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Steps to vision improvement?

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Steps to vision improvement?
#1
Hi,

I had been wearing glasses since pre-primary school days(4 or 5 years old) which is about for pass 20+ years. Is it possible at all to improve my eyesight using the bates method? Could not go without glasses due to the high amount of astigmatism.

Are there specific steps to improve eyesight with high degree of myopia and astigmatism? A workshop I attended advice 'step down' glasses, with astig portion fully removed from the glasses. The workshop also claim that astigmatism is the easiest to cure, compared to other refractive errors, hence, its approach is to learn habits to remove astig first.  Is this true? Or are there other better approaches?
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#2
Dear Petal,

You will never know what you can accomplish until you try.

You say "high astigmatism".  Is that 1 diopter?

Bates could probably help you reduce that amount.

Why not post your current prescription, so
we can provide some suggestions.

Best,

Otis
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#3
Hi Otis,

My left eye nearsightedness is about -6.0 and astig is about 300.
Right eye nearsighted is about 5.0, astig 200.

Where do I start? Had read Bates' book, seem like many methods, so where do I start? Also, seem like the write-out about astigmatism is very brief.

Confused,
Petal
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#4
Okay I will try to help you out... I know how daunting it can be as a newbie to the methods of Dr. Bates...

Well, I have got this book called 'Improve your Eyesight' by  Jonathan Barnes (I very much recommend it to the novice); at the end he gives a quick summary of what you should do according to your specific condition...
.
"The Method In Practice

We have now looked at all the techniques of the Bates method. As already mentioned, you should experiment with each to find out which ones suit you best. You ought to be able to find at least one or two, and perhaps more, from each of the five main categories - palming, sunning, fusion, mobility, and accommodation. This selection will then form the basis of your initial approach to the method.

The techniques are nearly all of application in every case of defective eyesight. In some, such as visualization or the accommodation drills, the emphasis is varied according to the kind of difficulty which it is desired to overcome;and the following are likely to be of particular benefit for specific problems:

Myopia - palming with visualization, analytical observation, spending time outdoors;

Hypermetropia - long swinging, zooming;

Presbyopia - simple palming;

Astigmatism
- all mobility techniques, especially dominoes, dice, etc., and edging.

The following may also be of special help in dealing with these other defects:

Floaters - sunning;

Squint (Strabismus) - all fusion techniques

Photophobia - sunning

Try to budget half an hour each day for your practice, three quarters would be better, or you can spend longer if you wish.

The session can be split into two if this is more convenient. Needless to say, glasses should not be worn when practicing any of the techniques.

The daily session is used for all those techniques which require either peace and quiet or some form of equipment. Unless you are one of those rare people who have trouble with it, palming should form the basis of your sessions: alternate periods of palming with practice of the other techniques. Aim to practice only those that you enjoy, or that seem specially relevant to your problem. Keep the programme varied so that you do not become bored, and remember to review regularly the techniques you initially rejected to see whether any can after all be incorporated into your schedule.

The eyes work as a dual organ and should normally be treated as such. If one eye is significantly worse than the other, however, and you suspect that it is being "carried" by the stronger eye, then cover the stronger eye with a patch and give the weaker eye extra practice of the mobility and accommodation techniques.

Although it is recommended that time should be set aside for practice, awareness of the method must not be restricted to the daily sessions. Take advantage of any spare moment for a little palming or sunning, or for practice in shifting, edging, flashing, and so on. Carry also with you an awareness of the need to blink and breathe easily and freely.

The idea is to improve the use of the eyes, to replace bad habits with good ones. For this to happen the bad habits, acquired perhaps over a period of many years, must be consciously broken and the unconscious habits of good vision which most of us start out must be actively learned and incorporated into everyday life.

An improvement in use will reduce one source of the strain that leads to refractive error, for "trying" to see will become much less frequent. Reduction of the other source emotional disturbance, is not so simple. It may well be that your refractive error was caused by some crisis that has been and gone, and that, had you not worn glasses, your eyesight might have already returned to normal. On the other hand, it may be that your refractive error is merely a symptom - perhaps one of several - of some continuing problem. Whatever that may be, and whatever steps you may decide to take in finding a solution, visual re-education is likely to be of some help at least. Just as a negative mental state can affect the eyesight for the worse, so an improve in eyesight can bring about an improvement in mental outlook. The direction of the vicious circle can be reversed; every small advance mad in your Bates training will prepare the way for more and greater advances.

