Poor Vision


“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."
Leon Eldred

Vision problems usually relate to a lack of clarity in either near or distant vision. The physical act of seeing things close up is different from the act of seeing things in the distance. The eye has a special capability that no camera has: it can focus without changing the distance between the lens and the retina. When the cillary muscles which hold the lens in place are relaxed, the lens is relatively flat and allows for distant vision. When the object you are looking at is closer than twenty feet away, those muscles contract, and the lens adopts a more spherical shape. This process is called accommondation. There is a very important difference between the two mechanisms, because while the action of the cillary muscles is involuntary, the action of the external muscles can be more easily controlled. According to Dr. Bates, if the cillary muscles could not produce the desired accommondation, the external muscles could compensate. This is the truly revolutionary idea that Dr. Bates introduced to Western ophthalmology - the idea that vision can be controlled, can in fact be greatly improved through conscious control of visual behavior.

According to Dr. Bates irregular shape of the eyeball is considered to be the cause of the most common vision problems: nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Nearsightedness means the inability to see distant objects clearly. It results from an eyeball which is too long from front to back, making it impossible for the lens to focus the light rays from distant objects onto the retina, though it can focus the rays from close objects. Meir Schneider states that if your nearsightedness acquired, and is not especially severe, then you have an extremely good chance of overcoming it altogether and restoring your former vision.

Farsightedness means inability to see close objects clearly, the eyeball is too short from front to back. Light rays from distance focus correctly upon the retina, but rays from close objects are projected on retina unfocused - they would focus behind the retina if they were capable of passing through it. According to Meir Schneider if you have been farsighted since childhood it can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. If you become farsighted later in life - the midforties is the most common time for this development - then the condition is believed to result from stiffening at the lens. This stiffening limits the ability of the eye to change its shape for adjusting from far to near vision.

Dr. Bates states that the shape of the eyeball clearly can and does undergo change. Why should we assume that these changes can only be for the worst? What really causes poor vision? We now have some idea of the physical changes that occur in the eye when vision is bad. But what causes these physical changes to occur? The answer is stress. The eyes are as susceptible to stress as any other part of the body. Because they are such hardworking organs, they are immediately affected by physical pain or fatigue, emotional or mental strain, nutritional deficiency, toxic overload, lack of exercises and rest.

To improve our vision, we need to recognize that vision is a complex interaction between the eyes, the mind and the rest of the body. One of the biggest obstacles we need to overcome is the belief that our eyes can never improve. This belief can keep us from recognizing or accepting it when we do have improvement if we work at it. To improve vision, you need to change the way you think about seeing. Vision habits and patterns of use are among the hardest to change: we are more attached to the way we see than to almost anything else we do. Our dependence on sight is enormous, especially in people who see well. When these people lose their good vision, it can be really traumatic, changing their conception of themselves. In reality, these people have great resources to help them restore their vision, namely their memories of clear, sharp visual images. The mind, like any other powerful force of nature, can either help or harm. It can keep us from believing that our vision can improve, or it can supply us with everything we need to improve it.

Light is the vehicle which brings all visual information to our eyes. People who spend much of their time working outdoors under bright natural light tend to have better eyesight than those of us who live mostly indoors. This is because their eyes are accustomed to, and comfortable with, strong light. The more time we spend in dim, inadequate, artificial light, the less our eyes are equipped to deal with light. This is partly because spending most of our time indoor makes our pupils become chronically dilated, opening as wide as possible in order to take in all available light, and exposure to sunlight may be very painful when the eyes are in this condition. Many people are currently walking around with sunglasses shielding their eyes from excess light. Sunglasses are about as helpful to this situation as a wheelchair would be to a person with weak leg muscles: they provide temporary relief, but ultimately they serve only to further weaken the eyes ability to cope with light. Of course, we are not simply saying toss the sunglasses out forever. You will still need them if you happen to be driving to west at sunset. But if you regularly practice to do eyes exercises during bright day, you will need the glasses less and less. Your eyes except much more light, much more comfortably. Your pupil will become more flexible, able to dilate and contract easily and quickly, making the transition from dark to light less painful. You will no longer be blinded by the light.