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Bates method and two different eyes ...
Hi everyone,

I''m new to this forum, but I am already loving it. There's a ton of information here which I wasn't able to get from a teacher. I've been trying out bates method techniques for around a month now, unfortunately without any real results, so I've decided to actively start participating here. Aside from that, I've been reading David's blog posts, which are giving me some hope at least ...

Which brings me to my first question. I've been going around without glasses for a few weeks now, but I've been wondering if the fact that my left eye (-4.25 / cylinder of -1.25) is worse than my right eye (-2.25 / cylinder of -1.25) can hinder any progress. Does anyone know if it even is a good idea do what I am doing ? I am starting to wonder if my right eye is compensating for the left and therefore getting more fatigued. This in turn might again affect my vision I believe ...

Also, for someone in my situation, are there any do's or dont's ? Or are there any specific strategies I should be following for people with two very different eye situations ?

Thanks in advance,

Welcome. At my worst I wore a prescription of -10, and as I improved my vision my left eye often lagged way behind. At one appt. with my behavioral optometrist he was thrilled to find my right eye was seeing -7.50, while my left eye was still around -10.50! Of course I was very upset that the left eye hadn't improved at all (at least at this visit), and also at the discrepancy between the 2.

Pay attention to when you're using one eye over the other and when you favor the stronger one. Do some practice with each separately, then both together. Also notice your body alignment, standing with most of the weight on one leg instead of evenly balanced, or maybe a constant head tilt to bring the stronger eye to the center -- often these patterns reinforce and mirror the visual imbalance.

My feeling is that any glasses will do more damage to your vision than going without them, as long as you're not putting yourself or anyone else in danger. Notice small improvements, like the lack of a familiar headache, or being less bothered by bright sunlight. Keep us posted.This is a great community and we all learn from each other.
See the other post for Jambo2000.

Do switching, shifting on close and far objects with;
both eyes together,
then one eye at a time
then some extra practice with the less clear eye.
Then other eye again, little time.
Then more with the less clear eye...
End with both eyes together again.

It helps to line up the objects. Place them all in the central field; between left and right eyes, eye level.
Avoid becoming stiff, with limited movement of the eyes, head when aligning objects, switching back and forth close and far on them. Relax, blink, allow movement of the eyes, head, neck.

This lining up of close and far objects to swich on is more of an exercise since the true eye function is completely free eye movement, the central field moving about from object to object throughout in the scenery, objects not necessarily being in line.

When you first practice; do some of the 'objects in line with eachother' practice; it balances, coordinates convergence, divergence, accommodation, un-accommodation... in the left and right eyes and this helps get the vision equal and clear in both eyes. Then let the eyes move throughout the scenery, object to object, some naturally in line with eachother, some not aligned.

I am still writing this booklet. Taking forever; so many variations, rules how do it right and keep it as natural as possible without it being a full blow Optometry exercise type thing.
Will post it someday.

If you want more info. let me know.

Thanks (Nacny and Clark) for your replies ... it's much appreciated ... In the meantime (about 1.5 months) I've read multiple books on the bates method, but most of them have failed to give me any real practical info on how to go through all this process.

I started out with the bates method as a result of a massive amount of floaters in both my eyes. After visiting an eye doctor, who told me that I saw them because of my myopia and the 'shape of my eye' I figured that if I could change both, I would maybe get rid of my floaters. Aside from that, a bates teacher told me that an improved circulation in the eyes could help get rid of floaters as well ... So the story began and since then, I have also wanted to get rid of glasses all together...

Does anyone b.t.w. know if the bates method could help in getting rid of floaters ? I'd like to add that I must disagree with bates view of floaters being 'illusions', since they are truly floating around in my vitreous and the eye doctor has seem them wiggling past with his own eyes. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about this ?

Another thing though is : I've been practicing CF (seeing one letter more black than the surrounding letters), then shifting between them, along with memory of a letter and then hoping to see them more clearly from a further distance. Both tactics have no effect with me. Could it be that my mind is just not accepting the concepts I am trying to feed it yet ?

Good that you first checked with your eye doctor to rule out other causes.
When the mind, eyes strain the floaters are more often seen. Improving circulation, eye health and its shape with Bates method can also remove the floaters. I had them due to a head injury and at age 40 when I developed presbyopia, then cured it later and the floaters went away. All kinds of things can cause them; wearing glasses, unclear vision, abnormal eye shape, hormone shifts at certain ages, diet, squinting, staring. Floaters appeared in a friends eyes as she was applying the Bates method; seems they were seen more as the blur cleared away. She was also on a fast, cleansing diet, quit caffeine and more floaters appeared. Maybe they are temporary as the vision and health improve, body cleans itself. For me; not thinking, not looking for the floaters and yes, doing central fixation with those tiny saccades shifts make the appearance of floaters shut off. I rarely notice them now. Central fixation must be done with relaxation and shifting. If you stare, eyes immobile at a point, strain will set in and the floaters will appear. Staring with only long eye shifts, no small and tiny saccades can cause floaters to appear. Avoid aspartame, artificial sweeteners. Have you tried lutein, carrots, spinach, bilberry berries (no leaf), lemon, orange peels/white part? Balanced diet.
Thanks for your reply Clark,

At the moment I am on a special diet which includes all these things (around 10 supplements). I am also stuck eating raw veggies for I don't know how long. So yes I am approaching it from all sides.

If the bates method can improve my eye health, that's great (that's why I got into it in the first place). If it can take away my astigmatism and myopia, all the better. I have an open mind and am willing try it for at least a few months. I don't expect miracles, but if some improvement occurs, I will definitely continue with it.

Since going around without glasses I have been experiencing some headache though. I never had them before (while wearing glasses) and they seem to happen on the right side of my skull, near the front of the head. I try not to overload the visual system, as in : i don't try to see, but look only at the smallest details that I can see. Then I encourage my mind with questions about what I see, in order to give me more info. Besides that I try to keep the shifts tiny, even though its blurry. Furthermore I am learning to look only where my attention goes. I used to look all over the place and only then pay attention, which is not natural of course.

Have you used the astigmatism chart with the Bates method? Not the way the eye doctor uses it. Use Bates method; Shift on the lines..., see one at a time clear.
Do a swing, 'trace' with the eyes, moving head, body with eyes on a line that is blurry, where the astigmatism is in the eye can often make you discover a tense muscle in the neck and it might be on the side where you have the headache. Gently move through it.

You can do larger shifts too; from one object to another across the visual field and doing the small and tiny shifts on parts of objects you are interested in.

The eyes do many shifts as the eyes naturally move from object to object, distance to distance.

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