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Glasses
#1
When I got my second pair of glasses this August, I told the optometrist about the vision training program I'd tried, and he said that stuff like that do help but my vision's deteriorating too rapidly for them to keep up.

Is this true? I need my glasses the entire school day, and I need it to read the blackboard/watch TV/computer/reading/pretty much any time of work like that. I really can't read anything without putting my face a foot in front of it, so I can't really try not to wear glasses.

Is it true that if I try to Bates Method, my vision will be worsening too quickly for it to keep up?
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#2
Azula Wrote:When I got my second pair of glasses this August, I told the optometrist about the vision training program I'd tried, and he said that stuff like that do help but my vision's deteriorating too rapidly for them to keep up. Is this true?

That's bullshit. If you keep wearing your glasses THEN and THAT'S BECAUSE your vision will deteriorate too rapidly. In reverse, I believe, Bates method should work even better as a fast relief for quickly deteriorating vision, than for a "stable", deeply engraved bad vision.

Azula Wrote:I need my glasses the entire school day, and I need it to read the blackboard/watch TV/computer/reading/pretty much any time of work like that. I really can't read anything without putting my face a foot in front of it, so I can't really try not to wear glasses.

Then you should forget about Bates method and agree to have increasingly bad vision for the rest of your life.

Azula Wrote:Is it true that if I try to Bates Method, my vision will be worsening too quickly for it to keep up?

No.
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#3
Not true. Unlike many other highly commercialized and so-called eye 'exercises' out there, the Bates Method is based on the serious work and research of a prominent eye doctor (who also discovered adrenalin) from 80 years ago. Bates did case studies on thousands of New York schoolchildren, and he taught optometrists himself. He studied the aboriginals (who can see 80/20) and also drew a correlation between memory, imagination, and eyesight. There was a major controversy in the 1920s and Bates found a way to reverse deteriorating eyesight and other things like astigmatism, glaucoma, etc.

If this sounds too good to be true, listen to this. Bates discovered a serious flaw in Helmholtz's Theory of Accommodation which dates back to the 1850s, and no one in the optometry industry wished to accept this discovery. They were afraid of losing revenue because people wouldn't need glasses any longer. But Helmholtz's theory is still being taught to our optometrists, and it's exactly why nearly everyone thinks eyesight is irreversible nowadays. Including your optometrist.

In addition, most people don't understand the importance of vision as a mental process. We are taught to use our eyes in the wrong ways. Bates Method is about good vision habits, and the reason your vision may be rapidly deteriorating can be related to the use of overcorrected prescription glasses, bad vision habits, boredom and daydreaming (diffusion), etc.

There's more to it than that. It makes sense as far as I'm concerned, and I've read many of Bates' own journals and the things he says makes too much sense to disregard.
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#4
Dear Azula,

When I got my second pair of glasses this August, I told the optometrist about the vision training program I'd tried, and he said that stuff like that do help but my vision's deteriorating too rapidly for them to keep up.

Otis>  This is the standard "office fib" designed to "scare you off"
second-opinion methods like Bates.  This is profoundly arrogant
and ignorant.  And false.

Is this true? I need my glasses the entire school day, and I need it to read the blackboard/watch TV/computer/reading/pretty much any time of work like that. I really can't read anything without putting my face a foot in front of it, so I can't really try not to wear glasses.

Otis> Tragically, Bates works best if started BEFORE that first
minus.  But someone put you in a strong minus, BEFORE
they would even discuss Bates preventive methods with
you.  Pity!

Is it true that if I try to Bates Method, my vision will be worsening too quickly for it to keep up?

Otis> If you keep on going to stronger minus lenses, I am
afraid it will.

Otis>  David is attemption to educate the public
about these second-opinion methods.  The
tragedy is that no one will listen -- until it is too late.

Best,

Otis
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#5
Hmmz.

No matter. I'll do the Bates Method anyway. Truth is, I can't just throw away my glasses because then I'll be completely unable to work in school. I will try not to keep getting stronger minuses, though - if not fully recover it, I want to at least prevent it from deteriorating any further.

And daydreaming's bad? ............................Why?

.............................................

Since nothing bad is going to come out of the Bates method, I'll do it whether I need glasses daily or not.
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#6
The human eye can only see one point clearly at any moment. The peripheral vision is never seen clearly. This concept is known as central fixation.

Bates taught that when you pay attention to an object, look at a point of the object (such as a corner or leg of a chair) instead of regarding the whole object at once. People with very high visual acuity have a very high degree of central fixation, enabling them to see details much further away or even much up closer such as an inch from their eye.

