Improve your sight without glasses

This won't hurt a bit
This won't hurt a bit

This one is eye opening in all senses.

Improving your sight without glasses is nothing new - it's nearly a century old yet it still feels like 'news' today, in fact more so because when it was discovered it was completely rejected. So what is this 'new' theory?

The name's Bates - the William H. Bates theory. The ultimate eye-spy.

I just happened to stumble across this one - quite literally stumble across it. While I was at my Grandpa's house last summer I found an old book stuck behind a chest of drawers and tugged it out.

'Improve your sight without glasses' was the title.

A book from the seventies with no author's name written on any part of it, just 'Reader's Digest'. Perhaps the author had gone into hiding from furious hoards of opticians because the book is quite clear in its message about glasses - 'they cannot remedy an eye defect but only add to the defect by making the eye dependent.'

The author writes enthusiastically about the Bates method and seems confident it will take off. If that author is still around today, whoever it was may be a little disappointed. Of course, I see from my research on the internet that the Bates method is still going strong but perhaps not as strong as it should be.

The author of my dusty little book points out, even then, that 'throughout the world industries have built up based on the 'need' for spectacles, and today's frames are made in such a wide and attractive range that a lot of people almost welcome the need to wear them.'

This sounds rather quaint today but that poor author's jaw would drop at the spectacle of 'spectacles' we see around us today. And all making for some very happy designers and opticians of course.

But actually although the optical industry does have vested interests in keeping us away from the Bates method the real reason why Bates isn't more widely used is that we ourselves are stopping it taking off.

The fact is, even if the Bates method were widely known I can't see it ever really taking the place of traditional methods. Simply because, I have to say this but, the human race is a teensy weensy bit inclined towards laziness and doing daily exercise to improve the sight is a bit too much like hard work. Come on, we've got to be honest. That's why things like the remote control exists - we know deep down that we should be getting up to change the channel but who can be bothered?

But the point is, we should be bothered.

As my little book argues, if we break our leg we put it in plaster and walk on crutches but we don't leave it that way. It's only a temporary measure while we work on getting that leg better. Why not do the same with the eyes? Why leave them in crutches forever?

And glasses are just that - crutches for eyes.

So what does it take to free yourself from those crutches? What it takes, as you will find out when you read, is a regular routine made up of correct exercises, diet, relaxation and vitamins.

The point is that this, in itself, takes quite an effort which, to a lot of people, will sound a bit too much like hard work. Even with the knowledge that glasses don't solve our eyesight problems and in fact makes them worse it's unlikely we're going to give them up - after all, they solve the problem on a temporary basis and that's enough.

In this hub I'll pass on the exercises, diet etc that benefit sight in such a way that, judging by the success rate, you won't need to use glasses anymore. Yep, you'll be aiming them at the bin or better still putting them on this winter's snowman.

But of course, the effort has to come from your side and if you know now that you don't want to put that effort in then I suggest you stop reading here.

Go on, off you go.

That said, for anyone impatient to know the methods and make a hasty decision, I'll tell you now what it'll entail:

  • regular eye exercises (which I shall give to you further on)
  • a correct diet
  • visual relaxation (I'll explain this as well)
  • correct reading habits
  • sunbathing (with a difference)
  • the correct vitamins
  • blinking

And that's it in a nutshell but if you're interested you need to read on because that information alone will send you out to sea with no..well, glasses and still an eye defect to deal with.

So read on (but don't skim read because that's something else that plays havoc with your eyesight!)

Now the fact is that eyesight can be improved without glasses.

The British writer Aldous Huxley became a champion of the Bates method and as he says 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'.

Huxley's sight deteriorated to the point that he was dependent on Braille for reading and needed a guide for walking.

The Bates method worked so well for him that he wrote a book 'The art of seeing' in which he raves about the Bates method. Huxley had been prescribed powerful glasses for reading but says that 'a measure of strain and fatigue was always present' and despite glasses his eyesight carried on failing. Pushed to desperation in 1939 he took a course of 'visual re-education' based on Bates' methods.

'Within a couple of months,' writes Huxley. 'I was reading without glasses and without strain and fatigue.'

Huxley goes on to compare the Bates method with the then (and still) traditional methods of dealing with failing sight. Huxley himself was treated by opticians 'of the highest eminence' but none pointed out that his problem may be a mental as well as physiological one.

Mental relaxation = visual relaxation

Learning to relax is the most important step towards improving eyesight. As Huxley writes:

'learn to combine relaxation with activity - learn to do what you have to without strain - never under tension.'

So when approaching any of the Bates exercises it's important to be in a relaxed frame of mind, in other words you shouldn't be forcing yourself to exercise.

This is perhaps why people give up on the Bates method and deem it as useless. It seems pretty logical that if people are forcing themselves to do eye exercises morning and evening they won't reap much benefit from those exercises. So I would say it's also important to believe in the exercises and from there a natural willingness to follow them will come about.

For you to believe in them perhaps it's better if I explain why Bates himself (and many others) believe so firmly in the methods.

The fundamental difference between the Bates theory and the theory of Helmholtz (the man who created the traditional theory) is that Helmholtz sustained that eye problems are due to the crystalline lens whereas Bates believed the problem lay in the external muscles of the eye.

The two men obviously didn't see eye to eye (oops, sorry).

Following the Helmholtz theory the eye problem can be relieved by glasses but as my little book points out 'the cause of the problem has not been removed' and points out that 'the eye adapts itself as an invalid does to a crutch'.

