Central Fixation. - Better Eyesight, W. H. Bates, M.D.

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Zetsu, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Zetsu

    Zetsu Guest


    An invariable symptom of all abnormal conditions of the eyes, whether
    functional or organic, is the loss of central fixation. When a person
    with perfect vision looks at a letter on the Snellen test card he can
    always observe that all the other letters in his field of vision are
    seen less distinctly. He can also observe that when he looks at the
    bottom of even the smallest letters on the card, the top appears less
    black and less distinct than the part directly regarded, while the
    same is true of a letter of diamond type, or of the smallest letters
    that are printed. When a person with imperfect sight looks at the card
    he can usually observe that when he can read a line of letters he is
    able to look at one letter of a line and see it better than the
    others, but the letters of a line he cannot read may look all alike,
    or those not directly regarded may even be seen better than the one

    These conditions are due to the fact that when the sight is normal the
    sensitiveness of the fovea is normal, but when the sight is imperfect,
    from whatever cause, the sensitiveness of the fovea is lowered, so
    that the eye sees equally well, or even better, with other parts of
    the retina. Contrary to what is generally believed, the part seen best
    when the sight is normal is extremely small. The text-books say that
    at twenty feet an area having a diameter of a quarter of an inch can
    be seen with maximum vision, but anyone who tries at this distance to
    see every part of one of the small letters on the Snellen test card -
    the diameter of which is about a quarter of an inch - equally well at
    one time will immediately become myopic. The fact is that the nearer
    the point of maximum vision approaches a mathematical point, which has
    no area, the better the sight.

    The cause of this loss of function in the center of sight is mental
    strain; and as all abnormal conditions of the eyes, organic as well as
    functional, are accompanied by mental strain, all such conditions must
    necessarily be accompanied by loss of central fixation. When the mind
    is under a strain the eye usually goes more or less blind. The center
    of sight goes blind first, and if the strain is great enough the whole
    or the greater part of the retina may be involved. When the vision of
    the center of sight has been suppressed, partially or completely, the
    patient can no longer see the point which he is looking at best, but
    sees objects not regarded directly as well, or better, because the
    sensitiveness of the reina has now become approximately equal in every
    part, or is even better in the outer part than in the center.
    Therefore in all cases of defective vision the patient is unable to
    see best where he is looking.

    This condition is sometimes so extreme that the patient may look as
    far away from an object as it is possible to see it and yet see it
    just as well as when looking directly at it. In one case it had gone
    so far that the patient could see only with the edge of the retina on
    the nasal side. In other words, she could not see her fingers in front
    of her face, but could see them if she held it at the outer side of
    her eye. She had no error of refraction, showing that while every
    error of refraction is accompanied by eccentric fixation, the strain
    which causes the one condition is different from that which produces
    the other. The patient had been examined by specialists in this
    country and Europe, who attributed her blindness to disease of the
    optic nerve, or brain; but the fact that vision was restored by
    relaxation demonstrated that the condition had been due simply to
    mentral strain.

    Eccentric fixation, even in its lesser degrees, is so unnatural that
    great discomfort, or even pain, can be produced in a few seconds by
    trying to see every part of an area three or four inches in extent at
    twenty feet, or even less, or an area of an inch or less at the near
    point, equally well at one time, while at the same time the
    retinoscope will demonstrate that an error of refraction has been
    produced. This strain, when it is habitual, leads to all sorts of
    abnormal conditions and is, in fact, at the bottom of most eye
    troubles, functional and organic. The discomfort and pain may be
    absent, however, in the chronic condition, and it is an encouraging
    symptom when the patient begins to experience them.

    When the eye possesses central fixation it not only possesses perfect
    sight, but is perfectly at rest and can be used indefinitely without
    fatigue. It is open and quiet; no nervous movements are observable;
    and when it regards a point at the distance the visual axes are
    parallel. In other words, there are no muscular insufficiencies. This
    fact is not generally known. The text-books state that muscular
    insufficiencies occur in eyes having normal sight, but I have never
    seen such a case. The muscles of the face and of the whole body are
    also at rest, and when the condition is habitual there are no wrinkles
    or dark circles around the eyes.

