient offered her services to show how the nystagmus could be produced by an effort. The condition of her eyes was so much improved that I doubted that she had the ability or the courage to strain or produce the amount of tension necessary to show her nystagmus condition on the screen. While the camera was running I was amazed to see the nystagmus return. I thought that I had met my Waterloo. Now that I had improved a case that I had at one time deemed impossible to help, I feared that in order for her to strain sufficiently to cause the nystagmus to return would be a calamity. My fears were relieved when the camera again registered a picture of her while she remembered perfect sight by reciting for me all the letters of the Snellen test card which she had committed to memory.
This picture showed plainly no evidence of effort or strain and the nystagmus had stopped. Later the patient told me about the pain and discomfort she suffered in order to produce the nystagmus for the picture. Her sacrifice was worthwhile because others since then have been benefited.
Some patients with nystagmus do not know that they have it. The first step in their cure is to teach them to feel the eyes move when the closed upper lids are lightly touched with the finger tips.

Boy Creates and Cures Nystagmus

One day some years ago a boy about twelve years of age came to my office. He was ushered in by his mother, a middle aged woman who just pointed to his eyes, and then sat down and waited. The patient had nystagmus. His vision was about one-half of the normal. With the ophthalmoscope no disease of the retina, optic nerve or any other part of the eyes could be found. The nystagmus was variable. He was able to lessen it until his vision improved very much and even became normal, 20/20 for short periods of time. By straining to see, the nystagmus became worse and his vision less. His mother became more interested. Her eyes were full of questions but she remained silent.
I asked the boy; “Can you move your eyes more rapidly?” “Yes,” he answered. Then he was asked: “How is your sight?” “Very poor,” he replied, “and growing worse.” “Can you stop the movement of your eyes?” He answered: “Yes.” “How do you do it?” “I do not know,” was the reply.
He was told to palm or to cover his closed eyes with the palms of his hands. He said this felt restful and when he opened his eyes his vision was improved and the nystagmus had stopped. For some minutes he was able to demonstrate that he could stop the nystagmus and that his sight for a short time was better. He was also able to produce or increase the nystagmus by making an effort to try to see. All this time his mother watched the proceedings. By the way she acted one could read her mind. The nodding of her head, the frequent moistening of her lips, the satisfied look in her face showed that she believed that the boy produced the nystagmus consciously for his own amusement, which was the truth. It was not necessary for me to explain. She now understood what was the matter with him and she also knew what to do. After thanking me she grabbed the boy’s arm none too gently and disappeared from my office quicker than she came in.

There is another story of a child that created crossed, wandering eyes as a joke. The child’s eyes normally did not cross, wander.
Dr. Bates cured many cases of crossed, wandering eyes by teaching the person how to create it. Once the person knows how it is produced (using strain, tension, incorrect eye function), the person can prevent, cure it by avoiding the strain… and by applying relaxation, shifting, central fixation… Nystagmus can also be caused by a medical condition in the body, brain. Check with a medical doctor for more treatments.

Case Reports

By Emily A. Bates

(Emily C. Lierman married Dr. William H. Bates. Her name is now written as: Emily A. Bates)