Bates, on the other hand, believed that eye strain was not due to defective sight but was in fact its cause. Therefore, according to Bates, it was these weakened eye muscles which were bringing about poor eyesight, and not poor eyesight bringing about weakened eye muscles as Helmholtz believed. And whereas traditional methods considered faulty eyesight irreversable, Bates had a more optimistic view.

So let's go back to that leg in its plaster again. Supposing we didn't exercise those leg muscles, apply heat, massage etc but kept the leg wrapped up in plaster for always, is it likely to get better?

Of course, any theory is all well and good but without being tested it's just that - a theory. And Bates theory was put to the test and 'met with more than a degree of success' according to my book. Dr Peppard, who worked with Bates for many years (and later with the Beatles perhaps?) witnessed hundreds of people from the age of two to ninety discard their glasses and attain normal sight.

Well of the two theories I know which one I go for - one saves me 100 euro on glasses so I don't hesitate!

Ok, it's not just that - I know deep down that the best results come from your own hard work. And this, although perhaps not easy, is what Bates' method is all about.

Your own hard work.

So as regards mental relaxation, according to Peppard (a Bates disciple) if the mind is tense then this is the very thing that causes eye strain. To relax the mind, this may sound obvious but first of all you must avoid putting it under pressure.

There is acute eye strain and chronic eye strain and here is what Peppard cites as the causes:

Acute

  • using the eyes during a severe toxic condition e.g measles, tonsillitis, severe colds, 'flu etc, i.e reading or watching TV whilst ill.

Chronic

  • using the eyes in bad light - either too dim or too strong, or with shafts of light invading your visual range,
  • reading something held too close to or too far away from the eyes,
  • reading whilst sitting in the incorrect posture or just plain uncomfortably,
  • reading when tense, agitated, tired or in any unrelaxed state,
  • reading badly printed material (too small print, glaring paper)
  • skim reading or not focusing properly on something (practise central fixation constantly, that is to say get into the habit of looking at specific points).

He also warns that tooth decay, constipation, sinus troubles, headaches and living in an inharmonious atmosphere will cause constant eye strain.

My little book however points out that 'the eye is so wonderfully made that it will tolerate a fair degree of strain for years without the vision becoming defective' but when strain does manifest itself you may notice general fatigue, headaches, itchy, inflamed or watery eyes and blurry vision.

And when you get to this stage, before running off to the optician, read on.

Eye Relaxation exercises

Palming

The first exercise is something you can try straight away.

You need to sit by a calender or something readable. Make sure you sitting comfortably and relaxed and take off your glasses (if you wear them). Cover your eyes gently with the palm of your hands (don't press down) and stay like that for a few minutes. Try to relax as much as possible - switch off the mind or think of something peaceful. You can rest your elbow on your knees or on a table to keep comfortable. When you take away your palms open your eyes and blink.

Have you done that?

You should notice the calender or whatever you were looking at (best not the computer screen) looks brighter and more distinct.

Didn't work? Perhaps you didn't do it long enough or relax enough.

You'll notice that you have to blink at the end of the exercise. According to my neat little book 'blinking is the first of the arts of visual relaxation.'

Remember to blink (butterfly blinks) as often as you can from now on, it keeps the eye healthy.

Swinging

Another way in which the eyes and surrounding tissue can be relaxed is by 'swinging'. According to my little book it 'has a soothing effect upon the whole nervous system' easing both body and mind simultaneously and is very effective in relieving eyestrain.'

The exercise goes like this - stand upright with your feet 12 inches (30 cm) apart, hands loosely at your sides; then, keeping as relaxed as you can, slowly sway the whole body from side to side as if you were the pendulum of a clock. At the same time raise each heel from the ground but not the whole foot.

This little exercise should be practised two or three times a day for five to ten minutes at a time or whenever the eyes are tired or aching.

Strengthening weak eye muscles

There are six sets of eye muscles and the next step in remedying weak eyesights is doing some 'eye muscle building'.

Now, you'll have to excuse me but I'm going to just copy the following exercises straight from the book as the instructions are already clear and concise. I'll still have to type them out though so give me a big round of applause at the end just the same.

First, if you wear glasses and have done for some time bear in mind that these eye muscles will be stiff and lacking flexibility so, to begin with, don't exercise to the point of making your eyes tired or sore. Increase them gradually over time.

Exercise 1

Keep the head still and look as far up as you can (without straining) and then down as far as you can. Repeat twelve times. Then relax. After each exercise blink rapidly.

Exercise 2

Move the eyes from left to right twelve times. Then relax and blink.

Exercise 3

Look down to your right side then up to your left eyebrow. Twelve times. Relax by blinking.(and do this after every exercise - I won't say it again).

Exercise 4

Look down at your left side, then up towards your right eyebrow. Twelve times

Exercise 5

Combine exercise 3 and 4 into one exercise. Twelve times.

Exercise 6

Move the eyes gently around in a circle, six times from right to left, then vice versa another six times.

Exercise 7

Hold up the index finger of the right hand about eight inches (20 cm) in front of the eyes, then look from the finger to any large object you like, ten or more feet (three metres) away - the door will do.

Look from one to the other ten times, then rest for a second and repeat the ten glances two or three times. Do this exercise fairly rapidly.

This is the best exercise for strengthening - it should be practised as often as you like and where you like (the book says this, not me! If you want to do it while queueing for the bus that's up to you, but you're on your own.)