    In most cases of eccentric fixation, on the contrary, the eye quickly
    tires, and its appearance, with that of the face, is expressive of
    effort or strain. The ophthalmoscope reveals that the eyeball moves at
    irregular intervals, from side to side, vertically or in other
    directions. These movements are often so extensive as to be manifest
    by ordinary inspection, and are sometimes sufficienty marked to
    resemble nystagmus. Nervous movements of the eyelids may also be
    noted, either by ordinary inspection, or by lightly touching the lid
    of one eye while the other regards an object either at the near point
    or the distance. The visual axes are never parallel, and the deviation
    from the normal may become so marked as to constitute the condition of
    squint. Redness of the conjunctiva and of the margins of the lids,
    wrinkles around the eyes, dark circles beneath them and tearing are
    other symptoms of eccentric fixation.

    Eccentric fixation is a symptom of strain, and is relieved by any
    method that relieves strain; but in some cases the patient is cured
    just as soon as he is able to demonstrate the facts of central
    fixation. When he comes to realize, through actual demonstration of
    the fact, that he does not see best where he is looking, and that when
    he looks a sufficient distance away from a point he can see it worse
    than when he looks directly at it, he becomes able, in some way, to
    reduce the distance to which he has to look in order to see worse,
    until he can look directly at the top of a small letter and see the
    bottom worse, or look at the bottom and see the top worse. The smaller
    the letter regarded in this way, or the shorter the distance the
    patient has to look away from a letter in order to see the opposite
    part indistinctly, the greater the relaxation and the better the
    sight. When it becomes possible to look at the bottom of a letter and
    see the top worse, or to look at the top and see the bottom worse, it
    becomes possible to see the letter perfectly black and distinct. At
    first such vision may come only in flashes. The letter will come out
    distinctly for a moment and then disappear. But gradually, if the
    practice is continued, central fixation will become habitual.

    Most patients can readily look at the bottom of the big C and see the
    top worse; but in some cases it is not only impossible for them to do
    this, but impossible for them to let go of the large letters at any
    distance at which they can be seen. In these extreme cases it
    sometimes requires considerable ingenuity, first to demonstrate to the
    patient that he does not see best where he is looking, and then to
    help him to see an object worse when he looks away from it than when
    he looks directly at it. The use of a strong light as one of the
    points of fixation, or of two lights few or ten feet apart, has been
    found helpful, the patient when he looks away from the light being
    able to see it less bright more readily than he can see a black letter
    worse when he looks away from it. It then becomes easier for him to
    see the letter wosre when he looks away from it. This method was
    successful in the following case:

    A patient with vision of 3/200, when she looked at a point a few feet
    away from the big C, said she saw the letter better than when she
    looked directly at it. Her attention was called to the fact that her
    eyes soon became tired and that her vision failed when she saw things
    in this way. Then she was directed to look at a bright object about
    three feet away from the card, and this attracted her attention to
    such an extent that she became able to see the large letter on the
    test card worse, after which she was able to look back at it and see
    it worse. It was demonstrated to her that she could do one of two
    things: look away and see the letter better than she did before, or
    look away and see it worse. She then became able to see it worse all
    the time when she looked three feet away from it. Next she became able
    to shorten the distance successively to two feet, one foot and six
    inches, with a constant improvement in vision; and finally she became
    able to look at the bottom of the letter and see the top worse, or
    look at the top and see the bottom worse. With practice she became
    able to look at the smaller letters in the same way, and finally she
    became able to read the ten line at twenty feet. By the same method
    also she became able to read diamond type, first at twelve inches and
    then at three inches. By these simple measures alone she became able,
    in short, to see best where she was looking, and her cure was

    The highest degrees of eccentric fixation occur in the high degrees of
    myopia, and in these cases, since the sight is best at the near point,
    the patient is benefited by practicing seeing worse at this point. The
    distance can then be gradually extended until it becomes possible to
    do the same thing at twenty feet. One patient with a high degree of
    myopia said that the farther away she looked from an electric light
    the better she saw it, but by alternately looking at the light at the
    near point and looking away from it, she became able, in a short time,
    to see it brighter when she looked directly at it than when she looked
    away from it. Later she became able to do the same thing at twenty
    feet, and then she experienced a wonderful feeling of relief. No
    words, she said, could adequately describe it. Every nerve seemed to
    be relaxed, and a feeling of comfort and rest permeated her whole
    body. Afterward her progress was rapid. She soon became able to look
    at one part of the smallest letters on the card and see the rest
    worse, and then she became able to read the letters at twenty feet.

