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Crossing my eyes
I have been doing the Bates Method for about 2 1/2 years and have had really good success.  I know this may sound a little strange but I have found that when my vision is more strained than normal if I cross my eyes it clears up my vision.  Has anyone else noticed this. 
That's kinda what the Magic Eye 3D books are supposed to help you do. But I think there is a disagreement on whether crossing your eyes like that is a good idea or not. To me it doesn't seem like a natural thing to do since there isn't any reason in nature to have that ability.
Quote:The Stereoscopic Pictures Fad

Recently, images have been produced wich, at first glance, seem like a group of meaningless, random dots. However, when a person centralizes at a certain distance in front of, or in back of, the image, a 3-D picture is formed in the brain. Though the 3-D effect is entertaining, the diffusion necessary to create the effect may be harmful. One computer software company even warns of getting a headache by viewing such images created by their software.

Natural, clear vision is based on relaxation of the mind. Creating more strain with these images is not recommended.

I believe that the 3-D effect experienced with these images may be more entertaining to people who wear glasses, because they have lost much of their natural, right-hemisphere 3-D vision.

Above is from Relearning to See by Thomas R. Quackenbush.
I agree that the magic eye things seem unnatural. Nevertheless, people seemed to find a good effect on their vision from using them, and there was a short time a couple years ago that I was using them too. I could speculate on it, maybe something to do with thawing the frozen relationship of convergence to focus. But it was also quite a feeling of relief from strain when the images are fused, like some people get when looking through pinhole glasses. I've never really recommended them, but I think if not done to excess they can be useful.

Tom Quackenbush's opinion of them makes sense, but it doesn't seem to me to totally jive with my experience with them. As I remember, I would feel a strange feeling of tension or pressure, but it didn't produce the weariness like strain, and I felt that I was only doing myself good as long as I didn't overdo it.

Anyone else have an opinion on them?

As far as just simple crossing of your eyes, do you mean your vision is better while you're crossing them, or after? Do you look at your nose, or into the distance?

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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
I generally cross them while my eyes are closed and uncross when I open.  The effects are temporary but my vision does clear when I open my eyes.
In my experience, Magic Eye books are not inherently a strain. One can strain to do them, but one can do them in a relaxed way. This can be useful in the following way: If you use the Magic Eye and there is strain, that is how you know you are doing it wrong. In this way, someone could liearn to eliminate some strains.

The idea of crossing eyes to improve vision is the basis of Dr. Ray Gottlieb's presbyopia treatment. Also, many people strain to fuse. People with strabismus, for example, often see an improvement in relatively relaxed double vision of more strain single vision.


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