Saved from Blindness

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Lelouch, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    [...]

    By Patricia Palmer

    It is very hard for an active young girl to suddenly learn that in a
    short time she may lose her eyesight. I had always felt a great deal
    of pity for blind people, but I never stopped to realize how many
    beautiful things they missed until I knew that I was going blind
    myself. I only wore glasses for three years, but in that short time I
    developed a very bad case of progressive myopia. In the summer of 1918
    my sight became so poor that I had to stop reading altogether and even
    a moderately bright day hurt my eyes so much that I kept them bandaged
    a great part of the time. Finally I had to put on a dark Krux lens,
    and the goggle-like glasses that I wore shut out all light. In the
    fall I started school, but as I could not see to read I was working
    under great difficulties. Then, through an article published some
    months before in the 'Scientific American', we learned of Dr. Bates'
    work and it seemed the last possible hope. I declared that there was
    no use in taking the trip to New York, because I knew he could do
    nothing for me, but in the end I went.

    The first time I looked at the test card I could not see the big "C"
    until I stood within four feet of it, but in two hours I was able to
    flash all the letters of the third line and part of the fourth at ten
    feet. In four weeks I had 10/10 vision and my hearing, which had been
    bad, was normal.

    Some weeks after I returned home a friend, who was calling, complained
    of a bad headache. I pursuaded him to take off his glasses and showed
    him how to palm and swing the letters on the chart. A short time later
    he discovered, to his surprise, that his headache was entirely gone.

    This incident made me realize that if I showed others what Dr. Bates
    had shown me I could relieve, if not cure, their troubles. The next
    person that I worked with was a little girl with progressive myopia
    which had not become very serious. She worked very conscientiously,
    and about a month after we started, when she visited Dr. Bates, her
    sight was nearly perfect.

    I have helped a number of people, some successfully, others not so
    successfully. One of my most interesting cases was a chauffeur who
    thought that he was unusually farsighted, but who could not see to
    read the paper. When I tested his eyes I found that he had only 10/20
    vision. In a short time, however, he attained normal sight by palming
    and swinging the letters. I then told him to close his eyes and count
    ten, then open them for a fraction of a second. I held a book in front
    of him and in a short time, by closing his eyes and then glancing at
    it, he read parts of it. He practices on signboards, automobile
    licenses, or anything that he sees, and now he reads the entire paper
    every evening. He has noticed, too, that he is not blinded by bright
    lights as he used to be.

    As to the value of swinging the little black period I am very decided.
    I find it my best friend, especially in a test. One time in a French
    examination, in the excitement of the moment, I could not think of a
    certain word which I knew well enough and which was very important to
    me. I closed my eyes and palmed for a second and remembered the
    period. In a flash my self-control returned to me and with it the
    word. I have tried this several times since, usually with success.

    I often wonder now how I could possibly have managed without my eyes,
    even with glasses. It is such a joy to be able to read from morning to
    night if I want to. Reading music is supposed to be a terrible thing
    for the eyes, but I do an endless amount of it and never know the
    difference. I find, too, that since my eyes have been well I memorize
    remarkably quickly, and that when I study I grasp the contents of the
    text more easily than before. In the old days of glasses I had to read
    my history assignments two or three times before I knew what it was
    about, while now once is quite enough.

    My greatest regret is that so few people know how to prevent eye
    troubles, or how to care for them after they develop. Perhaps,
    however, if the movement to establish Snellen test cards in the
    schools grows, thousands of children may be saved from the agony which
    I and many others suffered with headaches as well as being freed from
    the inconvenience of glasses.

    ____

    Better Eyesight
    A monthly magazine devoted to the prevention and cure of imperfect
    sight without glasses
    Copyright, 1920, 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
    342 West 42nd Street, New York, N. Y.
    Vol. II - June, 1920 - No. 6
    ____

    [...]
     
    Lelouch, Jul 31, 2009
    #1
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