    On the principle that a burnt child dreads the fire, some patients are
    benefited by consciously making their sight worse. When they learn, by
    actual demonstration of the facts, just how their visual defects are
    produced, they unconsciously avoid the unconscious strain which causes
    them. When the degree of eccentric fixation is not too extreme to be
    increased, therefore, it is a benefit to patients to teach them how to
    increase it. When a patient has consciously lowered his vision and
    produced discomfort and even pain by trying to see the big C, or a
    whole line of letters, equally well at one time, he becomes able to
    correct the unconscious effort of the eye to see all parts of a
    smaller area equally well at one time.

    In learning to see best where he is looking it is usually best for the
    person to think of the point not directly regarded as being seen less
    distinctly than the point he is looking at, instead of thinking of the
    point fixed as being seen best, as the latter practice has a tendency,
    in most cases, to intensify the strain under which the eye is already
    laboring. One part of an object is seen best only when the mind is
    content to see the greater part of it indistinctly, and as the degree
    of relaxation increases the area of the part seen worse increases
    until that seen best becomes merely a point.

    The limits of vision depend upon the degree of central fixation. A
    person may be able to read a sign half a mile away when he sees the
    letters all alike, but when taught to see one letter best he will be
    able to read smaller letters that he didn't know were there. The
    remarkable vision of savages, who can see with the naked eye objects
    for which most civilized persons require a telescope, is a matter of
    central fixation. Some people can see the rings of Saturn, or the
    moons of Jupiter, with the naked eye. It is not because of any
    superiority in the structure of their eyes, but because they have
    attained a higher degree of central fixation than most civilized
    persons do.

    Not only do all errors of refraction and all functional disturbances
    of the eye disappear when it sees by central fixation, but many
    organic conditions are relieved or cured. I am unable to set any
    limits to its possibilities. I would not have ventured to predict that
    glaucoma, incipient cataract and syphilitic iritis could be cured by
    central fixation; but it is a fact that these conditions have
    disappeared when central fixation was attained. Relief was often
    obtained in a few minutes, and sometimes this relief was permanent.
    Usually, however, a permanent cure required more prolonged treatment.
    Inflammatory conditions of all kinds, including inflammation of the
    cornea, iris, conjunctiva, the various coats of the eyeball and even
    the optic nerve itself, have been beneftied by central fixation after
    other methods have failed. Infections, as well as diseases caused by
    protein poisoning and the poisons of typhoid fever, influenza,
    syphilis and gonorrhoea, have also been benefited by it. Even with a
    foreign body in the eye there is no redness and no pain so long as
    central fixation is retained.

    Since central fixation is impossible without mental control, central
    fixation of the eye means central fixation of the mind. It means,
    therefore, health in all parts of the body, for all the operations of
    the physical mechanism depend upon the mind. Not only the sight, but
    all the other senses - touch, taste, hearing and smell - are benefited
    by central fixation. All the vital processes - digestion,
    assimilation, elimination, etc. - are benefited by it. The symptoms of
    functional and organic diseases are relieved. The efficiency of the
    mind is enormously increased. The benefits of central fixation already
    observed are, in short, so great that the subject merits further


    A monthly magazine devoted to the prevention and cure of imperfect
    sight without glasses
    Copyright, 1919, by the Central Fixation Publishing Company
    Editor - W. H. Bates, M.D.
    Publisher - Central Fixation Publishing Co.
    $2.00 per year, 20 cents per copy
    39-45 East 42nd Street, New York, N. Y.
    Vol. I - July, 1919 - No. 1

    Zetsu, Jun 25, 2009
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  2. Zetsu

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Zetsu has long ago reached the level where he/she/it is nothing
    more than the online equivalent of one of those psychotic homeless
    people who stands on the corner, SHOUTING Bible passages, to ...

    What a pathetic little creature.

    Almost SURELY the illegitimate love child of Otis Brown (and ... who
    else?? Desperate people DO do desperate things....).
    Neil Brooks, Jun 25, 2009
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