Myopes are especially liable to be affected by them [black
specks or threads, projected into the field of vision]….
Unless numerous they need not give rise to anxiety, and they
cease to be noticed if attention is diverted from them and the
health braced up (p. 318).
Once again we meet the idea that health is important; also the
use of the attentive faculty. It is common for many human
beings to wish to emphasise their illnesses, and it is interesting to
find that the tendency is strong in the severe cases of short sight.
Anyone who has dealt with myopes will know how difficult it
is to get them to stop explaining, in detail, what a letter looks
like to them. They insist on explaining its double lines, the
thickening here and there; they will go to the testing-chart and
point out the peculiarities of the letter as it appears to them. All
in spite of the fact that they are asked to pay attention to the
correct shape of the letter, and look for that, and not emphasise
the defects. To use an analogy: when we were young and learning to spell, it was useless to learn to spell the word p e a c e by
saying, it is not p a e c e , nor p i e c e. If we did, we found ourselves wondering which of the many forms was really right.
Attention to the right form, and lack of attention to the
wrong form or images, was the main exercise used by a woman
suffering from short sight and astigmatism so badly that she saw
three letters instead of one, with one eye, and five with the other.
Her sight became normal with one eye, and in her own words,
the other saw `the letter as though a little smoke was coming out
of the top corner.
Once again the health needs attention, but relief is obtained
by correct use of the eyes. A tea-leaf poultice, or palming, will
help. But it is essential to remember it is an effect, and not a
cause, so that while the effect can be dealt with by these means,
the cause, i.e. overstrain, or too strong light, must be taken into
These are distressing things to have. They may be due to
infection of the lids or to bodily trouble. Lotions and massage of
the forehead help, but they should also be treated by homaeopathic remedies as these are useful for tackling the root of the
Seek the cause. They should not be dealt with without advice.
The proper methods of seeing must be adhered to; a tea-leaf
poultice will relieve the condition, but, once again, if the eyes
do not respond almost immediately, advice is needed.
If these troubles are slight they will vanish with the proper
care of the eyes; if not, seek advice.
Coloured glasses are like drugs—good to take when needed,
and bad when not needed, and still worse when taken
constantly . . . (p. 321).
If the retina is hypersensitive to light, the use of coloured
glasses tends to make it more so . . . (p. 322).
So long as the surrounding landscape furnishes grass, trees
or dark objects to which the eyes can be turned for relief,
coloured glasses may not’be required (p. 323).
Here, too, we have the idea that environment affects sight.
Should not the hint be taken in schools and hospitals, and also
in the new housing schemes? Fortunately it is being realised,
more and more, that the `green belt’ is essential for physical
health and. moral well-being, and playing-fields should take the
place of the drab school yard. Hospitals should be built where
green lawns and trees can be seen, instead of the brick walls of
other dwellings. Noisy traffic is not conducive to rest. It is
to be hoped that new schools will be built in places where this
hint of the importance of green as a colour can be applied.
Inside both hospitals and schools we need colour, as well as
dark objects on which the eye can rest. A few years ago there
was a move towards the use of a lighter `blackboard’ to avoid
the contrast between the child’s white paper book and the black
board, but anyone familiar with schools will know how much
more restful the old-fashioned black, really black, board was to
the grey slate ones that became the fashion. A dead white paper
or book is much harder on the eyes than one slightly parchment
There is a further point to note from the above quotation:
coloured glasses may make the retina more sensitive to light, so
that they do harm. In point of fact, if the eyes are used properly
they will not need dark glasses, and except in such cases as travel-
ling in the desert, or rather, motor driving in the desert, coloured
glasses are unnecessary.
There are some whose eyes are in a very bad condition and
who have been ordered to wear dark glasses all the time. These
should not be discarded without advice, but under proper care
the eyes can be strengthened and the glasses dispensed with. One
particular case comes to mind. A woman about 50 years of
age came to me. She wore dark glasses all the time, and the
hospital told her she was going blind. In fact, the condition of
her eyes was so bad that though I told her what to do I hoped
she would not come back! ! However, there was a chance, and I
gave her a further appointment a month later. When she came
in I really was amazed. She later became able to dispense with
all glasses and went “back to the hospital to show the result.
It should be remembered that the sun or light should not fall
on the eyes, but on the book. But one who is studying for hours
will find that a dark book marker, or blotting-paper, laid across
the bottom half of the book while the top is being read, will
relieve much strain, as it stops the light being reflected on to the
eyes from that part of the book which is not being mead at the
Dr. Bates advised using the sun as a strengthener. We have
not found this of much benefit in England, except in very few
cases, perhaps due to the low amount of sun we. get or to the
humidity in the air. But there is enough evidence to prove its
worth in U.S.A. and South Africa.