HOW I WAS TREATED.
A PATENT who has been given glasses for short-sightedness or some other visual fault often asks the oculist: “Is it really necessary to wear glasses which I dislike intensely? Is it not possible to strengthen the eyes in some way or other?” As a rule he will be told: “Your eyes cannot get stronger but only weaker, and you will require stronger glasses every few years.” If the same patient should visit the oculist and complain that one of his eye had been knocked out and that the remaining eye has a poor vision, he will, as a rule, be comforted with the words: “Never mind, the remaining eye will become stronger and will do the work of two.”
I have met many men who have lost one eye. In every case the remaining eye had greatly improved owing to the increased work it had to do. However, it is not necessary to have one eye taken out in order to improve the vision of the other. One can strengthen ones eyes by exercise. This important verity is unfortunately not known to oculists and opticians who only too often by means of unnecessary and ever-stronger glasses covert a slight and temporary weakness, of vision into a grave, permanent, and incurable defect, or worse.
Weaknesses and defects of vision are frequently due to faulty nutrition, constipation, auto-intoxication, anaemia, etc., which require not glasses but constitutional treatment. Visual defects are aggravated if the eyes are not sufficiently exercise, and glasses are merely crutches to the eyes. If insufficiently exercised eyes are given glasses to be worn permanently, the weakness will, of course, become permanent and it will indeed get worse from year to year and call for stronger and ever stronger glasses.
Our eyes are made on the principle of a telescope for use at varying distances. If a telescope is always used fully pulled out, the apparatus of adjustment will become stiff and unusable. Something similar is apt to happen with our eyes. If we always do close work, such as reading or needlework, the power of focusing at a distance becomes weakened through none-use.
If we do not use the muscles which move the eye, they become weakened, the circulation of blood throughout the eye is apt to suffer and the entire structure atrophies. Weakness of vision usually goes hand in hand with weakness of the eyes muscles. The new system of yes training gives exercises which strengthen not only the eye muscles, but the eyesight itself.
How extraordinarily even the poorest eyesight can be improved by the new treatment will be seen from the following letter which I have received:.
“DEAR SIR, I have read your article The Story of My Eyes, and am sure that you and your readers will be interested in my own story which is even more wonderful than yours.
When I was ten years old I found that I was unable to read the black board at school, large type posters in the streets and the numbers of buses. My mother was horrified. She took me to the numbers of buses. My mother was horrified. She took me to the Royal Westminister Ophthalmic Hospital. My eyes were carefully examined by r. Gimbett, R.R.C.S., I was given very strong glasses for short sight and I was told that I must always wear them. No hope was given of my ever being able to leave them off.
A year later I wished to enter high school. My eyes were again examined. The result was unexpected and frightening. I was told that I could not attend the local high school because my short- sightedness was too great. I wept with disappointment. Later on I heart of a class for very short-sighted children which was to be formed in a Clapton secondary school. It was the first of its kind and I joined it. By this time my eyes had become a great deal worse, although I always wore my glasses in accordance with instructions. At my new school paramount importance was given to my eyes. I was not allowed to read any books. In writing I had to use a black thick crayon and to write letters at least 12 inches high.
When the time for matriculation came, I found myself in great difficulties. As I was not allowed to read books, I found it very hard to keep up with the other children, especially in languages. Everything had to be committed to memory. Besides, all my studies had to take place in the daylight. I was not allowed to use my eyes in artificial light. The treatment was considered a success. My eyes had not deteriorated during five years. I passed my examination. I did not wish to stay at school any longer as the study of my beloved botany was closed to me, for I had been strictly forbidden to use a microscope.
I left school in search of work. The employment bureaux absolutely refused to consider my application for office work, and I was fitted for no other unless I underwent several years training which was impossible. I went to the eye hospital and asked the doctor if office work would injure my eyes. He kindly but sadly told me that he could not advise office work, although I might try it for a short time. This information frightened me. I fear to go blind.
For months I tried in vain to find work without eyestrain. Jobs were scarce in winter, 1931. I grew hopeless. I felt that I should never succeed in life because of my defective eyesight. By chance I heard from a friend of a lady in Welbeck Street who improved eyesight not by glasses but by exercises. I was sceptical but desperate and went to Welbeck Street.
The lady oculist told me that I might do a great many things with my eyes which had hitherto been forbidden, and she promised me that if I worked hard at raining my eyes, I should be cured and be able to read without glasses. I could not believe that I should ever be able to read ordinary print without glasses, go to the films, and write on ordinary note paper like other people. That night I pinned on the wall of my room the usual Snellen eye-testing chart and found that without glasses I could just see the letter at the top. which is three inches high and three inches wide.
