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article update 5/2/2011
#1
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.iblindness.org/intro/method-part2.html">http://www.iblindness.org/intro/method-part2.html</a><!-- m -->

I rewrote much of Part Two again based on feedback here and my own thoughts. The whole thing about seeing the previous point worse was a little too overblown as the main procedure and needed to be put in its proper perspective. It was too confusing in practice, trying to notice the clarity of a previous point while looking at another, so I can see now that, while useful, its use should be minimized. So basically now I'm thinking that it's something you may just need to do at first and occasionally in your process help convince yourself that you have to look directly at details in order to see them best, even down to details a short distance apart.

Other additions... You should be doing the process of looking for/searching for/imagining details always, with everything you look at, without exception. I spelled out better how exactly to shift your attention, what speed, and why. Copying some of it here so you don't have to go searching for it when you've already read the previous version of the article:

Quote:So as you look at a letter on the chart, pick a detail, real or imagined, and mentally place it, so as to confirm that you have done your job of looking at it for an instant, and you can now move onto another detail. The important thing here is not freeze on any detail for longer than it takes you to mentally place it. We're talking a fraction of a second. Once you've placed it, even if it isn't clear, move to another nearby one.

If you want to look at something, this doesn't mean that you have to keep looking away from it. When you look at a detail, can you tell that there are smaller details within it? So look at those, or imagine that you are, one after another. And in turn, consider whether there are even smaller details within those. In this way, you can continue looking at something, shifting your attention. You will find that at some point you keep losing details right after you look at them. This is actually an indication that you're doing it right. It's a constant process of finding and losing details.

Don't make this a race to see how fast you can move your eyes. While practicing this process you should find that you need to speed up your movement of attention for it to work better. If you think of it as moving your attention, not your eyes, that should keep you at the right speed.

And on balancing relaxation with narrowing your attention:

Quote:Now let's be honest here. It's not as if you have never looked intently at small details. And doing so didn't necessarily improve your vision when you were finished, right? But remember what you learned here in Part One. The problem with what you were doing is you were tensing your eyes in your effort to squash your focus down to details, so you weren't really using your eyes right. For you to see details, you don't have to tense your eyes or do anything with them physically at all to look at smaller details. The eyes are made to look at tiny details without having anything done to them, and really they are made to do only that. Anything else is misuse.

So you will find that it is a balancing act. You will catch yourself tensing your eyes when looking for smaller details. Each time, remind yourself that keeping your eyes as relaxed as possible is the only way you will be able to see correctly.

And another bit on trying to see everything at once:

Quote:The way you've been doing things, you have tried to look "directly" at everything at once. That doesn't make sense. For example, when driving a car, you're fooling yourself if you think that trying to see a large area at once is the best way to be alerted of dangers. Again, you have to trust that looking at details is the best and safest way to see and that you will notice any dangers while doing so. You have a huge amount of periperal vision for that purpose. In seeing correctly, your peripheral vision doesn't actually get worse; your central vision only gets better. The fact is it takes a certain amount of time to see and process things - to inspect details and then look at something else - and the way to see more things quickly is not by avoiding the time consuming process of seeing. As you do it better, it does of course get quicker.

Somebody mentioned years ago a basketball player that supposedly developed myopia by trying to see all the players around him at once to become a better player, and he was taught that he can only see best what he's directly looking at, and he will still "see" and be alerted of anything he isn't looking directly at. Your eyes are always pointed directly at something. It's your choice whether you're going to pay attention to that point and make use of your central vision or suppress it.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#2
David Wrote:...The whole thing about seeing the previous point worse was a little too overblown as the main procedure and needed to be put in its proper perspective. It was too confusing in practice, trying to notice the clarity of a previous point while looking at another, so I can see now that, while useful, its use should be minimized. So basically now I'm thinking that it's something you may just need to do at first and occasionally in your process help convince yourself that you have to look directly at details in order to see them best, even down to details a short distance apart...

Thanks for the update,
I also understod that the history of the previous point doesn't matter.
It is the same also in chess. I asked a chess master if the history was important in chess. Masters of chess does not remember the history in the chess game, they just concentrate on the now and what you gonna do next. A good chess player is not better than a bad chess player when it comes to remember the history of the game, it is thus not important. Instead it is some ability to get the current status of the game and do something as a consequence out of that current status.
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#3
@David: A question about the shifting of the attention from one detail to another: Should it depend on one's vision? That is to say, should a person with more severe myopia shift to details right next to one another, or might it be more beneficial to start with details further away and progress to those closer?
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#4
Pikachu Wrote:@David: A question about the shifting of the attention from one detail to another: Should it depend on one's vision? That is to say, should a person with more severe myopia shift to details right next to one another, or might it be more beneficial to start with details further away and progress to those closer?

You might not get results unless the points are close together. The thing is, you have to look at another point as soon as you identify one point, and the eyes have an easier time making a lot of small shifts than a lot of large shifts. So farther apart is more difficult, isn't what the eyes are made to do, and doesn't get you better vision. The reason you might start with larger shifts is because you need to start somewhere.

