Short-Sightedness Can be Prevented

A school teacher had observed over many years that most of her students became more or less short-sighted (myopic) toward the end of the term, so that they could hardly see the blackboard. After she introduced short daily Bates exercises with the test card on the wall, all children maintained their good vision. In the following eight years her classes practiced these exercises for a few minutes each day, and none of her students became short-sighted at any time during the term. But the school board and local opticians objected and claimed that the practice interfered with the school routine, and it was discontinued.

The method was developed by William H. Bates, a New York eye doctor who also taught at several universities. (See website below). He discovered that most people first get visual defects in school. In most schools they are forced under threat of punishment to sit for hours each day, year after year, and memorize material that they find boring or meaningless.

The main aim of the pupils is therefore not so much to gain useful knowledge, but to avoid punishment and to please the teachers and the parents. Under such unnatural conditions children tend to become unhappy, unruly or neurotic, and most of them develop visual defects. Their eyes malfunction because they do not enjoy what they see, they begin to reject and resent the teacher and the school. Usually they become short-sighted in a subconscious attempt to withdraw into their own safe world.

This habit then tends to stay with them for the rest of their life. They have lost the natural eagerness to absorb fascinating useful knowledge and to think creatively. They get into the habit of straining, tensing and staring, and they will pass these habits on to their children. Many will resort to legal or illegal drugs like Prozac, Valium, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine to deaden the inner pain. Others become food- or TV-addicts, or they become workaholics.

Are we condemned to continue this vicious cycle?
Dr. Bates proved in years of experiments that there are better ways of teaching and learning. He showed children relaxed ways of seeing and learning. For this he used a normal test card next to the blackboard in classrooms, and simple exercises that took only a few minutes each day. Thus the children learned to avoid most of the mental strain that is inherent in the modern educational system. In many cases a child could actually see better at the end of the term. Some teachers even discovered to their surprise that their own vision also improved. Find out more at