Those are the exercises and as you might see they are quite a commitment, especially as you should carry them out at least twice a day to get results.

On the plus side of course, they can be done anywhere and at any moment so when the TV gets boring (as I'm sure it does) or you've got a quiet moment at work you could be practising waggling your finger in front of you! Remember to stop if you feel eye pain though (even though this is normal as you're exercising muscles that are stiff) and blink regularly in between. My little book also recommends the palming exercise at the end of each 'work out' to wind down.

Ah, but you haven't finished yet! There's also the neck to think about...

Neck Exercises

Some of the most important blood vessels and nerves lie in the neck therefore it's important to keep the neck relaxed so that the nerve and blood supply can travel freely to the eyes (and all other parts of the body for that matter).

Exercise 1

Slowly rotate the head a circle, keeping the rest of the body still. Repeat twelve times.

Exercise 2

Allow the head to drop as far forward as possible on to the chest keeping the neck relaxed and not stiff. Then raise the head and allow it to fall as far backwards as possible. Twelve times.

Following these two exercise morning and evening the blood vessels along the cervical vertebrae should function more freely and increase the flow of blood to the eyes and eye muscles.

So after that massive work out what better way to wind down than with a good eye bath! And now that you mention it...


Eye sunbathing

According to my little book 'the popular notion that sunlight is bad for the eyes is another fallacy that has to be discarded'.

Today this statement perhaps wouldn't even be allowed in print (and I do wonder what has happened to the author of this book and whether he or she is locked up in some optician's cellar somewhere) but I find it quite refreshing.

All the same, I personally get one whiff of the sun and my eyes start watering. But, according to my author, sunglasses 'coddle' the eyes and keep them away from something that actually strengthens them - and that thing is the sun.

The fact that we can't stand the sun when we take off our 'dark goggles', as my author calls them, apparently reveals that:

1. Our diet is deficient in Vitamin A;

2. we have so many toxins in us that sunlight worsens our condition.

I'll explain the point about the Vitamin A - according to Professor McCollum an American scientist, Vitamin A allows for the regeneration of 'visual purple', a pigment in the eye that allows it to adapt from bright light to darkness. Therefore if we're not getting enough Vitamin A, bright light will be torture and in dim light we'll be groping around like moles. And similarly, with toxins it's all down to our diet - I'll come to the recommended diet in just a bit.

First, our old friend, the sun.

An American nutritionist Gayelord Hauser was converted to the Bates method and has this to say on the benefits of sunlight:

'Sunshine is valuable in all cases of eye trouble. Everyone should give their eyes a five minute bath whenever opportunity offers.'

Before you start running out to soak up the rays I would say the key here is the five minutes. Just like anything, excess is going to cancel out any benefits. Another thing to remember is that it's not enough to soak up sunlight that comes through the window - apparently glass filters out those vitamins. Hauser explains how to go about a 'sun bath'.

He recommends at first keeping the eyes closed and letting the sun fall on the lids. 'Turn your head from side to side so that the sun rays penetrate into all parts of the eyes. Sunshine and warmth are great healing agents' he wrote. 'They bring new blood and lymph supply to the eyes and surrounding muscles.

After you have practised the five minute sun bath for a week you should be able to blink at the sun'.

Hmmm, might not be trying that one myself but a bit of sun on the eyelids - yes, that sounds all right.

Also, as I've found out in the last few days through researching Vitamin D (the wonder vitamin for fighting colds, flu and other illnesses) the best source of it is, you've guessed it, the good old sun.

But now, you're probably thinking about that all important diet. Onwards.

The proper diet for good sight

My little book states 'if you want to improve your sight then you must improve your health.'

Gayelord Hauser in his book 'better eyes without glasses' writes:

'Frequently the addition of Vitamin A has helped in improving eyesight. However, in more serious eye conditions a more thorough regimen has to be followed.'

Ok, so if you haven't got big eye problems you might want to skip the diet part but then again as Hauser points out 'nothing reflects uncleanliness like the eyes' so before you run off for a fry-up, just check your eyes first.

Apparently 'dull eyes show that the person is suffering from faulty elimination' and you don't want to be accused of that, now do you?

Also, as my little book points out 'the eye cannot be regarded as a separate part of the body - it is an integral part of the whole bodily function' and says 'it is therefore no better than the body's general health.' So if you're eating junk, I'm afraid your eyes are going to give this away (sooner or later).

'The practice of treating the eye as a separate entity is one of the major fallacies of orthodox ophthalmic science.'

So now for some munching. Here is what the 'good vision' diet should include:

  • A breakfast with three dessertspoons of wheatgerm, eaten with milk and honey.
  • Green leafy vegetables, lettuce, parsley and mint, raw carrot and beetroot, raw cabbage, chives, cress, tomatoes and plenty of fresh fruit.
  • Plenty of milk, eggs, cheese and wheatgerm throughout the day.

The important thing, according to my book, is that your diet is, ehem, keeping you regular. In this way the blood stream is kept clean and as Hauser writes:

'With a pure blood stream, plus visual relaxation and visual and neck exercises, nothing short of miracles are possible in the restoration of good sight without glasses.'

I should add that there are a myriad of vitamins that are recommended for different eye complaints which I haven't included here but if you're interested in the Bates method I advise you seek out further information to suit your needs - there's a vitamin waiting at the side lines for every possible eye complaint out there.

