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Bates method / eyesight improvement

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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 10 Apr 2011, 13:17

Arouet wrote:It occurred to me earlier this evening as I was driving that even accepting that something like this could work, it could only be acceptable those with only slightly poor vision in the first place. That is: a slow, gradual improvement would mean that my glasses would constantly be too strong! One can't change one's prescription every few months (at least not without being fairly wealthy).


For nearsighted people, that's basically true, since "minus" lenses, and the exams needed to get them prescribed, are not cheap. However, "plus" glasses (for reading), are available off-the-shelf, and usually not at high prices. So one whose problem is with near vision and not distant vision could get several pairs of those, each at a different strength.

As far as nearsighted people go, most were only slightly nearsighted at one time. A good initial experiment would involve trying natural vision techniques before prescribing someone their first pair of glasses. If this were shown to work, then perhaps more could be done to accommodate those with higher myopia.

Arouet wrote:In any event, if staring at the sun is a necessary component of these techniques, then this program should not be considered suitable for full clinical trials anyway. Far too dangerous. Even if there is technically a safe was to stare at the sun that this method endorses, in practice people will screw it up far too often to make the risks worth it.


Most proponents recommend that "sunning" only be done through closed eyelids, and even then it doesn't seem to be considered essential. Ray Gottlieb, for example, states that "I recommend that they also do Bates' palming and sunning exercises to relax their eyes but not everyone does." It is true that Bates himself went beyond that at times.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby really? » 11 Apr 2011, 00:27

Belteshazzar wrote:
Arouet wrote:It occurred to me earlier this evening as I was driving that even accepting that something like this could work, it could only be acceptable those with only slightly poor vision in the first place. That is: a slow, gradual improvement would mean that my glasses would constantly be too strong! One can't change one's prescription every few months (at least not without being fairly wealthy).


For nearsighted people, that's basically true, since "minus" lenses, and the exams needed to get them prescribed, are not cheap. However, "plus" glasses (for reading), are available off-the-shelf, and usually not at high prices. So one whose problem is with near vision and not distant vision could get several pairs of those, each at a different strength.

As far as nearsighted people go, most were only slightly nearsighted at one time. A good initial experiment would involve trying natural vision techniques before prescribing someone their first pair of glasses. If this were shown to work, then perhaps more could be done to accommodate those with higher myopia.

Arouet wrote:In any event, if staring at the sun is a necessary component of these techniques, then this program should not be considered suitable for full clinical trials anyway. Far too dangerous. Even if there is technically a safe was to stare at the sun that this method endorses, in practice people will screw it up far too often to make the risks worth it.


Most proponents recommend that "sunning" only be done through closed eyelids, and even then it doesn't seem to be considered essential. Ray Gottlieb, for example, states that "I recommend that they also do Bates' palming and sunning exercises to relax their eyes but not everyone does." It is true that Bates himself went beyond that at times.


You need to show actual replicated studies that show the bates method works. Referencing people that use the method doesn't mean much if anything because I can show you practictioners of all sorts of unproven practices.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 11 Apr 2011, 04:24

really? wrote:You need to show actual replicated studies that show the bates method works. Referencing people that use the method doesn't mean much if anything because I can show you practictioners of all sorts of unproven practices.

I believe this is a mistreatment of anecdotal evidence in that it is being summarily dismissed simply for being anecdotal. First, the people whom I referenced have credentials in the field. Moreover, in the case of Dr. Gottlieb's work, presbyopia (blurring of near vision which typically begins in the 40's) is only supposed to worsen as one ages. That he reports success in reversing it without drugs or surgery thus means something, even if it doesn't prove anything in a strict sense.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 11 Apr 2011, 04:36

No: it simply means that it is annecdotal and not yet ready for prime time. This is how science works. Researchers come up with hypotheses, they do some preliminary testing, then more detailed testing. Sometimes early positive results turn out to be less positive upon further testing.

I'm really not sure what we're arguing about here Belteshazzar? We're saying proposed medical treatments should undergo proper scientific testing before being prescribed to patients. Do you really disagree? Especially when there can be dangerous aspects to it: such as in this case?
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 11 Apr 2011, 05:29

Arouet wrote:No: it simply means that it is annecdotal and not yet ready for prime time. This is how science works. Researchers come up with hypotheses, they do some preliminary testing, then more detailed testing. Sometimes early positive results turn out to be less positive upon further testing.

I'm really not sure what we're arguing about here Belteshazzar? We're saying proposed medical treatments should undergo proper scientific testing before being prescribed to patients. Do you really disagree? Especially when there can be dangerous aspects to it: such as in this case?


I definitely would like to see testing done, provided it is fair and doesn't set up a straw-man. As for how patients should be dealt with in the meantime: As someone with rather high myopia, I wish I had been informed of this option when I was much less nearsighted. As you observed, there are some very practical problems for people like me who want to apply such methods, even if they can work. I believe that people who are just beginning to develop a refractive error should be informed of this option, with precautions. From there they (and their parents, in the case of minors) can decide on their own what course to take.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 11 Apr 2011, 06:16

I disagree completely. Parents should be presented the option by trained professionals only AFTER proper testing has been done. You have no idea what precautions should be given. Why? Because studies have not been done. What we do know is that trained eye experts have said this technique is dangerous. Parents are not qualified to properly analyse whether it is safe for their kids. That's what scientists and researchers are for.

Frankly, your approach is dangerous. I get the appeal of an apparent way to fix for vision. It appeals to me too. But there's no way I'm going to mess with my eyes without being absolutely certain that the risk is very low. I remember when lazer surgery first came out. There was no way I'd have even considered it in the early stages. People were having many troubles post surgery. Nowadays the surgery is much safer, and the risks much lower.

