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

The Original Bates Method, for correcting vision defects

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200             Optimums and Pessimums
only for itself but for other objects. Some letters, or objects, become pessimums only in particular situations. A letter, for instance, may be a pessimum when located at the end or at the beginning of a line or sentence, and not in other places. When the attention of the patient is called to the fact that a letter seen in one location ought logically to be seen equally well in others, the letter often ceases to be a pessimum in any situation.
A pessimum, like an optimum, may be lost and later be come manifest. It may vary according to the light and distance. An object which is a pessimum in a moderate light may not be so when the light is increased or dimin ished. A pessimum at twenty feet may not be one at two feet, or thirty feet, and an object which is a pessi mum when directly regarded may be seen with normal vision in the eccentric field.
For most people the Snellen test card is a pessimum. If you can see the Snellen test card with normal vision, you can see almost anything else in the world. Patients who cannot see the letters on the Snellen test card can often see other objects of the same size and at the same distance with normal sight. When letters which are seen imperfectly, or even letters which cannot be seen at all, or which the patient is not conscious of seeing are regarded, the error of refraction is increased. The pa tient may regard a blank white card without any error of refraction; but if he regards the lower part of a Snellen test card, which appears to him to be just as blank as the blank card, an error of refraction can always be dem onstrated, and if the visible letters of the card are cov ered, the result is the same. The pessimum may, in short, be letters or objects which the patient is not conscious of seeing. This phenomenon is very common. When the