After a few treatments I was told to leave off my glasses occasionally. I learned to get out of bed, wash and dress without them. Then I went shopping without my spectacles. After a while I could report that I cold see another line on the eye testing chart, and after a few weeks I cold vaguely see all the lines of the chart, although I could not read the letter.
Then the real fight began. I was told to come for treatment without glasses, I, who had to grope my way when deprived of them. I was terrified to go out without them, but one happy day I travelled without my glasses from my home to Welbeck Street, which involved changing of buses. After this I made rapid progress and at last wearing glasses altogether. I now go all over London, type numerous letter, use a microscope at evening school and read the newspaper without a thought of glasses.
I had to conquer not only short-sightedness but extreme astigmatism. When I first went to Welbeck Street, my astigmatism was so great that one dancer on the stage appeared to me like a troupe. Gradually I found that the letter on hoardings, notices, etc., were becoming sharper, and I am now the happiest girl alive. A terrible weight has been lifted off me, my eyesight is improving from day to day, and I feel sure that I shall be completely cured by perseverance, for the wonderful progress achieved so far has been brought about in less than a year.
Very truly yours,
54 Raleigh Road, Hornesy, N.8. DORIS PEET.
I saw Miss Peet eight or nine months ago in Welbeck Street. AT that time she wore extraordinarily strong glasses for short- sightedness and she looked completely helpless. Now she does typewriting work all day long, uses the Telephone Directory, reads books and newspapers for hours and never wears glasses.
A few days ago I went to see my optician, Mr. E.H. Bilton. He tested my eyes for distance and told me that now my distance sight was exactly as good without glasses as it had previously been with glasses. In other words, my eyes have become improved by the full effect of the glasses.
I then went to my oculist, Mr. Ernest Clarke, of Harley Street. He was amazed at the improvement of my sight and told me that the fundus, or background, of my eyes which had been in a deplorable condition was that of a youngster, that I did not need distance glasses any longer, and he gave me weaker reading glasses. For the benefit of my professional readers I herewith transcribe his prescriptions:.
Right Eye. Left Eye.
Sp. Cyl. Sph. Cyl.
May 5th, 1931 +2.00 -.37 +1.75 -.25
Nov. 4th, 1932 +1.75 -.25 +1.50 -.25.
It will be noticed that my right eye has improved much more than the left. To improve the left eye, I wear often a black shade over the right eye, obscuring it and compelling the left eye to work harder. Of course the treatment is not yet completed. My practitioner hopes that in a years time I may be able to discard my reading glasses altogether. Already I can read The Times without glasses after thirty-five years dependence on glasses. The fact that my cataractal opacity has improved is shown by the striking improvement in my power of vision, which is getting better from week to week.
The new treatment is base don logic, experience and commonsense. People who have overworked their eyesight, spontaneously close their eyes, pressing them together very firmly because they find it relieves them, and when their eyes are hot and dry, they splash them and when their eyes are hot and dry, they splash them with cold water.
The practitioner in Welbeck Street causes people to squeeze their eyes together so many times, and so many times to look up and down, right and left, rotate the eyes to the right and to the left, splash them with cold water, etc. Each exercise is to be done them with cold water, etc. Each exercise is to be done several times per day and only a few minutes are needed. I do my own exercises when taking out my dog night and morning.
To train the eye in the art of focusing, one looks at a distant object and then at something near by. One looks, alternatively, let us say, at a distant tree and at the knob of ones stick while in the open, or at the far-off knob of ones stick while in the open, or at the far-off corner of the room and at an object close at hand. The short-sighted are made to move the book away from the eye when reading and the far-sighted to move it nearer to the eye, and thus the eye is taught once more how to focus at different distances from the one permanently fixed by ones glasses.
People with stiff eye muscles and a stiff eyesight have usually also stiff necks and stiff spines. My practitioner prescribed for me suitable neck exercises and back neck and spine and high frequency treatment, with the result that back and neck got more supple and the general circulation about the head and eye was greatly improved. Possibly there exercise and manipulation act also on the nerves of vision.
There are various other exercise and a very important method of relaxation which are used and which are some what difficult to describe. Perhaps it would be a mistake to give all the details in this place because readers might be induced to try these methods on themselves. That would be very inadvisable and possibly dangerous. No two cases are alike. Individual treatment is called for and expert guidance is needed. Otherwise there may be dangerous results. Self-treatment or treatment by an incompetent practitioner might lead to the detachment of the retina and other serious consequences. I was of the retina and other serious consequences. I was warned of this my excellent oculist, Mr. Ernest Clarke.