It is encouraging to meet people who have become able to discard their glasses by the benefit they obtained just from reading Dr. Bates’ book. There are those also who write to us and complain that they have not received any benefit whatever after reading it. But the latter are in the minority.
Sometimes I feel that I would have been one of the complaining kind if I had not been fortunate enough to meet Dr. Bates before his book was written. I agree with some people that parts of his book are too technical for the layman to understand. But the principal part of his book is not technical and is so carefully written that even school children have been benefited and cured by practicing the methods recommended. While I was in California I met a number of children who came to see me for one visit only and brought Dr. Bates’ book with them. Dr. Bates’ himself would have felt honored if he could have seen so many of his books so worn out that the pages had to be pasted together again, while others were very much soiled from handling.
These children wanted to be sure that their relief from eyestrain was complete. I appointed the oldest one to test the sight of each eye of all the pupils. According to the tests made, the vision of all the pupils was normal with the Snellen test card and other objects. They all read correctly the captions on the moving picture screen, thirty feet away. A question was asked as to whether the moving pictures (movies) caused more or less eyestrain and I replied that the facts were quite the contrary, but that one must become accustomed to the strong light of the sun. Most children out West are accustomed to the sun and for that reason there are fewer children wearing glasses than the children of city schools here in the East. Doctors and instructors from various schools came to learn the Bates Method so that they could teach others how to use their eyes correctly.
A young woman came to me for the relief of her eyestrain. While visiting in New York, one of the professors of the University of Southern California had been treated and cured of presbyopia by Dr. Bates. This woman was one of the professor’s students at the University and he recommended her to come to me for treatment. She had myopia, or shortsight, (nearsighted) and at times suffered a great deal of pain, especially at night after her studies were over. It was impossible for her to read at night no matter how strong an electric light was used. The stronger the light was, the more discomfort she had in her eyes. This made her unhappy because she was a lover of books. The temptation was very strong to obtain suitable glasses so that she could enjoy reading her books at night, when the instructor advised her to try the Bates Method for the relief of her eyestrain.
I began treating her by placing her fifteen feet from the test card which was fastened to a stand. With much straining on her part she read the seventy line with her right eye and only saw the largest letter on the card, which is called the two hundred line letter, with her left eye. I immediately decided to draw the test card up to ten feet, where she would not strain so hard to see. Again she read the letters, reading with the right eye and then with the left. Her facial expression became more natural, less strained, and without her telling me so, I knew that she felt more like going on with the treatment.
Her disposition was directly opposite to that of her friend and classmate who came with her. Her friend was so determined not to wear glasses that there was no doubt at all in her mind about receiving some benefit from me. But not so with my patient. She was willing enough to have me try to help her but she did not have much faith in me. I was not Dr. Bates and that made a difference with her. She felt that I could not possibly understand her case. She told me later that I had read her mind correctly but was glad that she tried and won out.
At ten feet she read the forty line with her right eye with the evidence of strain decidedly less. With her left eye she read one letter correctly of the one hundred line, or the second line from the top of the card, which is an “R.” The other letter on that line is a “B” which she thought was an “R” also. I did not correct her but told her to close her eyes and forget about the test. I asked her about the subject she was most interested in at college and she seemed eager to tell me about it. She was studying art and the correct combination of colors for interior decorating. Some patients, when asked to close their eyes and remember something perfectly cannot do so without help from the doctor or instructor. This patient did so immediately. She did not have her eyes closed for more than ten minutes when she became able to read the whole test card as well with the right eye as with the left, at ten feet.
The memory of colors, describing them to me while her eyes were closed, was all she needed to give her relaxation of mind and body, and temporarily improve her sight to normal. I told her to close her eyes again and describe her ideas of colors for different rooms of a home she had in mind. While she was doing this I again placed the test card fifteen feet away and with both eyes she read 15/20. She complained of a sharp pain over both eyes, the pain being more over the left eye.
I placed her chair in the sun and while her eyes were closed I used the sun glass very rapidly for five minutes on her closed eyelids. This not only relieved her pain but it improved her sight to 15/10. She read microscopic type just as well in an ordinary light as she did in the sunlight. Because she had been nearsighted it was not difficult for her to read it. She was told to read the fine type several times every day after sitting in the sun with her eyes closed.
Having worn a green shield over her eyes while in her classroom every day for two years, it was not easy for her to take the sun treatment. However, the results she obtained during her first treatment encouraged her to continue the practice. She purchased a sun glass and I taught her friend how to use it on her eyes. My patient in turn also learned how to give the sun treatment which not only benefited her friend but also others at the University. My patient returned for two more treatments a month apart and after that she reported over the telephone to me that she had had no relapse to imperfect sight.


Questions And Answers

Q – Will it still be necessary to continue practicing the methods of swinging and shifting after my eyes are cured?
A – No, when you are cured of eyestrain you will not be conscious of your eyes. However, if you strain them you will know what to do to relieve the strain.

Q – If one’s arms become tired while palming, will a black silk handkerchief covering the eyes produce the same amount of relaxation one gets from palming?
A – No. Palming is the best method for relaxation and improvement in vision. When tired of palming, the hands can be removed and the eyes kept closed until one feels relaxed.

