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

The Original Bates Method, for correcting vision defects

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282                     Mind and Vision
of the big C on the Snellen test card he saw the letter just as black as when he looked directly at it. The strain to do this was teriffic and produced much astigmatism; but the patient was unconscious of it and could not be convinced that there was anything abnormal in the symptom. If he saw the letter at all, he argued, he must see it as black at it really was, because he was not color blind. Finally he became able to look away from one of the smaller letters on the card and see it worse than when he looked directly at it. It took eight or nine months to accomplish this, but when it had been done the patient said that it seemed as if a great burden had been lifted from his mind. He experienced a wonderful feeling of rest and relaxation throughout his whole body.
When asked to remember black with his eyes closed and covered he said he could not do so, and he saw every color but the black which one ought normally to see when the optic nerve is not subject to the stimulus of light. He had, however, been an enthusiastic football player at college, and he found at last that he could remember a black football. I asked him to imagine that this foot ball had been thrown into the sea and that it was being carried outward by the tide, becoming constantly smaller but no less black. This he was able to do, and the strain floated with the football, until, by the time the latter had been reduced to the size of a period in a newspaper, it was entirely gone. The relief continued as long as he remembered the black spot, but as he could not remem ber it all the time, I suggested another method of gaining permanent relief. This was to make his sight volun tarily worse, a plan against which he protested with considerable emphasis.
"Good heavens!" he said. "Isn't my sight bad enough without making it worse?"