The key thing with the diet is to eat healthy and wholesome foods even if you're not sticking rigidly to the above. 'All fourth rate foods should be eliminated from the diet' my little book tells me. These include cheapo white bread, white sugar, packaged food (even a lot of breakfast cereals), sauces, pickles, salty food, fried food, sweets and chocolate, biscuits...you get the idea. On the other hand the 'vital' foods should be eaten as much as possible, i.e green vegetables, fruit, etc.

I'm coming to the end now and I really hope you didn't skim read because as I say, that's one of the no-nos.

So now you know the 'controversial' Bates method - I can't see what's controversial about it myself - as far as I can see, if you're committed, it works; if you're not, it doesn't - the only thing controversial is that it discourages people from piling their money into pairs of glasses.

Before I finish here are a few essential points to remember:

  1. Splash cold water on your eyes first thing in the morning to get the circulation going in the eyes. You can also do this when your eyes are sore or tired.
  2. Try to 'sunbathe' your eyes every day if possible.
  3. It's not always possible but try to keep a serene mind - if you're tense or irritated, try relaxing the mind (by palming or swinging) before you put your eyes to work.
  4. Get your teeth checked by your dentist (or whoever checks your teeth) - unhealthy teeth can cause eye problems.
  5. Adopt the correct posture and good reading habits : never read when ill or very tired; when reading you should sit upright and relaxed holding the book upright about 14 inches (35 cm) from the eyes with a good reading light directed on the page (but there should be no light or reflected light shining in your field of vision) and remember to blink regularly during reading. Avoid reading badly printed material (blight, glaring paper, clashing colours etc) and avoid skim reading.
  6. Eat wholesome foods - the eye will reflect this. Any debauchery will eventually be given away in your eyes - just like in Dorian Grey's painting.
  7. Take the correct vitamins for your eye trouble and for free vitamins - sun, sun, sun!

All this combined, according to the nutritionist Hauser, should perform nothing short of a miracle!

Then again, I haven't regularly followed the exercises yet but I can assure you that after spending hours in front of the computer writing this hub I will be trying them out. Of course, like all things, there will be people who say this theory is no good but they're welcome to go and spend their money at the opticians.

Aldous Huxley raved about the Bates method though and from someone whose sight failed almost completely, his enthusiasm does at least merit curiosity.

Happy vision!

Comments 66 comments

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thank you apricot for this unbelievably well-researched Hub. I have indeed heard of the Bates method, in fact, recently purchased one of his earlier, fatter books which contains so much information it's overwhelming. But you have condensed it so beautifully in this Hub I have to thank you again. I am sending to everyone I know who wears glasses. I have to say, that perhaps the most difficult part of this method is not the exercises, or diet, it's the fact that you have to give up wearing your glasses while you are in "therapy". Cheers.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

I think you can phase out the use of glasses - it'll be easier. I admit I don't wear glasses but last year I was advised them for reading - there is something exciting about wearing glasses - I was looking forward to looking clever! But then I thought again when he told me the price and I'm going to give these exercises a go. Hope it works for you!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I will keep you posted!


cygoweb 6 years ago

Very helpful posts! The selections of pictures are cute too!


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas

Apricot,

Really nice hub.

Well, I wear no-line bi-focal eyeglasses -- and I'll admit that I can't afford Ferragamo or Versace clothes, but their frames are at least affordable. And they do make a fashion statement. Unfortunately for me, I am going to have a cataract removed next year -- but, on a positive note, if all goes well with the lens the ophthalmologist implants, I could very well see without glasses! Both near and far vision!

That is really interesting about Aldous Huxley. I had no idea he used the Bates Method. I do know that he was a student of the Alexander Technique (I have been, as well -- in fact I need to write a hub about the technique, because it's incredibly valuable). Wow, the Bates Method, the Alexander Technique. What else did he get into, I wonder?


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Hi Gracenotes! I didn't know Huxley followed the Alexander Technique as well - he certainly did the rounds for his eye problems then! I've been trying the Bates exercises myself this week and so far, I can say it seems to help - especially the 'sun bath' (although there isn't much sun at the mo!). I'll have a read up on the Alexander Technique as well - thanks for that!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Geez, apricot! You really keep on out-doing yourself! Not only did I enjoy reading this hub, I'm going to be employing its sage advice in improving my vision, which is 20/30 as of right now. I actually improved my vision somehow over the course of a year from 20/40. Can I shoot for 20/20? Maybe I can train to become a pilot when that happens :D Nah, I'll stick to writing (it's safer, the last time I checked). I really like your cleverness in your world play, your humor, and your ability to explain in clarity such great instruction. You are very talented as a writer, but you knew that already ;)

Thanks again, buddy!


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas

Well, Apricot,

Alexander isn't done for your eyes. It's a method favored by actors, singers, and other performers. Learning it enables you to move more efficiently, with more poise and less muscle tension, and also improves your breathing. Because you come out with a better back, your health is definitely enhanced by taking lessons. I wouldn't trade anything for the permanent improvements to my lumbar area. Unless you're an extraordinary person, though, you're going to need to locate a teacher. That is not always easy.

Really funny about the sunbath -- yes, considering the time of year here in Texas, it's not the best.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Ooh! Thanks Dohn!!! I didn't know (although I secretly hoped I might be!) - it's always nice when someone tells you (especially when it's a writer of your caliber) Ok, I'll stop gushing now! I hope you try the Bates method 'cos I think it might work although I admit I've only been trying it since I wrote this article - it's helping though and the eye sunbathing is great!

