Before attempting to improve the vision in this particular case, it was necessary to strengthen the retinae of the eyes by the application of Light treatment. By this means the patient was gradually taught to accustom the eyes to daylight, and so to natural sunlight. They quickly responded; the patient was next taught to lose her fear of the dark by sitting in a darkened room and watching the objects becoming discernible round her, and later to walk about a dark room, or in her grade.

This soon became easy for her, and without further trouble she was quite happy to walk about alone at night. With a little further help she was enabled once again to drive a car at night with comfort. As the patient was taught the value of rest and the prevention of eyestrain under these difficult circumstances, her vision improved because it came naturally to her to use her eyes without effort. In a short time she was able to discard all her glasses permanently.

The above cases quoted are only a few of the innumerable sufferers who have been cured in a similar way. The explanation will prove the possibilities of the preservation of the eyesight and the advantages of the treatment, as against the use of glasses for defective vision.


By THE Scarlett.

“Life without enquiry is not worth living.” SOCRATES.

Do glasses cure eyestrain? No, they only give temporary relief. At first, after the glasses have been fitted, the patient is pleased to find his vision improved; print appears blacker, details around him become sharper and his eyes feel more comfortable. This improvement may be experienced for two or three years, or it may be only for a few weeks, but it is not permanent, Definitely the old condition will recur sooner or later.

A further test and examination of the eyes will be necessary, and a new prescription given, stronger than the last. The patient goes forward with new glasses and renewed hope, until again the same situation arises and so it will continue, the eyes becoming weaker as the glasses become stronger.

We must not forget the patient who is never comfortable in glasses those poor unfortunates who wander from oculist to oculist, hoping against hope to get some relief from their headaches and constant eye discomfort. The eyestrain in these cases is due to muscle imbalance (inequality of the tension of the eye muscles) which varies according to circumstances and conditions.

We all know people whose eyes are inclined to ” turn into the corner” when they are tired or worried. Also there are those who suffer from Astigmatism, which again varies in intensity. It is obvious that glasses will not relieve these cases, as this type of eye trouble cannot be successfully 0prescribed for. If an eye test were to be taken in the morning and another in the afternoon of the same day, they would not measure the same degree of abnormality.

But to return to the first type of patient who feels a temporary benefit from wearing glasses. Why does the increased strength of the glasses undermine the health of the eye, gradually decreasing the natural vision which the patient once possessed ? Because (a) glasses restrict the natural movement of the eye and impede the circulation; (b) they render the focusing muscles inert because the lenses do the work instead; (c) they cause a certain amount of glare which creates eyestrain; (d) they prevent the air from reaching the eye freely, and this lowers the vitality of the eyes.

Everyone knows how essential fresh air and sunlight are for the health of the body, and especially for the eyes. Since the slum clearances statistics show an appreciable decrease in eye diseases such as corneal ulcers, purulent conjunctivitis (discharging eyes), etc., amongst children.

There are many cases of impaired health due to the wearing of unsuitable glasses. Here is a typical example.

In August, 1935, Miss S. came to see us in great trouble. She was 29 years of age, and employed as a private secretary, holding a post of trust and responsibility. She had been a strong and healthy girl, but now her health had broken down completely, and she had been told that she would have to give up her work. This caused Miss S. grave anxiety. After a careful examination of her eyes, and some leading questions about her health, she was found to be suffering from eyestrain, due to muscle imbalance. This condition was being constantly irritated by her secretarial work, which her glasses failed to relieve.

She had worn glasses from school age, but these did not prevent her from straining her eyes, or suffering from general discomfort, and headaches accompanied with nausea. Children with this trouble are at a great disadvantage, because they are constantly though unconsciously trying to overcome their difficulty in seeing near objects comfortably. This continued strain saps their vitality, and eventually the patients nervous system is seriously affected. A cycle of ailments, such as sleeplessness, loss of appetite, constipation, etc., lead finally to a nervous breakdown, and this was Miss Ss condition when she came to us for advice at the age of 29.

At the first consultation she was advised to take a suitable and well-balanced diet and exercised in the open air. Advice was also given to enable her to relieve the eyestrain (which we must remember was the primary cause of her trouble). First she was taught to “palm”, a comforting and important exercise which, if understood and practised, will relieve eyestrain and do much to help eye diseases. A short explanation of this exercise was given in our article in the January issue of this magazine.

Splashing with warm and cold water alternately was also advised. Then a focusing exercise was explained in which the patient looked first at an object in the distance and then at the something on her desk this being repeated several times. This exercise was given to counteract the cause of the eyestrain, which came from focusing too long at one point, i.e., the near vision required for her work. It is always a relief to change the focus frequently, and to look into the distance rests the eyes.

Glasses were discontinued immediately, and Miss S. was encouraged to believe that her eyes would soon be well.

Next week she returned overjoyed at the improvement which she felt. She told us that her employer was willing for her to continue her work if she strong enough. This she did, as her eyes were now almost well. By the end of a month she had only complained of two slight headaches, which were easily cured by palming.

She had ceased to be conscious of her eyes, which is a sure sign of well-being; we are only conscious of disability or strain when a particular organ is out of health. In three months she was a completely changed individual; she had bright and sparkling eyes, a clear complexion, and her general health was vastly improved. To-day she looks and feels younger than she did four years ago.

The danger of eyestrain lies in its imperceptibility in the early stages. This fact is not only confined to the organs of vision, but is the same with all the organs of the body. Even the common cold, unfortunately, has manifested itself before the poor victim is aware of the attack.

The following case will illustrate the varying causes of eyestrain, and that it is not always the constant use of the eyes that creates this condition.

In 1933, Mr. J. came to our consulting rooms, complaining of severe eyestrain, causing headaches. He was 28 years of age, looked perfectly well, and was able to give a very good record of his health. Nevertheless there was a tired and even a staring expression in his eyes. His manner was quiet and very reserved. We prescribed suitable exercises and told him to return in a month.

On this second visit the patient said that he felt perfectly comfortable, and he had been free from headaches;l he felt most grateful that he had been recommended this wonderful treatment. We discharged him as cured, but told him that if he felt even the slightest discomfort in the future, he must make another appointment at once.

A year later Mr. J. came again to us; this time he was very worried about himself. He complained of constant headaches, with a tight drawn feeling at the back of the eyeballs, which the exercises prescribed the previous year had failed to alleviate. He felt at a loss to account for his headaches, as his work was now of a different nature, and he had been using his eyes very little for the last three months.

It was now imperative for the practitioner to enquire fully into the changed conditions of the patients life and present occupation. We learned that he was a draughts-man by profession and that it had been his ambition to become his own master.

Three months after his first visit to us his hopes had been realized and he had been able to branch out for himself. Mr. J. was one of the fortune ones, inasmuch as his work was his chief interest, in fact it was his hobby as well as his means of livelihood. At first he worked by himself, but in a few months it was necessary for him to employ an assistant. Very shortly he opened an office with two assistants. It was soon after this that his eye-trouble returned.