Relief After Twenty-Five Years

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Zetsu, May 12, 2008.

  1. Zetsu

    Zetsu Guest

    [...Relief After Twenty-Five Years

    While many persons are benefited by the accepted methods of treating
    defects of vision, there is a minority of cases, known to every eye
    specialist, which gets little or no help from them. These patients
    sometimes give up the search for relief in despair, and sometimes
    continue it with surprising pertinacity, never being able to abandon
    the belief, in spite of the testimony of experience, that somewhere in
    the world there must be some one with sufficient skill to fit them
    with the right glasses. The rapidity with which these patients respond
    to treatment by relaxation is often very dramatic, and affords a
    startling illustration of the superiority of this method to treatment
    by glasses and musclescutting. In the following case relaxation did in
    twenty-four hours what the old methods, as practiced by a succession
    of eminent specialists, had not been able to do in twenty-five years.

    The patient was a man of forty-nine, and his imperfect sight was
    accompanied by continual pain and misery, culminating twenty years
    before I saw him, in a complete nervous breakdown. As he was a writer,
    dependent upon his pen for a living, his condition was a serious
    economic handicap, and he consulted many specialists in the vain hope
    of obtaining relief. Glasses did little, either to improve his sight,
    or to relieve his discomfort, and the eye specialists talked vaguely
    about disease of the optic nerve and brain as a possible cause of his
    troubles. The nerve specialists, however, were unable to do anything
    to relieve him. One specialist diagnosed his case as muscular, and
    gave him prisms, which helped him a little. Later, the same
    specialist, finding that all of the apparent muscular trouble was not
    corrected by glasses, cut the external muscles of both eyes. This also
    brought some relief, but not much. At the age of twenty-nine the
    patient suffered the nervous breakdown already mentioned. For this he
    was treated unsuccessfully by various specialists, and for nine years
    he was compelled to live out of doors. This life, although it
    benefited him, failed to restore his health, and when he came to me on
    September 13, 1919, he was still suffering from neurasthenia. His
    distant vision was less than 20/40, and could not be improved by
    glasses. He was able to read with glasses, but could not do so without
    discomfort. I could find no symptom of disease of the brain or of the
    interior of the eye. When he tried to palm he saw grey and yellow
    instead of black; but he was able to rest his eyes simply by closing
    them, and by this means alone he became able, in twenty-four hours, to
    read diamond type and to make out most of the letters on the twenty
    line of the test card at twenty feet. At the same time his discomfort
    was materially relieved.

    He was under treatment for about six weeks, and then he left the city.
    On October 25 he wrote as follows:

    "I saw you last on October 6, and at the end of the week, the 11th, I
    started off on a ten-day motor trip as one of the officials of the
    Cavalry Endurance Test for horses. The last touch of eyestrain which
    affected me nervously at all I experienced on the 8th and. 9th. On the
    trip, though I averaged but five hours sleep, rode all day in an open
    motor without goggles and wrote reports at night by bad lights, I had
    no trouble. After the third day the universal slow swing seemed to
    establish itself, and I have never had a moment's discomfort since. I
    stood fatigue and excitement better than I have ever done, and went
    with less sleep. My practicing on the trip was necessarily somewhat
    curtailed, yet there was noticeable improvement in my vision. Since
    returning I have spent a couple of hours a day in practice, and have
    at the same time done a lot of writing.

    "Yesterday, the 24th, I made a test with diamond type, and found that
    after twenty minutes' practice I could get the lines distinct, and
    make out the capital letters and bits of the text at a scant three
    inches. At seven I could read it readily, though I could not see it
    perfectly. This was by an average daylight-no sun. In a good daylight
    I can read the newspaper almost perfectly at a normal reading
    distance, say fifteen inches. 1 seem able now to read ordinary. print
    at a little distance from my eyes without straining; but I practice
    bringing it so close that it is not quite clear, and after closing and
    opening my eyes and thinking of the text as clear and black, or of a
    perfect black letter, it clears up. I am confident now that in a few
    weeks I shall be able to read the fine print at three inches. Now that
    the swing has established itself so well I seem to get the best
    results on close work by consciously relaxing as much as I can,
    avoiding all conscious effort to see better, and imagining words or
    letters perfectly clear and black. All soreness has gone from the
    eyeballs, but there are little muscle hitches that catch me when
    consciously opening or closing the lids. The last few days these
    almost ceased at the end of twenty minutes practice, and my sight was

    "I feel now that I am really out of the woods. I have done night work
    without suffering for it, a thing I have not done in twenty-five
    years, and I have worked steadily for more hours than I have been able
    to work at a time since my breakdown in 1899, all without sense of
    strain or nervous fatigue. You can imagine my gratitude to you. Not
    only for my own sake, but for yours, I shall leave no stone unturned
    to make the cure complete and get back the child eyes which seem
    perfectly possible in the light of progress I have made in the eight
    weeks since I first went to you.

    "I have just been trying the big card for distance in the out-of-door
    light of an overcast day at two in the afternoon. At twenty feet I get
    all the bottom line, but the "5" and "6." The "B" also is black. But I
    think I have done a little better than this. The halos [1] begin to
    come out spontaneously both on the fine print and on the big card at a
    distance. I am sure that I only have to keep on to win."

    [1] When the sight is normal, the margins and openings of letters
    appear whiter than the rest of the background, and the lines of fine
    print seem to be separated by white streaks...]

    - Dr. W.H. Bates, January 1920
    Zetsu, May 12, 2008
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  2. Zetsu

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Thanks for yet another worthless, unverifiable, third-hand anecdote.
    Neil Brooks, May 12, 2008
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