Jess Parsons

Jess Parsons

Posted September 24, 2012

Published in Health

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Eying up the Bates Method

Read More: Bates method, computers, exercise, healthy body healthy mind, internet, natural, sunshine, vision

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Our son says he can't always see words on the board at school, and from my informal checks, he seems indeed to have lost clear vision at a distance.

As some of my family are very nearsighted, and I am the blindest of the lot, this is perhaps not surprising. But I can't help wondering: is this nature, or nurture? Or both?

Is our son doomed inevitably to progress (as I did) from eye test to stronger and stronger glasses or lenses for the rest of his life?

Maybe, but I hope not. Although you will never hear this from your eye doctor, there is some evidence that vision loss is not just mysterious, steady, and incurable.

The Bates method

The Bates method suggests that most vision loss is caused by unnatural tension due to modern vision habits more prone to staring than anything else. Bates's original works can be downloaded, so you can make your own judgements on the full information.

I have always been a bookworm and never eager to get out in the great scary real world. While our son is not as retiring, he has recently discovered the joys and addiction of computer games. So I certainly can't refute Bates' theories and success stories. I'm giving it a try.

The Plan

I downloaded the free Bates material and checked out a book from the library. I've begun the process myself, and then I hope to encourage our son to join me. The exercises are not only painless, they are relaxing. (They encourage eye mobility and exposure to natural light.)

Of course, I've already set some more sensible limits on his computer time, and I'm pushing him out the door to play.

Lens Decluttering

If I do improve my vision, how would I know if I just keep using my usual strong lenses? 

I do have glasses that are weaker than my current prescription (because stronger glasses make me dizzy).

And here is my museum of old contact lens cases. Some of these even have lenses in them.

I cleaned all the old lenses and tossed out one cracked lens. Then I rehomed the old lenses in the best cases and got rid of the rest. I had labelled my 2008 lenses on their case - all the others are blank (and lots older).

Work In Progress

Wearing the 2008 lenses, I can still see everything I need to - even outside, and even driving. But my eyes do get tired after several hours. I've also been spending some time at home without lenses so I can do some of the Bates exercises - then just putting on the glasses for computer work.

Stay tuned!

Has anyone out there tried the Bates Method? How did it go?