Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Corrective Eye Excercises

Sparked by discussions with Turner, I have finally gone out and investigated. And I am now just as undecided as before, except with more facts.

Basically we have a bunch of anecdotal evidence (real or faked?), academic skepticism, one or two people trying to make money off of the techniques, and a few information sites which oftentimes state in disclaimers that there is no hard evidence to back up either side of the debate.

It all seems to have started with the work of Dr. William Bates around the turn of the 20th century. Bates was a qualified physician [1] who in the course of his work observed day-today variations in the observed refractive errors. Based on these observations, experiments and a healthy dose of mysticism, Bates wrote The Cure of Imperfect Eyesight by Treatment Without Glasses, (online here) published in 1920.

The Vision Improvement Site is a valuable resource offering all you need to know to see more clearly in your quest for perfect eyesight.

The library at the International Society for the Enhancement of Eyesight (I-SEE) is well-stocked although it tends to house only items which support the argument for non-conventional treatment. An open assault from the "Center for Quackery Control, Inc." on the validity of Bates' methods can be found in the article Can Eye Exercises Improve Vision?.

For a summary of the eye excercises and eye-care techniques available, see this page on the "Vision Improvement Site"; also worth checking out is The Computer Health Nut's Guide to Vision Improvement.

I also stumbled across Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) as sold by Paragon CRT. CRT is FDA approved and generally accepted, althought its efficacy is often brought into question. The article Corneal Refractive Therapy: Inside the Trials and Beyond presents the results of trials upon which the author's private practice began offering CRT.

Wanton marketing of eye exercises can be observed on the "Vision for life" site; the nice people there will also take great pleasure in promulgating "newsletters" stuffed with testimonials and other advertorial matter if you choose to subscribe. The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices has an amusing copy of an advert for "The Natural Eye Normalizer".

So, yeah, my jury is still out, but I think this may well be woth investigation, especially if you are myopic. And if you have (or gain in future) experience with this form of therapy, please drop me a line.