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

The Original Bates Method, for correcting vision defects

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110                             Strain
for the eyes, and whatever bearing this circumstance may have upon the universality of defects of vision, the fact can easily be demonstrated. If a patient can read all the small letters on the bottom line of the test card, and either deliberately or carelessly miscalls any of them, the retinoscope will indicate an error of refraction. In numerous cases patients have been asked to state their ages incorrectly, or to try to imagine that they were a year older or a year younger than they actually were, and in every case when they did this the retinoscope indicated an error of refraction. A patient twenty-five years old had no error of refraction when he looked at a blank wall without trying to see; but if he said he was twenty-six or if someone else said he was twenty-six, or if he tried to imagine that he was twenty-six, he be came myopic. The same thing happened when he stated or tried to imagine that he was twenty-four. When he stated or remembered the truth his vision was normal, but when he stated or imagined an error he had an error of refraction.
Two little girl patients arrived one after the other one day, and the first accused the second of having stopped at Huyler's for an ice cream soda, which she had been instructed not to do, being somewhat too much addicted to sweets. The second denied the charge, and the first, who had used the retinoscope and knew what it did to people who told lies, said:
"Do take the retinoscope and find out." I followed the suggestion, and having thrown the light into the second child's eyes, I asked: "Did you go to Huyler's?"
"Yes," was the response, and the retinoscope indicated no error of refraction.