It’s only when your vision deteriorates that you realize how important your eyesight is to you.
People spend lots of money consulting ophthalmologists and purchasing prescription glasses with the hopes to improve eyesight and completely correct their visual problems. But as time goes by, their eyesight only worsens and they find themselves buying higher grades of lenses to match their worsening visual sense.
You may sometimes wonder whether there are other less expensive and more effective ways to improve your eyesight. But before this question is answered, let's first take a look at how the eye works according to renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. William Bates.
Bates’ Concept Of Accommodation
The concept of accommodation is a key factor in eyesight. Accommodation refers to the ability of the eyes to focus on different objects at different distances. This is accomplished through the action of the ciliary muscles within the eyes, which are responsible for adjusting the eyes’ lenses.
However, Dr. Bates had a different explanation regarding the concept of accommodation. He adhered to an explanation that was not considered to be popular at that time. He proposed that there are muscles that surround the eyeballs that help control its focus. He goes so far as saying that these muscles also affect the shape of the eyeballs, elongating them when focusing on near objects, and shortening them when focusing on objects at a distance.
Despite all the excellent results he achieved with his patients, Dr Bates’ methods were rejected by mainstream ophthalmology at the time and for many decades thereafter. This is partly because the scientific studies at that time did not support his theory of accommodation. It is only recently – with the use of new, more sophisticated technology – that we have begun to realize the important role that the shape of the eyeball plays in the process of accommodation.
New research indicates that the cornea on the front surface of the eye (invisible, as it is a clear lens) also changes shape during accommodation. This results in part, from a change in shape of the eyeball.
The latest studies have shown that your eyeballs do indeed change shape during accommodation. This change of shape results in a change of intraocular pressure (the fluid pressure inside your eyeball), which changes the position of the jelly lens inside your eye and also changes the shape of the cornea, which lies on the front surface of your eyeball1.
So the bottom line here is… Bates was right all along! No wonder his methods worked on so many people!
What Causes Poor Eyesight?
The most common causes attributed to poor eyesight nowadays are bad visual habits and old age. However, Dr. Bates argues that most visual problems are caused by the tension of muscles around the eyeball. Because of this, the eyeballs develop problems in changing their shapes, hence also having problems with nearsightedness and farsightedness. This muscular tension problem is called the “mental strain” by Dr. Bates.
Dr. Bates also pointed out other factors that could affect eyesight. One of these is poor blood circulation in the eyes, which can lead to a number of eye diseases and disorders, such as double vision, glaucoma, and cataracts.
An interesting point in Dr. Bates teachings is that he believed that visual problems are very much influenced by the mindset of a person. He also does not advocate the use of reading glasses and contact lenses, as he views these objects as impediments to achieving better eyesight rather than helpful visual aids. Hence, he advises people who wear glasses to either get rid of them or to wear lenses that have lower grades than what they really need.
Personally I would like to add however, that you should wear full-strength glasses or contact lenses as prescribed by your eye doctor, whenever engaging in an activity that requires clear vision for health and safety reasons – driving being a prime example.
Only remove your glasses when it is safe to do so. Although there are no long-term benefits of wearing glasses, they do in the short-term, help you to see clearly and it may not be wise to throw them away just yet. As your eyesight improves through use of the Bates’ method, then you will be able to wear lower grade glasses or even throw away your glasses all together as many have done.
Eye Exercises To Improve Eyesight
Normal eyesight is considered to be 20/20, but fighter pilots have long been known to do eye exercises to improve vision beyond 20/20. If fighter pilots can do it, then so can you – we are all human after all.
There are several exercises that have been developed in order to naturally improve eyesight. What Dr. Bates wanted was to avoid undue stress and strain on the eyes, so he devised a method in which eye strain is removed through relaxation and a series eye strengthening exercises.
One example is the dot exercise, which enhances your ability to focus. In this exercise, you will need to focus on a tiny object on the page, like a comma or a dot. The trick here is not to stare or strain, because even though this will let your eyes focus on the dot, it will become blurry after a few seconds. Instead, when you focus on the dot, make sure that you also let your eyes move around the page and around the dot. Focus not just on the dot itself but also on its surroundings. Remember to blink every now and then. You will realize that your eyes feel more relaxed afterwards compared to simply staring at the dot for more than a few seconds.
Another exercise that you can use to improve your vision is the word exercise, which basically works just like the dot exercise. However, instead of looking at a dot, you have to select a word composed of five or more letters. As in focusing on the dot, you also have to move your eyes when trying to focus on the word, moving your eyes slowly from one letter to another. These exercises will not only help you to improve eyesight; they will also help you relax.
You always have to remember that squinting, staring, and straining can only cause unnecessary stress for your eyes, so if you have these habits, it is time to break them. A lot of people have this misconception that you will be able to see clearly if you squint, but although this may be true initially, the repercussions of this habit can manifest in visual deterioration in the long run.
To learn more about how to improve eyesight naturally without glasses, contacts, or surgery, I highly recommend you check out How To Improve Eyesight Naturally.