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Bates method / eyesight improvement

Discussions about Holistic Health and Alternative Medicine.

Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 14 Apr 2011, 02:43

Except that this will have been something that many people could feasibly have done on their own had they known about it in time. Regarding risks, it would be easy enough to warn people not to look directly at the sun, regardless of what they might read in some of the older literature. The other commonly cited risk is that a more serious eye condition could go undetected or untreated due to faith in natural methods. However, that is moot if you come for an eye exam and nothing out of the ordinary is found. Like I said, I don't seriously expect this to happen, but I think it should be standard for eye doctors to inform people who are just beginning to "need glasses" about this option, with the caveat that there is no guarantee that it will work, and let them do their own research and make their own decision.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Arouet » 14 Apr 2011, 03:59

From wik:

Despite continued anecdotal reports of successful results, including well-publicized support by Aldous Huxley,[2] Bates' techniques have not been shown objectively to improve eyesight,[3] and his main physiological proposition – that the eyeball changes shape to maintain focus – has consistently been contradicted by observation.[4] In 1952, optometry professor Elwin Marg wrote of Bates, “Most of his claims and almost all of his theories have been considered false by practically all visual scientists.”[5] Marg concluded that the Bates method owed its popularity largely to "flashes of clear vision" experienced by many who followed it.[2] Such occurrences have since been determined to most likely be a contact lens-like effect of moisture on the eye.[6]

Critics of the Bates method not only deny its efficacy, but go on to cite potential negative consequences for those who attempt to follow it, namely that they might overexpose their eyes to sunlight, put themselves and others at risk by not wearing their corrective lenses while driving, or neglect conventional eye care, possibly allowing serious conditions to develop.[5][7]

if the above is true, and accurately encompasses the consensus of the medical community on this treatment, why would doctors recommend it?

Have there been any properly controlled studies that have shown it works? No. Is anything stopping someone from doing such a study now? No. Until that study is done and replicated successfully, as well as being deemed safe, it would be incredibly irresponsible for practitioners to tell their patients about this. Not sure what else to say about this. The science doesn't seem to back up this method.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 16 Jul 2014, 05:04

I talked to a behavioral optometrist about this. He said that yes, reversing nearsightedness is possible, and he has helped patients do it. However, he says that there is a physical limit to what can be reversed, and that exaggerated claims have given this pursuit a bad name. He said that the best outcomes tend to occur with mild nearsightedness that has recently developed. He said that his primary goal is stabilization, and he does believe that high nearsightedness could usually have been prevented. He said that he gets referrals for other visual problems (which I confirmed with an optometrist I had previously been to), but not for nearsightedness.

While it seems to be true that there are not yet "properly controlled studies" demonstrating such improvement, it does appear to be well-established that developing nearsightedness can to some extent be controlled, so that it doesn't get worse. See this paper, for example. Stopping the progression of nearsightedness might be practically difficult, since it would involve changing the way you use your eyes, and genetics might even make it impossible in some cases. But it really seems like people should be informed of this option.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby Belteshazzar » 23 Jul 2014, 10:53

really? wrote:
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.

Apparently the vast majority of optometrists do not know what they are doing as far as nearsightedness is concerned. The behavioral optometrist I talked to said that regular optometrists have not been educated in functional vision care, and don't understand the workings of the visual system. But in light of what seems to be an established connection between near-work and nearsightedness, they could at least suggest spending more time looking into the distance.
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Re: Bates method / eyesight improvement

Postby austen » 17 Feb 2015, 19:16

Belteshazzar wrote:Has anyone here tried to improve their eyesight naturally, or know anyone who has? The Bates method has been around for a long time, and according to some Skeptics it has been debunked many times. Quackwatch has a popular article about it, and James Randi reported that Martin Gardner was very upset that the publisher of Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, which has a chapter addressing the Bates method, also published a pro-Bates method book!

A question which is often asked when this is brought up: If it really works, why does anyone still wear glasses? I would respond by asking a question such as, if it's really possible to quit smoking, then how are cigarette companies still in business? Which is not to say that I am sure the Bates method can work to the extent claimed. But the Skeptics naturally dismiss all "anecdotal" evidence of individual success in improving eyesight.

One can improved eyesight naturally by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables which contains vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, E. You should get enough sleep and taking breaks during the work or while working on computer.
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