EVEN in these enlightened days new and unorthodox methods are viewed with suspicion. We are slow to accept fresh ideas, and the success of a method has to be demonstrated time and time again before it receives the support of the general public.
Surely the success of a method is shown by the number of cures it is able to effect, and we would like to point out, without prejudice, that while many eye cases throughout the years have been treated successfully through orthodox surgical methods, many have been left to the awful fate of blindness because these methods have failed and the surgeons prejudice has been too strong to permit them to adopt new ideas or, as they would say, to stray from the path of orthodoxy.
A patient had heard of these new methods of eye treatment and, being anxious to find a cure, came to consult us. Her doctor was not responsible for her visiting us, but having her interests only at heart he accompanied her to the consultation. This doctor informed us that she had been undergoing treatment for twenty years and during that time had been under many eminent oculists, both in England and abroad, but every method had failed to cure her condition.
She was suffering from chronic inflammation affecting the conjunctiva, that thin and delicate parts that covers the white part of the eyeball and is the inner lining of the lids.
The doctor appeared to be very interested in the new method and treated us with great courtesy. His remark to us after the consultation was that if these methods could give even some relief he would “take his hat off to us.” The patient was under treatment for six months and monthly reports were sent to the doctor, but after the first month we received no acknowledgment of these, from which we were bound to conclude that his disapproval of the unorthodox was greater than his pleasure at the patient having been cured.
Another example of a doctor who, like an ostrich, buries his head in the sand and will not see is the specialist who, when called upon to re-examine a man who had been blind but had regained a large degree of sight, refuses to believe that the man could see more because the disease from which he suffered was proclaimed incurable and he would not believe that it could be anything else. The doctor said that, whoever had been treating the patient, it was only their will power upon him that made him think he was better!.
An interesting example of the undoubted benefit to be gained from this treatment is the following: A child was recommended to the treatment by the principal of a boarding school. The child was aged 6 and was suffering from hypermetropia (long sight) and astigmatism. The latter was caused by unequal vision in the two eyes. He complained of headaches, which always occurred after close work.
He was examined by the school doctor and the parents were advised that he should be given glasses. They decided to try the new method first, and at the end of a month the child was passed with normal sight after examination by another oculist.
This report caused great interest to the parents. They have three children aged 11, 9 and 6, all of which are boys. The child of 11 is shortsighted, but the child of 9 had always been considered to have a perfect sight. When the youngest boy came for the consultation the parents explained that they were hoping to get all their children evacuated to Canada and as this might happen at any time they were anxious to know if any benefit could be gained for a child so young in a short time.
During that first month air raids on London became so intense that the parents were anxious to get the children away as soon as possible and decided to try for America as the waiting list for Canada was still very long. The children were re-examined and the smallest boys vision was proved to be better than that of the child of 9. Surely Dr. bates method can have no stronger recommendation than this: the smallest boys vision had surpassed his brothers normal sight.
Here i s a passage from a letter received by us from a patient. “As I shall not be seeing you again for some time, I should like to take the opportunity of thanking you for what you have done for my eyes. It is such a relief not having to bother about glasses and to feel that my eyes are steadily improving that I cannot think how I resigned myself to the prospect of wearing glasses all my life, nor how other people can do so.”.
This patient was suffering from muscular imbalance. When she tried to focus on any given point, near or far, there was a distinct oscillation in one or other eye, depending on which eye happened to be trying to focus at the moment. She needed much persuasion to take up a new treatment as she had always been given to understand that her condition was incurable, but to please a friend she agreed to consult us.
The satisfactory results soon encouraged her to believe in the possibilities of success, and the letter quoted above was written after five months treatment.
We will conclude with a quotation which we hope will not apply so truly to the medical profession when we have won this war for freedom: “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation before investigation.