Effects of Mental Suggestion 87
tion, which the patient was able to produce, called for prisms adjusted in the usual manner, with the apices toward the temples; but the optician had made a mistake which, owing to the patient's satisfaction with the result, had never been discovered. Landolt explained the case by "the slight effect of weak prisms and the great power of imagination" j1 and doubtless the benefit derived from the glasses was real, resulting from the patient's great faith in the specialist-described as "one of the most competent of ophthalmologists"-who prescribed them.
Some patients will even imagine that they see better with glasses that markedly lower the vision. A number of years ago a patient for whom I had prescribed glasses consulted an ophthalmologist whose reputation was much greater than my own, and who gave him another pair of glasses and spoke slightingly of the ones that I had prescribed. The patient returned to me and told me how much better he could see with the second pair of glasses than he did with the first. I tested his vision with the new glasses, and found that while mine had given him a vision of 20/20 those of my colleague enabled him to see only 20/40. The simple fact was that he had been hypnotized by a great reputation into thinking he could see better when he actually saw worse; and it was hard to convince him that he was wrong, although he had to admit that when he looked at the test card he could see only half as much with the new glasses as with the old ones.
When glasses do not relieve headaches and other ner vous symptoms it is assumed to be because they were not properly fitted, and some practitioners and their patients exhibit an astounding degree of patience and
1 Anomalies of the Motor Apparatus of the Eye, System of Diseases of the Eye, vol. iv, pp. 154-155.