Hi Gracenotes! Ah! So that's what the Alexander technique is! Actually I could do with trying that as well - that's another ailment from sitting in front of the computer. I wonder if I can find a teacher around here....there must be a bit of sun in Texas? Even when it peeps through the clouds will be enough - I had to miss my sunbathe today but I'm not giving up - sooner or later the sun's got to show itself. I'm hoping it's not going to go into hiding all winter!


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas

You could try searching on Google for sites that list AT teachers. You might get lucky and find some in Italy. I can't remember the association's names in Europe, but I believe that at least the UK has an Alexander Technique association that would point you to European teachers.

Yes, we've got the sun here right now, but the UV index is probably zilch. During warm months, of course, it's ideal for sunbathing here in Texas.


LRobbins profile image

LRobbins 6 years ago from Germany

Very informative well written, well researched hub! I've been wearing glasses since I was 7 so will have to try these exercises. Thanks!


BeckyC profile image

BeckyC 6 years ago

Interesting hub. I had never heard of the Bates method before. Without my glasses I wouldn't be able to see what I'm typing, and I've worn glasses since I was 5. I'm currently housebound, so I might have to give the method a try while I'm not doing much else.

Your article brings a couple of questions to mind...what about Lasik and the other types of eye surgery out there? I just wonder how they fit in--are they even more of a permanent crutch than glasses? As for the sunbathing--there isn't much sun here in Wisconsin during the winter. I know full spectrum lights are used for things like SAD and vitamin D deficiency. I wonder if they would be helpful for our eyes as well? And the diet thing...I'm already eating pretty much organic, but I'm also gluten free and lactose intolerant. I wonder what would be best to replace the wheat germ and milk with. I don't necessarily expect answers to all of these from you, I'm just mentioning some of the questions that came to mind and that might be interesting to research more in the future.

Again, a very interesting and well written hub, with an impressive amount of research behind it.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Thanks BeckyC - you made some interesting points and I'm glad you did because I've found out a bit more from your questions.

As regards Lasik - I had wondered about that myself (obviously there's no mention in my little eye bible because it was written in the 70's). To be honest, being someone who is inclined towards natural treatments I do have an inherent mistrust of it but saying that, I know a few people who have had it done and as far as I know they've been all right (I've heard eyesight can revert back to how it was though). I found this on laser treatment and its risks http://www.eyes-and-vision.com/the-truth-about-las... but I imagine there's plenty more. I suppose the question would be, why pay a lot of money to have your eyes fixed if (according to Bates) you can do it yourself?

Ah yes, and the sun! It's being very awkward at the mo and refusing to come out here as well but I'm convinced that, if it is being beligerent, a bit of simple daylight is better than staying indoors - even if it's just leaning out your window. It's amazing what I've found about the sun these last few days - that dark old horse is full of benefits - I know it'll be weaker in the winter but that might work in our favour as we can get used to it gradually before it gets stronger. As for the full spectrum lights - again, maybe I'm a bit of a puritan, but I'd be a bit wary - I'm not sure though but this article is worth a read and mentions light intake http://www.heall.com/healingnews/nov/full_spectrum...

As for the diet - well I'd say you're all right with what you're eating already - my book emphasises having a healthy diet and eating plenty of 'vital' food (fresh fruit, veg, salad, beetroot etc). I would substitute the milk for soya though or rice milk and the wheatgerm is suggested for its protein so you could substitute it with any protein food, maybe lentils, chickpeas,eggs, or any others.

I'd definitely give the exercises a try - I'm trying them daily now and they're actually not that time consuming. I haven't read the Aldous Huxley book yet but that would give a good insight into the Bates method too - actually now I think about it Huxley was British so he would have had the same problem with lack of sun! Perhaps he explains how he got by!

Thanks for reading BeckyC!


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Hi Gracenotes! As I was saying before - I think just good old daylight is better than nothing regards 'eye bathing' I reckon now's a good time to start (with whatever rays the sun decides to send us) so by the time summer comes we'll be ready. I mentioned this article to BeckyC http://www.heall.com/healingnews/nov/full_spectrum... - again I see Vitamin C mentioned (and Vitamin E this time) and this one mentions a link between bad diet,the sun and cataracts and says 'those who consume a more sensible diet and supplement vitamins C and E do not get cataracts even from lengthy sun exposure.'

It's quite an interesting article, I have to say!

Cheerio!


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Hello LRobbins! Thanks for reading! I'll be doing the exercises too so I'll keep you posted how I get on!


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Hello LRobbins! Thanks for reading! I'll be doing the exercises too so I'll keep you posted how I get on!


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA

Wow - amazing hub - really interesting stuff - going to try this out myself.....good job, well researched!


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Thanks SimeyC! Hope you get on well with the exercises - the only one is the sun - it's refusing to cooperate at the moment!!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

I'm excited to try your suggestions. I have been wearing glasses/contacts since 5th grade and would love to have better eyes. This hub writing hasn't helped much either. My eyes get tired easily. Aloha!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

This is well worth a try. I have bookmarked it to read at my leisure.


jazmin  6 years ago

i as a person who wears glasses i have to say i will try this and recoment it to my aunt who is to the point of not being able to see and also wears glasses and when you metioned Aldous Huxley and his story i imidiatly thought of my aunt. I every time i was about to start skiming i came across a do not skim part ha ha


Maraiya Storm profile image

Maraiya Storm 6 years ago from Prescott, Arizona

Very well-written, detailed hub. You have a nice writing style and a good sense of humor.

