The Problem of Imperfect Sight

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Lelouch, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    [...]

    The Problem of Imperfect Sight

    By W. H. Bates, M.D.

    The problem of imperfect sight is such a tremendous one that few, even
    of those who specialize in such matters, realize its proportions,
    while outside this circle there is not the remotest conception of what
    it means.

    The literature of the subject is very confusing and contradictory; but
    from the facts available there can be no doubt that the great majority
    of school children suffer from some degree of imperfect sight, while
    among adults normal vision is a rare exception.

    The very careful investigation of Risley showed that in the public
    schools of Philadelphia, among children between eight and a half and
    seventeen and a half, the proportion of imperfect sight was about
    ninety per cent, [1] other investigators report lower figures, but in
    many cases this simply means a lower standard. The findings of Risley
    agree with those obtained by myself in a study of 100,000 children
    made under all sorts of conditions in both city and country schools.

    As to the sight of the adult population the operation of the draft law
    has supplied us with some unimpeachable data. It was found impossible
    to raise an army with even half normal vision in one eye, and in order
    to get the number of soldiers required it was necessary to accept for
    general service men whose vision could be brought up to half normal
    with glasses. [1]

    Such figures as the foregoing, terrible as they are, by no means
    exhaust the subject. In fact they are only the beginning.

    Errors of refraction are so common that we have learned to take them
    lightly. They are usually reckoned among minor physical defects, and
    the average lay person has no idea of their real character. It is well
    known, of course, that they sometimes produce very serious nervous
    conditions, but the fact that they also lead to all sorts of eye
    diseases is known only to specialists, and not fully appreciated even
    by them. The complications of myopia (nearsight) constitute a large
    and melancholy chapter in the science of the eye, but most eye
    specialists say that no organic changes occur in in hypermetropia
    (farsight). That this is very far from the case was proven by Risley
    in the investigation alluded to above, and it is strange that his
    report on the subject has attracted so little attention. His studies
    also showed that these organic changes occuring in all states of
    refraction, are very common among children and have often progressed
    to an extent that would be expected only after long years of
    eyestrain.

    In the case of myopic astigmatism the percentage of diseased eyes
    among all the children examined ran as high as eighty-seven per cent,
    and in the secondary schools not a single myopic eye was found with a
    healthy eyeground. The condition known as 'conus' in the which the
    choroid, or middle coat of the eye, is destroyed in the neighborhood
    of the optic nerve exposing the outer coat (sclera) and forming first
    a crescent and later even a complete circle is commonly regarded as
    one of the symptoms of myopia and attributed to the tension resulting
    from the lengthening of the globe, but Risley's statistics show that
    while it is somewhat more common in this state of refraction than in
    [~Illustration~] hypermetropia it is by no means peculiar to it. In
    hypermetropia it was found in twenty per cent of the cases, and in
    hypermetropic astigmatism in forty-five per cent. In simple myopia it
    was present in forty-one per cent of the cases, and in myopic
    astigmatism it reached sixty per cent. It is a terrible thing to think
    that the eyes of our children should show a symptom of this character
    in such a large proportion of cases.

    My own experience is that errors of refraction are always accompanied
    by some organic change. It may only be a slight congestion, but this
    may be sufficient to lower the vision.

    By wearing glasses, avoiding poor lights and limiting the use of the
    eyes for near work, it is supposed that we can do something to prevent
    the development of these organic diseases and to check their progress;
    but for none of the traditional methods of treatment is it even
    claimed that they can be depended upon to preserve the sight as long
    as it may be needed, and Sidler Huguenin, in a paper several times
    referred to in this magazine, has stated that in the thousands of
    cases of myopia that have come under his observation they never were
    of any material benefit. [3]

    That imperfect sight is a fruitful cause of retardation in school is
    well known. According to the New York City Board of Health it is
    responsible for a quarter of the habitually left backs. [4] But that
    this condition cannot be remedied by glasses has not been generally
    observed. By making the patient more comfortable glasses do often
    improve his mental condition, but since they cannot relieve the mental
    strain that underlies the visual one, they cannot improve it to normal
    and by confirming it in a bad habit they may make it worse.

    From the foregoing facts it will be seen that in the condition of the
    eyesight of our people we have a health problem, an educational
    problem, and a military problem, of the first magnitude, and one would
    think that if any method of either prevention or cure that was even
    tolerably successful had been found it would immediately be put into
    general use.

    [1] School Hygiene, System of Diseases of the Eye, edited by Norris
    and Oliver.

    [2] Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War on
    the First Draft under the Selective Service Act, 1917.

    Second Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War
    on the Operations of the Selective Service System to December 20,
    1918.

    [3] School Health News, February, 1919.

    [4] Archiv. f. Augenh, vol. IXXIX, 1915, translated in Arch. Ophth.,
    XLV, Nov. 1916.
    ____

    Imperfect Sight Can be Cured Without Glasses
    You Can Cure Yourself
    You Can Cure Others

    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. III - October, 1920 - No. 4
    ____

    [...]
     
    Lelouch, Aug 19, 2009
    #1
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  2. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    [~Illustration~] http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/885/illustration.jpg

    [...]Conus in Hypermetropia

    The eyegrounds of a brother and sister aged respectively ten and
    twelve years. Both had hypemetropic astigmatism. "The conditions here
    represented," says Risley, "were repeated in scores of their fellows
    at school."[...]
     