The key is in the size of the point you look at. When the point is too large, you can't look next to it if it overlaps the first point, because that's just confusing. And you don't even have to see it clearly. Blur provides just as many small points as a clear image does, so blur is no excuse not to do it. It's like pixels on a screen. Each pixel is a distinct single color. With each point, you look for a point of one color only. So you can figure out how small the point has to be by noticing on a sunny day how small the smallest details of color are that are possible to perceive for an instant. You can even put on your glasses for a moment to find out, for reference.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#5
All right. Thanks for the clarification. At the moment, my main problem is twofold: identifying the details quickly enough and continuing to go from one to another.
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#6
David, I am still working away at this and making progress. I find your amendments helpful. Your reference to it being in a way a 'balancing act' seems to be true in my experience. And I agree with the "seeing worse" clarification, ie to consciously notice the seeing worse from time to time as it is very useful. You mentioned in an earlier draft (I think) that a rough guideline would be to look at/ near a point for say 30 secs before moving on. Do you still think this is a good approach?

I find myself just looking at things, at the detail, without thinking about how I am doing it (presumably this would just distract you anyway), without moving around for the sake of it (of course) and letting my attention rest on a point of detail, and above all resisting the strong urge to widen the area of attention and taking everything in at once (a hard habit to break).

Feedback from others here would be helpful, in my view.
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#7
After reading the article and after the very well explanation of the user Lord that made to me,i created an application for me:
- I choose,for example, the letter C at the distance that is little blurred.
- Start to notice one detail in the top,and then at the bottom. Thinking that the previous is worse.
- After a few seconds i start to look only at the outside lines of the bottom.
- After that i start to look only inside the bottom of the letter.
- And then i look only at one detail in the center of the bottom and imagine that the point is full of pixels and shift between those pixels.

With this i try to keep short the distances between the smallest points.
So,in every second i shift,blink and move to pixel to pixel,followed by slow breath. I have registered some fluctuations of better vision.
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#8
sean Wrote:David, I am still working away at this and making progress. I find your amendments helpful. Your reference to it being in a way a 'balancing act' seems to be true in my experience. And I agree with the "seeing worse" clarification, ie to consciously notice the seeing worse from time to time as it is very useful. You mentioned in an earlier draft (I think) that a rough guideline would be to look at/ near a point for say 30 secs before moving on. Do you still think this is a good approach?

I find myself just looking at things, at the detail, without thinking about how I am doing it (presumably this would just distract you anyway), without moving around for the sake of it (of course) and letting my attention rest on a point of detail, and above all resisting the strong urge to widen the area of attention and taking everything in at once (a hard habit to break).

As far as the 30 seconds thing, it isn't wrong to look at something small for 30 seconds or longer, but in the beginning I think people need to move away quicker because they can't yet look at something that small and shift over small enough distances.

I'm starting to see that this may be better defined as certain levels. When you get to a certain level of being able to do something in a certain way, there are certain things you can start doing. But I'm really vague on that at the moment.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#9
David Wrote:... I'm starting to see that this may be better defined as certain levels. When you get to a certain level of being able to do something in a certain way, there are certain things you can start doing. But I'm really vague on that at the moment.
Thanks, David, I concur! (movie ref: Catch Me If You Can) I am convinced that what we Bates practitioners are (or should be) achieving is the gradual (re-)development of normal eyesight/vision, with identifiable stages to pass through. It will provide a far better 'proof' that the Bates methods work - and a far better means of determining a 'program of individual study' for those who come after us - than some magical instant 'turn on' of clear vision without an understanding of how it happened.

I mean, it is obviously great when someone (such as Dr. Paul Lowinger) unconsciously manages to 'skip ahead' and unconsciously figures out how to achieve and hold onto clear eyesight in a matter of minutes, hours, days or weeks; but that experience is frankly not helpful to our cause because although irrefutable it is unexplainable, irrepeatable, unteachable and seems like magic.

But if we can start to categorize people into various kinds or styles of nearsightedness and assign specific Bates Methods to use according to those groups, with a knowledge of how they can generally expect to progress along their individual clear vision pathway, then we will truly have something! Once we have those stages established, speeding the entire process up will be a cakewalk.

For instance, my nearsightedness has (or had) these characteristics:
1. Never saw clearly into the distance - but thought everyone saw that way. Received lenses at age 11; very happy with them.
2. Original ns level: Rt eye 20/40, Lft eye 20/80 - got worse every year but the approx. 50% difference remained.
3. Right handed and right eye dominant. Left eye astigmatic.
4. Occasionally went without glasses (sports) but no clear flash until age 19 by happenstance after accidentally 'palming' in a way; attempts to recreate clear flash led to a form of 'swinging'; no permanent or controllable improvement in eyesight.
5. Did not learn of Bates until age 24.
6. Etcetera...
Stages or levels passed through:
Most effective Bates method for me at each stage/level:
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#10
David Wrote:I'm starting to see that this may be better defined as certain levels. When you get to a certain level of being able to do something in a certain way, there are certain things you can start doing. But I'm really vague on that at the moment.