I had heard of the Bates Method back in the '70s; but for some reason, I just didn't think it would work. That is, it sounded too far out to me, probably because I was already immersed in the standard medical theories and research on defective eyesight (brainwashed since I was small). I always secretly wondered if it might really work, though...I wasn't sure, basically.

I have worn glasses since I was a young child (I think I started with glasses at around age 5 or so, or maybe sooner). I really want to improve my eyesight so that I can go without glasses. I don't trust the operations and have heard that some people have had bad repercussions from them, and I don't believe in wearing contact lenses and hate them, basically.

So, I was reading along, with a temptation to skim, off and on, but I really wanted to know this information so I kept reading...and then all of a sudden you mentioned Aldous Huxley, and that really perked me up and got my undivided attention! So, I felt a strong urge to keep reading, in spite of the fact that my eyes were feeling very strained.

I had just recently read something about Aldous Huxley on another Hub and had watched an old interview with him. I had never read, "Brave New World," and I didn't know anything about him except that he had been a popular author. On this video, Aldous was talking about how advertising and public relations have been used to brainwash the masses and get people to think and act in various ways, usually for political reasons. It was fascinating, and I immediately recognized that this man was brilliant, aware and very intuitive.

Anyway, so, if you had not mentioned Aldous Huxley, I might have still felt a bit skeptical about the Bates method; but if someone as insightful as Aldous Huxley benefited from it and recommended it, then I'm pretty likely to try it!

I like the fact that you have condensed what was in a book down to the basics. This makes it a lot easier for all of us to get to know the method and start using it right away without having to read a book first! Thanks for sharing this! Hopefully, we'll all be able to throw away our glasses and have 20/20 vision!


healthgoji profile image

healthgoji 6 years ago

This is some great good honest information on improving vision.


pennyhowington profile image

pennyhowington 6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Thank you for the info!


namelessrider 6 years ago

I wouldn't want to lose my perfect eyesight, so this article is definitely useful and I could do with those tips. Thanks for sharing it with all of us, including myself.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois

Very interesting, I do believe I am going to try some of those exercises as I get tired reading all these hubs. LOL Thanks for the interesting info. Pretty amazing that our diets show in our eyes. We learn something new everyday.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Hi Elayne001! I'm glad you're going to give it a try - I'm sure it'll work with some perseverence.

Hello Ethel Smith! Thanks for commenting!

Jazmin - yep, no skimming! I admit, I skim read all the time - it's probably best to read a small portion that interests you but read it carefully and focus on each word. It does take a while to change our habits though!

Maraiya Storm - I've been hearing so much about Huxley this week! It's funny but I'd never considered his works before and now I keep hearing about 'Brave New World' and I'm tempted to read it (although from what I hear it's scarily like things are in society today). I'm glad you enjoyed the hub - I hope you'll be able to throw away your glasses!


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Thanks healthgoji! I've been testing the exercises myself and I can say that they're working so far (it's only been a week though!) Thanks for your comments!

Hi pennyhowington! Thanks for dropping by!

nameless rider - my situation's similar to yours - prevention - I don't want my eyesight to detiorate either, especially reading stuff on the computer all the time! Thanks for the comments!

Hi fishtiger58 - glad you liked it! It is amazing that our diets are written in our eyes - for me, it explains a few 'ugly' days when I have to hide under my hat!


bekaze profile image

bekaze 6 years ago from Germany

i haven't finished reading but the first part i read i really like and which is why I decide now to do eye relaxation. i had been thinking to do research in this topic. you have done a great job. thx fo this.


ClaudiaP profile image

ClaudiaP 6 years ago from California

Great hub! The info is very useful and you have a very pleasant writing style. I'm going to try at least some of these things out and I'm sending this hub to family and friends.


ClaudiaP profile image

ClaudiaP 6 years ago from California

And I love the pictures! :)


lewgard profile image

lewgard 6 years ago from Southern Michigan

This Hub is amazing! I have been wearing glasses since I was about 8 or 9, and I often wondered what I could do to improve my sight without the use of specs. or surgery. My eyes are getting "old" now - I think I need bifocals. Before I take this step, I think I'll do the exercises you mentioned. Who knows...

I can honestly say that sunbathing my eyes feels great. Not only the vitamin benefit, but the overall relaxation.

So many things can be prevented, or at the very least alleviated through proper diet, exercise, etc. For instance, I am changing my eating frequency to rid myself of migraines. It's working, at least when I remember to eat at the proper times.

Again, great hub.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Hello bekaze! Thanks for reading! Hope the eye relaxation works for you - I have to force myself to do it some days and remember to take a break from writing at the computer! It can be hard trying to take up good habits!

Hello ClaudiaP! Thanks for your comments - I hope this can be of use to your family and friends! If it starts taking off the optical industry will start getting worried!

Hello lewgard! I tried the sunbathing too (the sun has started cooperating again) and I agree - it feels like it's doing a lot of good! I'd never have believed it after all the years I'd been told the contrary! The sun is definitely a good ally to have! Yes - I've heard that diet is connected to migraines - I once heard that cheese and chocolate were big culprits in causing them. Thanks for your comments!


aefrancisco profile image

aefrancisco 6 years ago from somewhere down the road

Very informative. Keep it up...

