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Testing: Good or bad?
#1
Read what Paul Anderson had to say about using eye charts and testing your vision in general.

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His reasoning makes perfect sense.  If you deliberately test your vision, you will most likely try (strain) to see.  I do think, though, that looking at an eye chart can be beneficial if you hold it so that the letters are already clear to you, and thus there is hopefully no pronounced strain (and unlike when reading a book, there's no information to take in.)
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#2
Hi Daniel,

I agree, people have that urge to constantly test their eyesight, when seeing isn't about testing at all but trusting your vision instead. There's a time for testing, but it shouldn't be done constantly. Working with an eye chart was a big part of what Bates had people do, and at the appropriate times it's a great feedback tool. My feeling is that unless you're doing a routine daily reading of an eye chart, don't even look at it unless you're willing to stay there and spend some time practicing with it.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#3
I disagree completely with what Paul says:

I believe the Bates understanding of vision recovery failed to take hold primarily because Dr. Bates did not sufficiently emphasize this point.

Bates did in fact emphasize this point, and he urged people to immediately look away, or "dodge" flashes. Further, he understood as an eye doctor that the eye chart is a pessimum, and that learning to look at it without straining was one of the best tests of effortlessness.

His "test" to prove his point is not so useful. All it proves is that a myope strains to look at an eye chart, but we already knew that because it is not clear. Better yet, relax, open and look at the eyechart, and notice how you strain. Then quickly close your eyes and relax again. Practice opening your eyes and not automatically straining. In this way, you can turn a pessimum into an optimum. When you can look at an eye chart without locking up, most everything else will be a piece of cake.

I'd like to add that for most myopes, the difference between wearing or not wearing glasses is passing a driver's license test. Practice with an eye chart demystifies this test and can allow someone to go to the DMV relaxed enough to get the vision restriction lifted.
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