Q – How can one look at the sun without injury?
A - While looking toward the sun it is best to blink the eyes and to look to the right and to the left of the sun. (shift) This will help you to look directly at the sun without discomfort or pain. One cannot look directly at the sun without normal vision.

Q – If I improve the vision of the poor eye will there not be a confusion of images?
A – Not necessarily.

Q – Is it possible to cure a three-year old child of squint without an operation?
A – Yes. I have had many such cases that were cured by my method of treatment.

Q – When the pupils become dilated, is that an indication of eyestrain?
A - No. A great many people who have dilated pupils have no trouble at all with their eyes.

Q – I am practicing the methods in your book to cure myopia and astigmatism. Sometimes for short periods, I see perfectly, then things fade away. Can you explain this?
A – This is what we call getting flashes of perfect sight. With continued practice these flashes will come more frequently and eventually will become permanent. Then you are cured.

Q – Can the vision be improved without glasses after the lens has been removed for cataract?
A – Yes.

Q – Does Dr. Bates approve of dark glasses to protect the eyes from the glare of the sun at the seashore?
A – No. Dark glasses are injurious to the eyes. The strong light of the sun is beneficial to the eyes, although it may be temporarily painful and blinding.

Q – By following instructions in the book, can cataract be benefited without consulting a physician?
A – Yes.

Q – Are memory and imagination the same? When we remember an object do we have to visualize it?
A - A perfect memory cannot be obtained unless you are able to imagine that you see or visualize what you remember.

Q – When I try to imagine a black period, it blurs and I get all colors but black.
A – When you fail to remember a period with your eyes closed, open your eyes and see it, then close your eyes and remember it as well as you can for a moment. Alternate.
        Shift on the period with eyes and mind and a clear mental, visual image will be seen and imagined.
Q – I enjoy palming, but it makes me drowsy after ten or fifteen minutes. Is this helpful?
A - When palming is done properly it does not make you drowsy.

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?
        Stationary eyes=muscle tension, strain, blur.
A – No. The normal eye blinks consciously or unconsciously without effort, without strain, and quickly.

Q – My little daughter has temporary perfect sight while palming, but her eyes turn in when she plays excitedly or strenuously. I thought play was relaxing.
A – Play may be relaxing and should be beneficial but like other things, it can be done wrong with a great effort without benefit.

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

Q – How long is it necessary to read the test card before obtaining benefit?
A - Some patients, by palming and resting their eyes, have obtained benefit in a few minutes.

Q - What is most helpful when one is dreadfully nearsighted and finds it almost impossible to see without glasses?
A - Practice palming as frequently as possible every day. Keeping the eyes closed whenever convenient for five minutes, ten times a day, is also helpful.

Q – Why is fine print beneficial?
A - Fine print is beneficial because it cannot be read by a strain or effort. The eyes must be relaxed.
Fine print also activates perfect central fixation, with eye movement/shifting, including tiny shifts.
When the mind, eyes are relaxed, vision is clear.
Perfect relaxation must occur for fine print to be seen. Reading fine print brings the mind, body, eyes to perfect relaxation.

Q – I have noticed when I palm that my eyeballs hurt from the pressure. When I loosen this tension the light filters in.
A - Palming is done correctly with the fingers closed and laid gently over each eye, using the palms like a cup. If this is done properly there is no pressure and the light is shut out.
It is ok if a little light shines thorough.
The hands must stay relaxed. No pressure on the eyeballs, eyes.

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 – I have improved my sight by palming, but when I read for any length of time the pain returns.
A – When you read and your eyes pain you, it means that you are straining your eyes. More frequent palming may help you to read more continuously.

Q – If type can be seen more distinctly with the eyes partly closed, (squinting) is it advisable to read that way?
A - No, it is not advisable to read that way because it is a strain, causes eye muscle tension and alters the shape of the eyeball and leads to increased blur.

Q – I have attained normal vision, but after reading for a while, my eyes feel strained. Would you still consider I had normal sight?
A – If your eyes feel strained you are not reading with normal vision.

Q – When I look at an object and blink, it appears to jump with each blink. Would this be considered the short swing?
A – Yes. You unconsciously look from one side to the other of the object when blinking. (Oppositional Movement)

Q – Some days, I can read the Snellen card to the 15 line, others only to the 30 or 20.
A - When the eyestrain is less the vision is always better.