- at 24 I am wearing glasses. These are really useful.

Thanks so much.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

Thank you, there are allot of ideas mentioned here, that could easily be put in the daily routine:) I heard juicing carrots and probably the vegetable combination you mentioned would be good. For me it's all about changing and replacing old habbits with good...and discipline. This is the key one I have to work on! This site is one I'll have to come back to, did up a point for you, you well earned it!


culinarycaveman profile image

culinarycaveman 6 years ago from Dem Woods, Sussex, England

Don't get me started on opticians, no better than dentists of drug dealers. they lure you in, drown you in science and hi tech this and that and you come out with some D&G frames for a ton. Wankers

Try to source food high in lutein, a carotenoid. Eat more nuts, berries and green veg and cut right back on the refined wheats and sugars, eye can see clearly now.

Great info on your hub Apricot (a source of lutein)


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Apricot is a source of lutein? I didn't know that! Thanks for your comments culinarycaveman!


Thomas Catmark profile image

Thomas Catmark 6 years ago

Very interesting article and some nice advices also. I read it with pleasure.


askjanbrass profile image

askjanbrass 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Technically I don't need glasses, but I wear fake ones anyways!

Great post, thanks for sharing.


Bloggify profile image

Bloggify 6 years ago

Excellent info. I've often thought that wearing glasses actually makes the problem worse, and that exercises can keep your eyes strong and fit ! It's nice to see I'm not alone - thanks for the excellent hub.


xunlei profile image

xunlei 6 years ago

I will keep you posted!


xunlei profile image

xunlei 6 years ago

I will keep you posted!


solarpanels4sale profile image

solarpanels4sale 6 years ago

Great article. Somehow I have managed to be the only person in my family who doesn't where glasses and I will use these methods to help keep my eyes good. I have also passed this on to my friends who wear glasses.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

HealthTip, Thomas Catmark, askjanbrass, Bloggify and xunlei and solarpanel4sale - thanks for your comments everyone - it's always nice to hear from people!

Bloggify - I've always felt the same thing too - in fact when I was recommended them for reading last year I resisted. It just doesn't seem right.


culinarycaveman profile image

culinarycaveman 6 years ago from Dem Woods, Sussex, England

Though I should double check Lutein content of apricots for you -

100g of fresh apricots can potentially provides 89mcg of Lutein and Zeaxanthin (10% of the entire beta carotene content) and is a very good source of vitamins A and E. Dried, go for unsulphured, are per 100g far more rich in these nutrients.

If someone therefore followed your excellent hub and ate quite a lot of apricots (for only a couple of weeks) it has to help the majority of sufferers.


4everfitness profile image

4everfitness 6 years ago

Really agree about glasses being like crutches. I confess to using them, but I am working hard at not having to. Feel like its working! Why am I surprised?

http://www.foreverfitness.info


Amez profile image

Amez 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi, a really good and true insight, sense I had a real good reason, to want and improve my sigh, I was on this quest to raise my IQ, because when I was 12 I was tested to see what my IQ was, and they told my parents that I was two point from having a sperior IQ, well my mom said that was the worst thing They could have ever told me, because I spent the rest of my life trying to make those 2 points up. But what I learned with taking 138 hr in collge and research how to strengthen your site, the two that worked for me was an I excerise where you stare at your finger as you slowly move it way from your face and then slowly return, then move to the right and then left continuing the same steps, but be carefull to start slowly and not do it to long at first. The other using emulsifing Fresh carrots and Cranberry together with a small amount of sea weed, why Carrotts have a wax in them that really help in the eyes movements it kinds of strengthen the membranes,the cranberry apparently picks up this wax and allows it to be digested into the blood stream, this also works well with arthritis, because one the sack retures and the joints go dry this wax aids in the lubrication. I appreciate your Hub, hope this tid, bit helps in its expansion.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Apricot

Thanks for an interesting and useful hub.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Thanks for your comments everyone!


imagingdesk 6 years ago

Great & honest information


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Very well researched and interesting hub. My eyes do get tired writing online, so I will bookmark this and keep it at hand. Thank you.


Routa 6 years ago

Indeed very interesting. I have bumped into the same eye exercises when researching traditional Chinese medicine and they are exactly the same so I am going put my hopes on this.

Thank you apricot for this hub. And please do tell about your results, since it's been 4 months already.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Thanks earnest hub! The exercises do work, I can confidently say!

Hi Routa! Yes, you're right! It's high time I gave an update! Well, I can tell you that I've been doing the sunbathing treatment pretty much every day since I wrote this and the exercises rather sporadically but I've been doing them all the same, together with that I've been eating loads of leafy green veg (for the vitamin A) and I can tell you the result is..da dah! I've turned into superwoman! Ok, not quite, but my eyes don't get tired after sitting a long while at the computer anymore, nor have I had headaches for a while. So all in all I can say that I'm with Aldous Huxley! (But he's usually right anyway!)


gracenotes profile image

gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas

Hi Apricot.

I'm glad that you are doing well with your eyes.

I actually had the cataract surgery on my left eye, followed by retinal surgery to peel an epiretinal membrane (also known as macular pucker) from my eye. The second surgery was successful. Before surgery, my best corrected vision in that eye was 20/40 and now it's 20/30. Both of my eyes are about equal in strength now, although the eye that had the surgery still sees some distortion. (Distortion goes with the condition, sorry to say -- but mine isn't terrible).