The opposite of central fixation is called eccentric fixation (aka diffusion). When you daydream, you are in essence staring, and blanking out. There is no point of interest--in fact, there is usually no visual interest at all. The mind trains itself to "diffuse" and no longer takes an interest in observing details. Diffuse = blur.

This was one of the things Bates taught. It's pretty simple and makes perfect sense. If you don't understand anything about this concept, you can ask questions and one of us will answer.

Since you seem very motivated, I highly recommend the book Relearning to See: Improve Your Eyesight Naturally, which can be purchased from Amazon.com (click the link, it leads to Amazon.com where you can read more about the book). This book has 23 customer reviews and every review has given it 5/5 stars. It's also the book that got me started on the Bates Method. It explains the method the way it was meant to be understood.
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#7
If you don't discard glasses, you'll be just wasting your time. Bates method is about getting rid of a bad habit. Each time you put on your glasses, or each time you light a cigarette, the bad habit returns to the initial state. Even worse, the practice of combining strain from glasses with Bates techniques (just like limiting the number of cigarettes per day) engraves the bad habit so deep that it will be virtually impossible to get rid of it in the future.
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#8
Oleg,

I'm reading your words carefully. Are you trying to encourage her or discourage her?

You've just told her it's useless to try Bates Method unless she discards her glasses entirely, yet she said she would be completely unable to work in school without them. If this is a real issue as you claim, then why don't you tell her what else she can do?

Bates Method is not only about getting rid of a bad habit. It's also about learning prevention of bad habits. There are ways she can help herself while wearing glasses. Both Bates-related and non-Bates-related. Even to slow down deterioration or improve her sight. One example of a non-Bates related suggestion is that if glasses are required for her right now, then she can get a reduced prescription or even a plus lens as Otis advocates (even though both suggestions are not Bates-related) which will slow down vision deterioration, or even reverse it. This knowledge, once applied, will be worth the encouragement alone. As for Bates method of using natural habits, did you ever stop to consider that she may have some time after school and not need to discard her glasses entirely? She also may have a whole summer to try Bates Method without needing her glasses, and she can use the time from January to May to learn. Then apply it in the summer, if what you're saying is even true. Did you even consider this?

She's also young, and young people have a tendency to overcome habits quicker than older people who have had it engraved much longer. She could take off her glasses after school while at home, do some palming, and practice using correct habits. Although progress will be slower, it's not necessarily true that the bad habit will return to the initial state. Remember, vision is largely a mental process, and there's the component of doubt. If you doubt what you're doing, then your mind will more compulsively stay with the old habits. But she seems to have quite a lot of enthusiasm and I think she can do it. After all, she posted this earlier: "I bought the Vision for Life a year and a half ago, and I did all its 25-min exercises for over 100 days. I still have little notes of progress at the corners of my diary entries, and I don't think the program worked at all."

I was impressed from the very beginning, because there rarely are any people who have the same initiative / enthusiasm I do. My dedication to whatever I do has earned me a legendary reputation everywhere I go, because most people have never seen someone with as much dedication or commitment as myself. As a HS swim captain, I created swim workouts neatly typed out and diverse in nature and commanded a swim team of 55 swimmers, even though I'm deaf and their heads were often submerged under the water. I personally think she can do it, even if glasses may be needed while she's at school. It will be a slower process with the glasses, but there are people who have been able to improve eyesight despite that.

If you try to stop her from learning about the Bates Method and other non-Bates possibilities through the forums, then further, unnecessary harm will come to her eyes because you tried to discourage her too early. Think about how the things you say can discourage other people from learning about something, which could have in the long run convinced them to do things differently, such as wearing glasses for a limited time instead of all the time. Also, did you consider that maybe she needs to understand how vision works first so she understands that vision flunctuates depending on a number of factors and if the glasses are taken off and not worn for let's say, a day or two, then the eyesight will get a little better. Who knows? A lot of useful things she could learn from the teachings of Dr. Bates to observe her visual behavior that could help her in ways only time can tell.

Remember, the knowledge can be useful in the future even though some of it may not be usable right away.
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#9
Spock,

Thanks for reading my words carefully Smile

Actually I am not trying to encourage or discourage anybody. I am just telling the facts, basing exclusively on common sense. If you want to practice Bates method, you have to discard glasses permanently, it's the first fundamental principle of Bates method. If you don't discard glasses, then trying to practice Bates is a waste of time. It's a pure information, not an emotion.