You don't want to mess with your eyes. Wearing glasses is not a great inconvenience for most people - but the bad side effects of doing unsafe things to your eyes can be devastating. Anyhow, while not cheap, lazer surgery is available these days and it can work. You might want to see if you are a candidate.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 11 Apr 2011, 06:44

Arouet wrote:You have no idea what precautions should be given. Why? Because studies have not been done. What we do know is that trained eye experts have said this technique is dangerous.

When have trained eye experts said this? You said above that you had never heard of this before, so I take it you have done some research since then? The precaution I had in mind was about looking at the sun.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 11 Apr 2011, 06:57

I read the wiki entry. I was also talking about the sun. What precautions do you really think could be put in place? People can't be trusted to follow directions properly. If the method can't work without the sun aspect, it should be squashed.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby really? » 11 Apr 2011, 07:12

Belteshazzar wrote:
Arouet wrote:No: it simply means that it is annecdotal and not yet ready for prime time. This is how science works. Researchers come up with hypotheses, they do some preliminary testing, then more detailed testing. Sometimes early positive results turn out to be less positive upon further testing.

I'm really not sure what we're arguing about here Belteshazzar? We're saying proposed medical treatments should undergo proper scientific testing before being prescribed to patients. Do you really disagree? Especially when there can be dangerous aspects to it: such as in this case?


I definitely would like to see testing done, provided it is fair and doesn't set up a straw-man. As for how patients should be dealt with in the meantime: As someone with rather high myopia, I wish I had been informed of this option when I was much less nearsighted. As you mentioned, there are some very practical problems for people like me who want to apply such methods, even if they can work. I believe that people who are just beginning to develop a refractive error should be informed of this option, with precautions. From there they (and their parents, in the case of minors) can decide on their own what course to take.


Certainly that's an incorrect position to take because parents are almost always not knowledgeable unless they a trained in the specific medical condition and therefore can not make prudent judgments all on their own even if they have been informed by someone that does have the knowledge. At best the parents can have an more informed opinion and possibly make a better judgment call. But that's all it is.
It's like fixing a car when your not a mechanic. You rely on someone with greater knowledge that knows what they are doing.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 11 Apr 2011, 14:58

I don't seriously expect that it will become the norm for eye doctors to tell patients that there is a possible alternative which they might want to try on their own before getting glasses. I do wonder though what would happen if a natural treatment for nearsightedness were proven effective. I imagine that many people in my position would feel entitled to free or very low cost help, after having unnecessarily paid for many pairs of glasses/contacts and the exams which were used to prescribe them. Especially considering that the natural cure would have been out there all along, but they weren't told about it when it would have been easiest to apply.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 11 Apr 2011, 19:32

Ahh, the whole profit conspiracy thing. They are just trumping up that staring at the sun can cause irreversible damage!

Not to mention that this technique apparently takes quite some time and could easily be overseen by these same doctors, having you come several times a year to see that your technique is right rather than the once every 2 years that I currently go. But yes, its just a conspiracy...
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 12 Apr 2011, 02:14

I'm not quite sure how you thought I was implying that. I was not arguing that anything is being deliberately supressed so the eye-care industry can continue to make money selling glasses. I was simply speculating about the reaction of glasses-wearers if a natural cure were proven. Many would feel that they had really been screwed, and would expect free help in recovering their eyesight, feeling that they had already paid for it in the money spent on eye exams and glasses. If they couldn't get what they wanted, some might try to sue to get the costs covered. The defense of the eye-care industry would be that it had been unproven, and thus they couldn't tell people anything about it.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 12 Apr 2011, 02:27

Ahh, sorry for the confusion. Thought you were expressing some common anti-conventional medicine conspiracy theories that we see a lot of!

I don't think anyone needs to worry from the legal side yet. The Bates method is currently not safe so it is not malpractice not to recommend it. If a safe method is developed and demonstrated to work, then I would think it would have to be included in recommendations for appropriate clients.

As it stand, though, it doesn't seem to be a viable method. Maybe some enterprising young PHD study will dig it back up and see if they can get it to work in a safe manner. For now, we're stuck with lasers or glasses.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 14 Apr 2011, 00:44

Arouet wrote:I don't think anyone needs to worry from the legal side yet. The Bates method is currently not safe so it is not malpractice not to recommend it. If a safe method is developed and demonstrated to work, then I would think it would have to be included in recommendations for appropriate clients.

But would the glasses-wearing public accept that explanation? If such an approach is ever proven effective, people are still going to feel ripped off, having been kept in the dark about it at the point in their lives when it would have been easiest to apply. It would perhaps be seen not so much as malpractice, but as a colossal failure of the profession as a whole. There would also be many, many people going around with blurry vision at that point, for reasons which you alluded above. Would people who had begun to improve be willing or able to spend the money on new glasses? Who will be responsible for the accidents which then happen because of this? Certainly, people would try to place blame on the eye-care profession, though this might not hold up legally.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 14 Apr 2011, 01:27

This method appears to have been investigated, and rejected as being dangerous. As a member of the general public, I'm happy about that. if there is a safer method, then someone has to come up with it. But that hasn't happened yet. I think people are pretty comfortable with the fact that medical breakthroughs take time. I mean, you could make the same argument about pretty well any kind of new medical technique, right? Many new discoveries could have been developed sooner had things gone a bit differently. Do you seem people getting angry about any of those? I don't think this is a grave concern.
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