    Lelouch, Aug 19, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    [...]

    The Problem of Imperfect Sight

    By W. H. Bates, M.D.

    The problem of imperfect sight is such a tremendous one that few, even
    of those who specialize in such matters, realize its proportions,
    while outside this circle there is not the remotest conception of what
    it means.

    The literature of the subject is very confusing and contradictory; but
    from the facts available there can be no doubt that the great majority
    of school children suffer from some degree of imperfect sight, while
    among adults normal vision is a rare exception.

    The very careful investigation of Risley showed that in the public
    schools of Philadelphia, among children between eight and a half and
    seventeen and a half, the proportion of imperfect sight was about
    ninety per cent, [1] other investigators report lower figures, but in
    many cases this simply means a lower standard. The findings of Risley
    agree with those obtained by myself in a study of 100,000 children
    made under all sorts of conditions in both city and country schools.

    As to the sight of the adult population the operation of the draft law
    has supplied us with some unimpeachable data. It was found impossible
    to raise an army with even half normal vision in one eye, and in order
    to get the number of soldiers required it was necessary to accept for
    general service men whose vision could be brought up to half normal
    with glasses. [2]

    Such figures as the foregoing, terrible as they are, by no means
    exhaust the subject. In fact they are only the beginning.

    Errors of refraction are so common that we have learned to take them
    lightly. They are usually reckoned among minor physical defects, and
    the average lay person has no idea of their real character. It is well
    known, of course, that they sometimes produce very serious nervous
    conditions, but the fact that they also lead to all sorts of eye
    diseases is known only to specialists, and not fully appreciated even
    by them. The complications of myopia (nearsight) constitute a large
    and melancholy chapter in the science of the eye, but most eye
    specialists say that no organic changes occur in in hypermetropia
    (farsight). That this is very far from the case was proven by Risley
    in the investigation alluded to above, and it is strange that his
    report on the subject has attracted so little attention. His studies
    also showed that these organic changes occuring in all states of
    refraction, are very common among children and have often progressed
    to an extent that would be expected only after long years of
    eyestrain.

    In the case of myopic astigmatism the percentage of diseased eyes
    among all the children examined ran as high as eighty-seven per cent,
    and in the secondary schools not a single myopic eye was found with a
    healthy eyeground. The condition known as 'conus' in the which the
    choroid, or middle coat of the eye, is destroyed in the neighborhood
    of the optic nerve exposing the outer coat (sclera) and forming first
    a crescent and later even a complete circle is commonly regarded as
    one of the symptoms of myopia and attributed to the tension resulting
    from the lengthening of the globe, but Risley's statistics show that
    while it is somewhat more common in this state of refraction than in
    [~Illustration~] hypermetropia it is by no means peculiar to it. In
    hypermetropia it was found in twenty per cent of the cases, and in
    hypermetropic astigmatism in forty-five per cent. In simple myopia it
    was present in forty-one per cent of the cases, and in myopic
    astigmatism it reached sixty per cent. It is a terrible thing to think
    that the eyes of our children should show a symptom of this character
    in such a large proportion of cases.

    My own experience is that errors of refraction are always accompanied
    by some organic change. It may only be a slight congestion, but this
    may be sufficient to lower the vision.

    By wearing glasses, avoiding poor lights and limiting the use of the
    eyes for near work, it is supposed that we can do something to prevent
    the development of these organic diseases and to check their progress;
    but for none of the traditional methods of treatment is it even
    claimed that they can be depended upon to preserve the sight as long
    as it may be needed, and Sidler Huguenin, in a paper several times
    referred to in this magazine, has stated that in the thousands of
    cases of myopia that have come under his observation they never were
    of any material benefit. [3]

    That imperfect sight is a fruitful cause of retardation in school is
    well known. According to the New York City Board of Health it is
    responsible for a quarter of the habitually left backs. [4] But that
    this condition cannot be remedied by glasses has not been generally
    observed. By making the patient more comfortable glasses do often
    improve his mental condition, but since they cannot relieve the mental
    strain that underlies the visual one, they cannot improve it to normal
    and by confirming it in a bad habit they may make it worse.

    From the foregoing facts it will be seen that in the condition of the
    eyesight of our people we have a health problem, an educational
    problem, and a military problem, of the first magnitude, and one would
    think that if any method of either prevention or cure that was even
    tolerably successful had been found it would immediately be put into
    general use.

    [1] School Hygiene, System of Diseases of the Eye, edited by Norris
    and Oliver.

    [2] Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War on
    the First Draft under the Selective Service Act, 1917.

    Second Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War
    on the Operations of the Selective Service System to December 20,
    1918.

    [3] School Health News, February, 1919.

    [4] Archiv. f. Augenh, vol. IXXIX, 1915, translated in Arch. Ophth.,
    XLV, Nov. 1916.
    ____

    Imperfect Sight Can be Cured Without Glasses
    You Can Cure Yourself
    You Can Cure Others

    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. III - October, 1920 - No. 4
    ____

    [...]
     
    Lelouch, Aug 19, 2009
    #3
  4. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    Link to illustration: http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/885/illustration.jpg

    [...]Conus in Hypermetropia

    The eyegrounds of a brother and sister aged respectively ten and
    twelve years. Both had hypemetropic astigmatism. "The conditions here
    represented," says Risley, "were repeated in scores of their fellows
    at school."[...]
     
    Lelouch, Aug 19, 2009
    #4
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