We are all grown-ups and each of us know better his or her own circumstances. I don't know and nobody knows what can be done in her specific case. Only she can decide basing on all the information available to her and the price she is willing to pay for perfect vision. Perhaps she will have to somewhat adjust her lifestyle, maybe she can change her job or move to work at home, or retire to a vacation etc. And maybe she can leave all things as is, maybe all there is just a fear of not being able to see without glasses, which has nothing to do with any real life demand. She may try and discover she can do without glasses very well, although she thought she couldn't, like being deaf you still manage to train swimmers. Her future is all in her hands, and I know Americans are good at it. Wink

BTW I keep wondering how you manage to agree and apply the two antagonistic concepts of eye treatment in your conscience. It would split my head apart because you know Bates is exactly opposite to the "official" ophtalmology. There's really no compromise.
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#10
Oleg, read my new post at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.iblindness.org/forum/index.php/topic,365.0.html">http://www.iblindness.org/forum/index.p ... 365.0.html</a><!-- m -->
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#11
Azula Wrote:And daydreaming's bad? ............................Why?

The only Bates instructor I know of who says daydreaming with your eyes open is bad for vision is Tom Quackenbush, in Relearning to See.I don't want to put words into his mouth if that isn't what he wrote, so maybe someone with a copy can verify for us. He's not big on visualization methods at all and admits to being among the most left-brained Bates teachers there are.

Daydreaming, especially with eyes open, is a natural activity that I wouldn't discourage anyone from doing. I can't imagine what it would mean if I were to stop daydreaming. That would practically mean stop thinking except in an exclusively analytical way that includes no visualization or imagination. People who have chronic vision problems may lock their eyes in a stare when daydreaming, but they also lock their eyes in every other situation, so that doesn't mean much.

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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#12
Good point, Dave...

When I wrote "(aka diffusion). When you daydream, you are in essence staring, and blanking out. There is no point of interest--in fact, there is usually no visual interest at all. The mind trains itself to "diffuse" and no longer takes an interest in observing details. Diffuse = blur." most of this came directly from Tom Q.'s own words in his book Relearning to See. I had not thought about it in the right/left hemisphere way you just did.

The only issue I seem to have with daydreaming is there is less control over locking the eyes in a stare. With Bates method we can control our staring but when we daydream it is easy to forget not to stare. I cannot imagine what it would mean if I were to stop daydreaming either. Much of my creative thinking comes from "daydreaming" or visualizing how things work.

Thank you for your intelligently reasoned clarification, Dave.
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#13
I should also mention that I used to daydream like 50-75% of the time while in elementary school all the way to high school... I daydreamed so much that whenever the teacher called on me in class, I wouldn't know what the teacher had really been talking about. This follows what Bates was talking about when he mentioned problems with the classroom being boring, and causing children vision problems. He dismissed claims about poor lighting. He wrote several articles about schoolchildren, and had them try out his methods in the classroom setting. He also addressed poor lighting and showed how he had been the only one who did studies on how poor lighting does not cause myopia in schoolchildren. It had to be something else.

(Better Eyesight: Sept. 1919--Vol. 1, No. 3, "Vision and Education")
"Betty Smith's interest in winning a prize, for instance, or in merely getting ahead of Johnny Jones, may have the effect of rousing her interest in lessons that have hitherto bored her, and this interest may develop into a genuine interest in the acquisition of knowledge; but this cannot be said of the various fear incentives still so largely employed by teachers. These, on the contrary, have the effect, usually, of completely paralyzing minds already benumbed by lack of interest, and the effect upon the vision is equally disastrous." Bates is addressing both fear and boredom (lack of interest), and what does boredom usually lead to in children? Daydreaming. Bates wanted children to take an active interest in what they were learning, because taking interest has to do with vision. Unless there's another way of interpreting the underlined portion. It seems to me there is a difference between active imagination (taking an interest while using imagination) and inactive imagination (no interest, daydreaming). Maybe I'm wrong about the whole "taking an interest" approach. What do you think?

(Better Eyesight: Aug. 1928--Vol. XIII, No. 2, "Schoolchildren I")
"About fifteen years ago, before the medical society of Greater New York, I read a paper on the prevention and cure of imperfect sight in schoolchildren, illustrated with stereopticon pictures. Physicians who attended were very much interested in what I had to say. In the course of my reading I mentioned that most books on ophthalmology have published the statement that nearsightedness was made worse by an effort or strain to read at less than six inches or to read in a dim light. I went on to say that a careful study of the facts demonstrated that much reading in a dim light at the near point will not produce nearsightedness in schoolchildren, but will produce the opposite condition, farsightedness. A great many members rose up immediately to disprove this statement. They were unable to favorably impress those present because not one of them had investigated the subject. They admitted that they condemned such statements because most German physicians and many French, Italian and others had, like them, condemned the methods employed from hearsay and not from actual investigation or experience."