After 6 months, my retina will be fully healed, but I'm not there yet, so I am making intense efforts to eat healthily for the next few months.

I really do feel that diet has a lot to do with it, and I agree with a lot of the ideas in this article about how to get optimal nutrition. I suspect that reducing inflammation will help me, and by getting rid of white sugar,white flour, high fructose corn syrup, etc., you can reduce the inflammatory response. I know this from experience, anyway!

The hardest part of all is keeping up your healthy diet year after year. Resisting all those goodies at Christmas and other happy family times! Oh, help!

I have been practicing reading without my glasses, which isn't much fun. Now would be the time to practice the recommended eye exercises from this article. It can't hurt. I'll let you know the result -- if I decide to do them on a consistent basis.


apricot profile image

apricot 6 years ago from Italy Author

Good for you! I know what you mean about resisting goodies that are thrown in your path! You just have to keep the benefits in mind though because it'll be worth it in the end. I'm glad you've decided to do the exercises regularly - they'll help enormously and don't forget that vitamin C is important for the prevention of cataracts. Actually if you're finding it difficult to read without glasses I should concentrate on the relaxation exercises first (as relaxation is the most important thing in the end) and gradually bring in the exercises. That's just a thought. Anyway I'm glad to hear your vision has gone up! All the best!


EatLovePray profile image

EatLovePray 6 years ago from Canada

very informative + vote up for you!!


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 5 years ago from Philippines

Glad I found this hub. Three of my children are now wearing eyeglasses because of astigmatism. I still would want that they improve their eyesight to the point that they wouldn't need eyeglasses. Will bookmark and go over this hub again to see how I can implement what you shared on my kids. Thanks very much for sharing this hub.


apricot profile image

apricot 5 years ago from Italy Author

Glad it was useful for you, thanks for reading!


camdjohnston12 profile image

camdjohnston12 5 years ago

Lots of information.


Josh P. 4 years ago

Hello. I would just like to say thank you for all the valuable information provided on your site. Some very helpful tips. Also, I have recently found an article regarding the William Bates method of vision without glasses. You can find the article here:

http://noglasses.sitemoxie.com


Dyah Lewis 4 years ago

The eye exercise explain why after i stop my regular swimming, my eyes gets blur when I read. (I stop swimming as we move to small town with no pool). When I do breast stroke style, I automatically and repeatedly look far and close when inhale and exhale. Its just the same exercise 7 concept.

Very good article! Thanks!


JT 4 years ago

How long will this take?


Akhlaq Ahmad 4 years ago

I have an eyesight problem. but I've stopped wesring specs. Will it worsen my problem?


Reece H 3 years ago

Hi, can I continue to wear glasses when I need to on computer etc, until my eyes are kind of fixed, doing the exercises etc?

Thanks.


JCJohnsong 2 years ago

My cousin was diagnosed in his school years as being nearsighted. He was prescribed glasses like everyone else in the family. But never wore them at school and play because he didn't want to get picked on for being 'four-eyed'. He is the only one in the whole family who doesn't wear contacts or glasses today as an adult.

I have found if I have a week long vacation and force myself to go without glasses for the whole week (except to wear them when driving) I will see MUCH better at the end of the week (these were during summer so I was also getting a lot of time outside in sunlight during the no eyeglass weeks). So wearing glasses is not good long term for your eyes and going without can benefit as it is a form or 'exercise' in and of itself.

A brother of my uncle had eyesight (nearsighted wore glasses) that was not good enough to pass the fireman's test in NYC. Someone referred him to an eye doctor who used eye exercises in Manhattan (he is no longer practicing ... retired and most likely passed away by now this was oh so many years later). He used expensive equipment in his office that exercised the eyes when you watched them ... several machines in his office.

I went to the eye doctor that had taken over his practice and used the machines for a few visits and did see much improvement (I was very nearsighted and also had astigmatism ). But the new doctor who took over his practice did not seem very committed to the exercise system and was just trying to sell me new glasses after a few visits (with lower prescription). He seemed to spend less and less time in the exercise room on the equipment after the first few visits. I was a teen and didn't have much money and wanted my time spent using the eye exercise machines which was what I was paying for. I ended up stopping going because I was shy and didn't like being pushed into buying glasses prematurely. So I ended up stopping going. Mistake I guess ... but I was young and didn't stand up for myself and express myself.

I didn't keep up doing eye exercises at home after I stopped going to the eye doctor in NYC (because I was young and lazy I guess ... the machines were more exciting the home exercises were 'boring' in comparison and you needed to push yourself to remember to do them) ... but I am older and wiser now and want to start up again.

Oh and ... My uncles brother passed the test after about 6 or so months of eye exercises with the original doctor and became a NYC Fireman and never had to wear glasses again his entire life.

@ Reece H

You will improve faster the less often you wear glasses but you will see improvement even if you wear glasses some of the time after starting the exercises. Try to use them as little as possible... just for really important things. If you have old eyeglasses in lower prescriptions try wearing those instead. Wearing weaker prescription eyeglasses will allow you to see better than NO glasses and still 'exercise' your eyes a little by 'forcing' them to work more than if you wear your FULL current prescription. I often do that ... try it and see if it improves over time.

When you are doing a lot of close work on the computer remember to take short breaks to look away from the computer and at something far away (out a window or put an eye chart on a far away wall of your office ... something like that). This helps a lot.


Johne699 2 years ago

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