If you have not already given thought to other aspects of use of your body (as well as to diet, exercise habits, and so on), this might be a good time to do so.

...

Results

It is impossible to say how quickly success will come, if indeed it comes at all. Erring on the side of caution, you should think in terms of one year at least and probably two. nor is it possible to predict whether you will eventually be able to do without glasses altogether. The worse your eyesight now, and the longer (in years) and more persistently (each day) you have worn your glasses, the harder it is likely to be. Much of course depends on your own motivation and self discipline. The rate of progress also varies with the individual. Some people, even with quite bad eyesight, respond, while others with only minor problems are not so lucky and must be more patient.

Broadly speaking, the first results come within a few hours or days of starting, but these are so elusive that they are liable to be discounted. Your eyes will probably feel more comfortable and you may find that you are able to distinguish slightly more of the test chart.

The slow, unremarkable progress may turn out to be the general pattern, but, for most people, there will sooner or later (usually within a couple of months) come more convincing evidence. While practicing with the test material, or perhaps at some other time, you may experience a brief flash of vision which, if not actually perfect, will be so much better than your normal standard that you will hardly be able to believe your own eyes. This flash will be the first of many, gradually increasing in clarity, frequency, and duration as you proceed. At the same time the quality of your other, "non-flash" vision will be improving.

Your progress may be smoothly continuous, or it may run in steps. In the latter case, progress will be very slow or even absent for several weeks, whereupon there will be a sudden advance. The eyesight then remains more or less static for another period of weeks before the next advance.

In either case, the object of the method is to reach the point where your "non-flash" vision is not greatly inferior to that experienced during flashes. Flash vision is the best that you are currently capable of; non flash vision is being impaired by the influences that the Bates method sets out the minimize. Since it is not possible to eliminate these influences altogether, you should not imagine that, at some future time, your eyesight will be continuously perfect. It may achieve a very high average standard indeed; but the performance of the eyesight, like that of any human function, is influenced by such variable factors as mood, fatigue, and general state of health."

*citation taken from Jonathon Barnes' book, Improve your Eyesight, Copywrite 1987.

Quote:The workshop also claim that astigmatism is the easiest to cure, compared to other refractive errors, hence, its approach is to learn habits to remove astig first.

Yes, as an astigmatic you should definitely incorporate the conscious habit of rapid movement, shifting, and sketching. These techniques are especially effective in the cure of astigmatism.

Quote:Is it possible at all to improve my eyesight using the bates method?

Most certainly it is.

-Kaze
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#5
How do you perform shifting?  Do you look at an object and shift to the next one and think that the previous object is worse?  That's what I've read from other people.
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#6
Shifting just means keeping your eyes moving.

Quote:Do you look at an object and shift to the next one and think that the previous object is worse?  That's what I've read from other people.

Yes, this may be done once in a while, but only to demonstrate to yourself that you see one part worse and not all of it clear at once. Bates used it to show people with eccentric fixation that this way of seeing is incorrect. This is just a demonstration of 'central fixation', I wouldn't advice practicing it consciously as such. The techniques should be a combination of dynamic and passive style - so passive would be: palming, sunning, and so on - while a dynamic is something practiced at all times to improve the sight. Passive relaxation is only a way of learning how to practice dynamic correctly. Therefore, you should not practice seeing some parts worse at all times (this would be very tedious...), just remember to keep your eyes shifting. This is what Aldous Huxley described as dynamic relaxation. By this means, 'central fixation' will become a natural and unconscious habit.
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#7
Shifting is actually something that can be consciously practiced with a chart, sometimes with surprising results after a few minutes or so:
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You can consciously practice it without a chart too, but a chart's best because it gives the clearest feedback, so it's best until you find that you consistently improve your vision temporarily with the chart and can practice with other things.

David
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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