David,
I think I get what you mean with certain levels,
and it is very alert of you having noticed this.
I noticed also the other day that I can see things that I haven't seen before, and what I now can see relaxes my eyes such that I do not need to relax that much with for instance palming.
When the cure comes then I guess you will notice it quite strongly, because your eyes gets enough relaxation only by the new right visual habits, and the tension will just remain as an old faded photograph of your tired eyes on your old passport, I hope I am on the right path at least on this journey. Smile
For instance I can look through the branches and leaves of a tree and for instance see what is going on on the other side of the tree, thus using looking at very small details at a more far distance through the tree, or I can see things that hides in the tree, and in order to see this you need to be quite good at looking at details and involve 3D in the central seeing process.
It becomes very obvious that this ability has been lost since we do not look at 3D details anymore in our society, but there were a time when it was essential for survival to be able to detect small things that of course were quite hard to see, otherwise someone else would have seen it and then it would have been too late most certainly.

There is also another level at which you notice that the central vision is just something that appears more clear than the peripheral field.
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#11
JMartinC4

Well the word level is a palindrome that can be read the same in both directions, quite fun.
But when it comes to defining the levels of vision they will actually depend on how good your visual system is at first synchronizing the whole visual system.
If you for instance are born with good synchronization regarding this then you will have perfect eyesight the rest of your life, thus no problems. If you are born with some very minor defect regarding this, then you will not get perfect vision unless you use use use your vision all the time in a way that the vision was naturally aimed for, else the vision system will get out of sync and the whole mess that I am so tired of will start going worse and worse all over time. Smile
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#12
hammer Wrote:JMartinC4 Well the word level is a palindrome that can be read the same in both directions, quite fun. But when it comes to defining the levels of vision they will actually depend on how good your visual system is at first synchronizing the whole visual system. If you for instance are born with good synchronization regarding this then you will have perfect eyesight the rest of your life, thus no problems. If you are born with some very minor defect regarding this, then you will not get perfect vision unless you use use use your vision all the time in a way that the vision was naturally aimed for, else the vision system will get out of sync and the whole mess that I am so tired of will start going worse and worse all over time. Smile
And 'evil' is 'live' backwards!
But more importantly my form of anisometropic vision - with both eyes nearsighted and left eye 50% worse, but right eye dominant - is very rare (see last para. below fm <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocular_dominance">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocular_dominance</a><!-- m -->). I have had a problem of the left eye turning out (a 'phoria'), however I don't have any difference in image size. I think all this finally explains why the two Navy opticians laughed when testing me for a phoria at my suggestion. I didn't fit their categories. And, since they weren't interested in doing any original real science, they found me to be simply something to sneer at.
I have the feeling that it is one reason why, having determined a method of equalizing my eye dominance, my eyesight is greatly improving.
Ocular dominance, sometimes called eye dominance or eyedness,[1] is the tendency to prefer visual input from one eye to the other.[2] It is somewhat analogous to the laterality of right or left handedness; however, the side of the dominant eye and the dominant hand do not always match.[3] This is because both hemispheres control both eyes, but each one takes charge of a different half of the field of vision, and therefore a different half of both retinas. There is thus no direct analogy between "handedness" and "eyedness" as lateral phenomena.
Approximately two thirds of the population is right-eye dominant and one third left-eye dominant;[1][4][5][6] however in a small portion of the population neither eye is dominant. Dominance does appear to change depending upon direction of gaze[2][7] due to image size changes on the retinas.[8] There also appears to be a higher prevalence of left-eye dominance in those with Williams–Beuren syndrome,[9] and possibly in migraine sufferers as well.[10] Eye dominance has been categorized as "weak" or "strong";[11] highly profound cases are sometimes caused by amblyopia or strabismus.
In those with anisometropic myopia (i.e. different amounts of nearsightedness between the two eyes), the dominant eye has been found to be the one with more myopia.[12][13]
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#13
JMartinC4

I think it depends on which side you sleep in bed at night, ehum, I always slept on my left side since I was afraid and rather turned to the wall than faced the unknown right side, sounds crazy, but as there is no good visual habits anyway it will be small rediculous aspects that determine how the vision develops into for instance dominance aspects you describe.
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#14
hammer Wrote:JMartinC4
I think it depends on which side you sleep in bed at night, ehum, I always slept on my left side since I was afraid and rather turned to the wall than faced the unknown right side, sounds crazy, but as there is no good visual habits anyway it will be small rediculous aspects that determine how the vision develops into for instance dominance aspects you describe.
Nah. It's not my description - it is the description of optical scientists. I think they're probably describing it okay, but I doubt they know crap about the cause(s). You remember sleeping weird; I discover neonatal eye antibiotics and think about a rare left-handed nurse. It's all worth investigating.
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