220 Presbyopia: Its Cause and Cure
rary, which they would have thought little about if they had been younger, and which would have passed away if Nature had been left to herself. But once the glasses are adopted, in the great majority of cases, they produce the condition they were designed to relieve, or, if it al ready existed, they make it worse, sometimes very rap idly, as every ophthalmologist knows. In a couple of weeks, sometimes, the patient finds, as noted in the chapter on "What Glasses Do to Us," that the large print which he could read without difficulty before he got his glasses, can no longer be read without their aid. In from five to ten years the accommodative power of the eye is usually gone; and if from this point the patient does not go on to cataract, glaucoma, or inflammation of the re tina, he may consider himself fortunate. Only occasion ally do the eyes refuse to submit to the artificial condi tions imposed upon them; but in such cases they may keep up an astonishing struggle against them for long periods. A woman of seventy, who had worn glasses for twenty years, was still able to read diamond type and had good vision for the distance without them. She said the glasses tired her eyes and blurred her vision, but that she had persisted in wearing them, in spite of a continual temptation to throw them off, because she had been told that it was necessary for her to do so.
If persons who find themselves getting presbyopic, or who have arrived at the presbyopic age, would, instead of resorting to glasses, follow the example of the gentle man mentioned by Dr. Holmes, and make a practice of reading the finest print they can find, the idea that the decline of accommodative power is "a normal result of growing old" would soon die a natural death.