The Cure of Imperfect Sight by Treatment
Without Glasses - online book

The Original Bates Method, for correcting vision defects

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20               Simultaneous Retinoscopy
former method would be impossible, for instance, to get any information about the refraction of a baseball player at the moment he swings for the ball, at the moment he strikes it, and at the moment after he strikes it. But with the retinoscope it is quite easy to determine whether his vision is normal, or whether he is myopic, hyper metropic, or astigmatic, when he does these things; and if any errors of refraction are noted, one can guess their degree pretty accurately by the rapidity of the movement of the shadow.
With the Snellen test card and trial lenses conclu sions must be drawn from the patient's statements as to what he sees; but the patient often becomes so wor ried and confused during the examination that he does not know what he sees, or whether different glasses make his sight better or worse; and, moreover, visual acuity is not reliable evidence of the state of the refrac tion. One patient with two diopters of myopia may see twice as much as another with the same error of refrac tion. The evidence of the test card is, in fact, entirely subjective; that of the retinoscope is entirely objective, depending in no way upon the statements of the patient.
In short, while the testing of the refraction by means of the Snellen test card and trial lenses requires con siderable time, and can be done only under certain arti ficial conditions, with results that are not always re liable, the retinoscope can be used under all sorts of normal and abnormal conditions on the eyes both of human beings and the lower animals; and the results, when it is used properly, can always be depended upon. This means that it must not be brought nearer to the eye than six feet; otherwise the subject will be made nervous, the refraction, for reasons which will be ex-