I'm relatively new to the Bates method and brand new to this forum. I intend to use this thread to track my progress, and welcome any advice or input. Here's my story up to this point.
On a recent vacation in Hawaii, I found myself wishing I didn't have to deal with the glasses I've had since 7th grade. LASIK crossed my mind, but I knew it would have to wait because my wife and I are on a tight budget trying to pay off our massive student loans within a year. I recalled hearing about a book on natural vision improvement - "Take off your Glasses and See" by Jacob Liberman - while reading a blog years ago. Since LASIK would have to wait at least a year, I thought I'd check out the book and decide whether natural vision improvement was worth a shot.
Liberman's book blew my mind and introduced me to the Bates method. I became convinced that natural vision improvement is possible and resolved to give it a serious try. I printed a Snellen chart to track my progress. My vision started at 10/200, with my prescription being -2.25 with a slight correction for astigmatism.
After about a month of fairly obsessive practice (averaging about 1.5 hours a day - I'm a fairly obsessive person), my vision is pretty consistently 20/200, with brief flashes of 20/40 and 20/30. My -2.25 prescription felt overly strong, so I searched for the most progressive optometrist I could find and asked for a reduced prescription.
I explained to my optometrist that I was working on natural vision improvement and interested in a reduced prescription. She believes that minor vision improvement is sometimes possible, though when I probed she expressed a belief that Bates is a quack. She didn't seem to have actually read his material, because she didn't realize that many of the things she'd seen work (i.e., reduced stress, meditation) are perfectly in line with Bates' ideas.
Regardless, my optometrist was open minded enough to let me try my eye exam both glancing normally at the letters, and then trying after 30 seconds of deep breathing. During the exam, I was able to read a few letters from the 20/30 and 20/25 lines on several occasions, although I couldn't sustain it for more than a few seconds. Her Snellen charts were displayed on a monitor that changed the charts constantly, so she knew I couldn't have just memorized the letters.
She reduced my prescription to -1.50, which makes my corrected vision between 20/20 (in good light and when relaxed) and 20/40 (in poor light or when stressed). So, I've made some progress so far, but still am a significant distance from my goals:
1. To get the corrected lenses restriction removed from my driver's license within 1 year (which requires consistent, uncorrected 20/40 vision).
2. To attain consistent, uncorrected 20/20 vision within 2 years.
3. To attain exceptional vision (e.g., 20/10, able to see unusually long distances) within 3 years.
I'm still experimenting to determine which techniques are most effective, so I'd love feedback on what other have found most successful.