That's an interesting observation he made about physicians making an admission of not investigating the subject, as well as the underlined statement which would be the reverse of what physicians might think. I just wanted to share this observation.
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#14
Azula,

The answer is PINHOLE GLASSES. Have you heard of them or tried them? Well, they don't have lenses (so technically they aren't even glasses), just many holes drilled into plastic. They are black so they look kinda like sunglasses. Pinhole glasses don't aggravate the strain like normal glasses do. On the contrary, they are relaxing and actually encourage central fixation! Since they don't have lenses, they allow your vision to fluctuate naturally. Blurry vision is reduced when someone with myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism wears them (the small holes reduce the blur circle on the retina, or something like that). I heard that in China, pinhole glasses are sold as a cure for myopia! That sounds exaggerated to me, but sometimes I can actually see slightly better with my naked eyes after wearing them for a while (while regular glasses do the opposite).

Azula, I ALSO can't see anything clearly beyond one foot (most of the time), yet I NEVER wear my glasses. And I go to college everyday and get really good grades! Of course my life would be much easier if I could see perfectly and think more clearly (diffused eyes = a diffused mind). But when I need to see something on the board or on the overhead at college, I just put my pinhole glasses on and I can usually see it just fine. One time I stood 20 feet in front of the Snellen test card with my pinhole glasses on, and I could read the 40 line and about half of the 30 line. So I would say pinhole glasses give me on average 20/35 vision! That's not too bad considering my eyesight without them is really bad (20/400). I also use my pinhole glasses to watch TV.

I never need glasses to read though, and I'm wondering why you use them to read. Can't you sit a foot away from the computer or hold the book a foot away? Does it strain your back when you do that? It strains mine a little, but I'd much rather read things a foot away and lean forward just a little, than sit normally and wear glasses. Plus, you're already going to strain your shoulders and neck just a little when wearing glasses anyway, because people with refractive errors never relax those muscles completely (myopia = unconscious staring = locking your eye muslces/neck/shoulders/back). It's also fine to read with pinhole glasses, but I found it's much easier to get things done with my naked eyes at one foot.

I got my pinhole glasses for about $17 at a health food store near where I live, and they actually came with a small booklet of a few Bates exercises! (I found the same brand I have online, too: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nutritionexpress.com/natural+eyes/natural+eyes+vision+training+pinhole+glasses+1+each.aspx">http://www.nutritionexpress.com/natural ... +each.aspx</a><!-- m -->) There are many places where you can buy pinhole glasses online (just do a search) and they are also for sale at the Bates Method Store (<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.batesmethodstore.com">http://www.batesmethodstore.com</a><!-- m -->).

The only possible drawback to wearing them at school is that it might be a little embarrassing. But I have worn them in class for years (even before I knew about the Bates method, in Junior High) and nobody ever made fun of me. On the contrary, the few students who noticed enough to say anything actually COMPLIMENTED me! They said they were cool and even wanted to try them on! Just make sure you keep good track of them, I almost got mine stolen because everyone liked them so much, lol.

If you still regularly wear your prescription glasses, I would suggest taking both to school (if possible) and wear the pinhole glasses sometimes and the normal glasses other times, in case you don't see well enough with the pinhole glasses. This is what I used to do. Then increase the time spent wearing the pinhole glasses while decreasing the time spent wearing your prescription ones. Eventually you will get used to the pinhole glasses and won't need your prescription glasses at all, even while watching TV!

Good luck, Azula!  ;D

PS - I had my friend (who has 20/13 vision - better than 20/20) wear my pinhole glasses, and he says they're relaxing! They also seem relaxing to my eyes sometimes. One time I actually made a headache go away completely just by wearing them!  8)

Jason

Edit: I read your other posts and you said you have -3.50 D in your left eye and -3.75 D in your right. That's exactly the same as my prescription! I'm 15. Also, you posted a thread about the "Vision For Life" kit. I also got that program a few years ago. It didn't work for me either! I found that the best things in life are free, like the Bates method.
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#15
Spock Wrote:I cannot imagine what it would mean if I were to stop daydreaming either. Much of my creative thinking comes from "daydreaming" or visualizing how things work.

Thank you for your intelligently reasoned clarification, Dave.

I don't think they mean for you to stop daydreaming, that's bad for your mental health.  I think they intend you to close your eyes when dreaming.
i agree you lose mental control over your eyes, but you regain it when you regain self-consciousness (stop daydreaming).  I don't usually feel any strain on my eyes while daydreaming.  Therefore, personally I don't believe it's that detrimental to your visual health.

(I realize this conversation took place a while back, but it's never too late for a good point Smile )
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