How Long Will It Take? - Better Eyesight, W. H. Bates, M.D.

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Zetsu, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Zetsu

    Zetsu Guest


    This question is asked so constantly by persons who wish to be cured
    of imperfect sight that it seems worth while to devote a little space
    to its consideration. It is impossible, of course, to answer the
    question definitely. Cure is a question of the mind, and people's
    minds are different.

    While patients who have worn glasses are usually harder to cure than
    those who have not, elderly persons who have worn them for the better
    part of a lifetime are sometimes cured as quickly as children under
    twelve who have never worn them. These cases are very rare, but they
    do occur. Some patients can look at the letters on the test card, or
    in a paragraph of fine print, and imagine them at once to be perfectly
    black, with the result that they immediately become able to read them.
    Some patients are able to palm almost perfectly from the start, and
    nearly all can do it well enough to improve their sight; some never
    become able to do it until their sight has been improved by other

    Most patients, when they look from one side of a large letter to
    another, or from one side of the card to another, can imagine that the
    letter, or the card, is moving in a direction opposite to the movement
    of the eye. Others, whose condition may be no worse, take a week or a
    month, or longer, to do the same thing. A patient recently treated was
    able to do almost everything I asked her to at the first visit. I
    began, as I always do, by directing her to close and rest her eyes,
    and, as in the case of most other patients, she was able to improve
    her sight materially by this method. Then she went on to do a lot of
    other things, some of which very few patients can do at the first
    visit, while no one but herself, so far as I can remember, was ever
    able to do all of them. She able to stare at a letter and make her
    sight worse, and she was able to look from one side of it to another
    and imagine that it was moving in a direction opposite to the movement
    of the eye. If the letter was seen perfectly, the movement was short,
    rhythmical and easy; if it was seen imperfectly, it was longer, and
    irregular. She could not imagine a letter stationary, and if she tried
    to do so, it blurred. When she looked at a line of letters that she
    could read, she realized at once that one letter was seen best and the
    adjoining ones worse; and when she looked at a line that she could not
    read, she noted that they were seen all alike. She demonstrated at
    once - which was very remarkable - that a perfect memory is quick and
    easy, and an imperfect memory slow, difficult and even impossible;
    that the first relieves faitgue and the second induces discomfort. She
    also demonstrated that while it was easy to imagine that a letter
    remembered perfectly was swinging, she either could not imagine such a
    swing in the case of an imperfectly remembered letter, or else the
    swing was longer and irregular. It is hardly necessary to say that
    this patient became able at once to read the whole card, even in dim
    light. It was only when she came to fine print that she failed. She
    could not imagine that the letters of diamond type were swinging. She
    could imagine the universal swing [1] when she looked two inches away
    from the letters, but she could not imagine it when she looked between
    the lines.

    These peculiarities of the mind cannot be known in advance, and
    therefore it is seldom possible, in any given case, to make
    predictions as to the length of time that will be required for a cure.
    This much can be stated, however: that marked improvement is always
    obtained in a few weeks, and that all patients obtain some benefit at
    the first visit. If there are any exceptions to this rule, they are so
    rare that I do not remember them.

    As more facts are accumulated, and better ways of presentingf things
    learned, it becomes possible to cure people more quickly. I can cure
    people more quickly today than I did a year ago, and I expect to cure
    them next year more quickly than I do today. In the last three months,
    seven or eight patients have been cured in one visit, with a little
    additional help over the telephone.

    When patients can give considerable time to the treatment they
    naturally get on faster than those who cannot or will not do this.
    When they follow instructions and do not waste time in discussion, or
    in carrying out theories of their own, they also get on faster. One of
    the advantages that children have over adults is that their heads are
    not so full of erroneous ideas, and that they are accustomed to doing
    as they are told.

    The chief cause of delay seems to be that people will not believe the
    truth after it is demonstrated to them. You can demonstrate to anyone
    in a few minutes that rest improves the vision, but the idea that
    everything worth while must be gained by effort is so deeply ingrained
    in the average mind that you may not in a year be able to get it out,
    and so long as the patient believes that his sight can be improved by
    effort, he will make little progress.

    In most cases it is necessary, in order to retain what has been
    gained, to continue the treatment for a few minutes every day. When a
    cure is complete it is always permanent. The patient need never think
    of the matter again, and may even forget how he was cured. But
    complete cures, which mean the attainment, not of what is ordinarily
    called normal sight, but a measure of telescopic and microscopic
    vision, are very rare; and even in these cases the treatment may be
    continued with benefit, for it is impossible to set limits to the
    visual powers of man, and no matter how good the sight, it is always
    possible to improve it.

    [1] When the patient becomes able to imagine that the letters on the
    test card are swinging, everything else thought of also seems to be
    swinging. This is the universal swing.


    A 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.
    Vol. II - January, 1920 - No. 1

    Zetsu, Jun 20, 2009
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  2. Zetsu

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Over a pretty small sample size, there is a VERY TIGHT correlation
    between the time at which Otis posts and the time at which Zetsu

    Neil Brooks, Jun 20, 2009
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