152 Imagination as an Aid to Vision
one is imperfect, all are imperfect. If you imagine a letter perfectly, you will see the letter and other letters in its neighborhood will come out more distinctly, be cause it is impossible for you to relax and imagine you see a perfect letter and at the same time strain and actually see an imperfect one. If you imagine a perfect period on the bottom of a letter, you will see the letter perfectly, because you cannot take the mental picture of a perfect period and put it on an imperfect letter. It is possible, however, as pointed out in the preceding chap ter, for sight to be unconscious. In some cases patients may imagine the period perfectly, as demonstrated by the retinoscope, without being conscious of seeing the letter; and it is often some time before they are able to be conscious of it without losing the period.
When one treats patients who are willing to believe that the letters can be imagined, and who are content to imagine without trying to see, or compare what they see with what they imagine, which always brings back the strain, very remarkable results are sometimes ob tained by the aid of the imagination. Some patients at once become able to read all the letters on the bottom line of the test card after they become able to imagine that they see one letter perfectly black and distinct. The majority, however, are so distracted by what they see when their vision has been improved by their imagina tion that they lose the latter. It is one thing to be able to imagine perfect sight of a letter, and another to be able to see the letter and other letters without losing control of the imagination.
In myopia the following method is often successful:
First look at a letter at the point at which it is seen
best. Then close the eyes and remember it. Repeat