Defective vision is more prevalent today than at any time before; a state of affairs which has been brought about chiefly fly by increasing dependence upon artificial lighting and the widespread habits of television watching, And, since the situation is likely to get worse rather than improve, it is reasonable to assume that the incidence of defective vision will continue to increase with progressively greater rapidity.
The answer to this problem has been the provision of spectacles, but this artificial remedy does not succeed in checking this ever-growing menace to the nation’s health since such solution is merely palliative. Indeed no one express to cure defective vision by the aid of spectacles- the most they can be said to do is to enable the sufferer to get about with as little discomfort as possible.
Many people will agree that these aids vison are disfiguring and unbeautiful in themselves; there is always the danger of their breaking and causing injury to the wearer; they prevent many people from participating in athletics and social pastimes generally. Yet, in spite of all this spectacles are regarded as a boon and a blessing to man, an, in fact, as one of the great achievements of civilization.
It is quite easy to understand the high esteem which glasses are held, as without them millions of people would be unable to get about as they do, and more and more are resorting to their aid every day; but this is because the public has come to believe that defective vision is incurable, and that the only possible remedy is the wearing of spectacles.
If however, it were brought home to these millions of sufferers from my troubles as( I hope to do in this volume) that by wearing glasses they may be permanently preventing themselves from removing their side effects, and, in fact, tending to go make their disability worse, then the popular belief in the epic efficacy and necessity for these visual crutches will begin to fade I wonder and necessity for these visual “crutches” will begin to fade and be replaced by a growing realization that what they had hitherto regarded as one of the wonders of science is a handicap rather than an aid to better vision.
The belief in the volume and necessity of spectacles in all cases of defective vision is firmly rooted in the public mind. It is based upon the assumption that most defects of vision are due to permanent changes in the shape of the eye and that, therefore all that can be done is to alleviate the conditions by the prescription of suitable lenses.
However thanks to the Research Center of doctor WH Bates of New York, extending over a period of 30 years there has come into existence a new school of thought regarding the cause and cure of defective vision, and the founders of this movement have concluded that defective vision is not generally due to permanent changes in the shape of the eye, but only to functional derangements that are capable of being overcome in many cases by simple natural methods of treatment which forbid the wearing of glasses.
It will thus be seen that treatment of different division is being carried out today by two rival schools those who follow the old methods of reasoning and regard defective division as in itself incurable, but capable of being alleviated; and those who realize that these defects are due to a number of causes most of them capable of being overcome, and that far from defective vision being incurable, there is every hope of being able to help the sufferer really to improve his site and often to regain completely normal vision, without having recourse to any but the most natural and simple methods.
T doctor Bates (a Newark ophthalmologist, and one time examiner of the eyes of children attending the Newark schools) being the honor of being the founder of this method of I treatment (known as the Bates method) and by numerous experiments and demonstrations he has made it clear that many widely accepted views regarding the nature of defective vision are entirely fallacious, He has triumphantly vindicated his claim by restoring to normal vision thousands of sufferers who had been pronounced by a greatest eye specialist as incurable.
The Bates method is now being practiced in several countries with great success but the work of Dr bate has been completely ignored by this fellow oculist; in fact, he was persecuted in New York by the American Medical profession for his unorthodox theories, and died a medical outcast, a few years after this book was first published. Thus, there seems little likelihood of these epoch- making discoveries reaching the public through ordinary channels.
It is left to people like myself, therefore who have derived great benefit from the system, to sing its praises in the hope of being able to bring it before the notice of other sufferers from defective vision, and in this way to make it known to them that thanks to the great work of doctor Bates and his collaborators they now have the chance to discard their classes forever and set to work at once to bring back to their eyes the faculty of normal vision which is their birthright.