Better Eyesight Without Glasses

Updated on December 14, 2017
Sue Adams profile image

Dancer, choreologist (movement notator), author on fitness and health, and Fellow of the Benesh Institute at the Royal Academy of Dance.

Healthy eyes are more likely to look good than the eyes of someone who wears glasses or is squinting in an effort to see what is going on.
Healthy eyes are more likely to look good than the eyes of someone who wears glasses or is squinting in an effort to see what is going on. | Source

Bates Cured his own 'Stone-Hard Presbyopia'

In his 1920s book, Better Eyesight Without Glasses, Dr. Bates writes about his own eyesight improvement. He had been told by various eye specialists that his lens was "as hard as a stone" and that "no one can do anything for you." Through studying his own case intensively, and finding a way to not strain his eyes when wanting to read, he regained an accommodative range of 14 inches. That is the ability to focus on objects between 4 and 18 inches from the eyes. With repeated practice, Bates was no longer suffering from presbyopic blur.

Dr. Bates went on to formulate a new set of theories about eyesight, and he developed what later became known as "the Bates Method" to help people improve their sight.

According to Dr. Bates, poor eyesight is caused primarily by three things:

  • Stress or mental strain
  • Poor vision habits
  • Wearing glasses

Children's Eyes

Perhaps the innocence , sincerity and curiosity  coming from children's eyes makes eye contact with them one of the most pleasant  experiences in life.
Perhaps the innocence , sincerity and curiosity coming from children's eyes makes eye contact with them one of the most pleasant experiences in life. | Source

Vision Improvement Exercises

For eyes to look good, they must also function well. Visual impairment can be treated with exercises. When you notice the first signs of eye weakness or imbalance (one eye stronger than the other), begin doing some of the following exercises and you will never need to wear glasses. Are you already wearing glasses or contact lenses? Then wear them less frequently and try the exercises. You will soon find that your eyes will need a weaker correction lens. For the severely visually impaired, the exercises given here will be of great benefit. Even if the exercises may not cure the most severe visual handicaps, they will give improvement and help to delay or arrest further deterioration. For people who have no need for glasses, the exercises will ensure that it will stay that way. Let us begin with "palming."

What Is Palming?

Palming is excluding all light from your eyes to help them relax into a neutral, passive state. The idea is to cover your closed eyes with your hands without putting pressure on your eyeballs. Close the fingers and place them on your forehead leaving the palms of your hands over each eye. Make sure no light gets through. Always begin and finish an eye exercise session with Palming.

You should do this for a few seconds or minutes while breathing quietly—you should see pure black. You will know when to stop; a deep inhale should make you feel exhilarated.

How Does the Eye Work?

Source

Balancing the Eyes

Sitting in a relaxed position, put your left hand on your closed left eye and just carry on reading. Notice if there is any difference between reading with one eye, the other eye, or both. Having a weaker eye is, as they say, perfectly normal. Perfectly normal does not mean it is all right. A weak eye is like a visual limp. It means your strong eye is overloaded with work while the weak eye, relying on its stronger brother, becomes lazy.

Having found out if one eye is weaker than the other, continue reading with your weak eye until it becomes tiresome. You may find that it will become easier after it gets worse. Eyes are living organisms that can change and improve with encouraging exercise. Are you still reading with your weak eye? If not, go back a few times. Practice reading with the weak eye for an increasing length of time on a daily basis. Improvement is often instant as you will find out by working through the focusing exercises that follow.

Focusing

There are two dots printed on the next line.

. _________________________________ .

Focus on the dot on the right while being aware that the other dot is there,
but appears blurred.

Now reverse: look at the left dot with the right one unsharpened, out of focus. Repeat, changing your focus from one dot to the other while doing it faster and faster. The quicker the eyes are able to change focus, the sharper they will be. Now, try the same thing with the dots closer together:

.______________________.

and closer still:

. _____ .

This simple focusing exercise can be done anywhere, at any time, with any
two or more focal spots. Experiment with spots on posters in the bus or the underground, or on two moving leaves on a tree. With a little imagination, any background can serve as a focal exercise field. You can play around by changing the distance between your focal spots.

Text Focusing—Reading

Try reading the following sentences printed here in different point sizes.

How to train your eyes to read without reading glasses.
How to train your eyes to read without reading glasses. | Source

Experimenting Is Fun and Rewarding

Experiment with reading the above lines with both eyes together, then with one eye at a time. Find out at which point size, if any, your eyes become weak. Read the difficult line again with the strong eye. Memorize not the content of the sentence, but the shapes of the letters as you are reading with the better eye. Now, try reading the same sentence with the bad eye again. The memory obtained of the image with the strong eye will help the weak eye decipher the blur. You may not believe your own eye, but the weak eye learns to focus as sharply as the strong eye in this way.

When you get to a line that is not readable even with the strong eye, get a magnifying glass and look at the shape of the letters. Put the magnifying glass away and recall the meaning of the words to help you memorize and visualize the shapes of the letters. Now, try reading the line again without the magnifying glass. The shapes of the letters in very small type will emerge. Repeat this until you get results, but only to a level of acceptable tolerance. As soon as you feel your eyes getting tired, cover them with the palm of your hands and relax to complete the exercise. Now, what about exploring the depth of focus your eyes are capable of?

Depth Focus—Zoom

Standing by the window, chose a spot or mark on the window pane and focus upon it. Now, without moving your eyes, find a focal point far away through the glass directly behind that mark. Look for some distant object like a tree or a chimney or something on the horizon far away outside the window but aligned directly behind the spot on the window pane.

As in the previous exercises, the object here is to focus alternately between two chosen spots:

  1. A close-up spot
  2. A distant spot located in the same area of your vision

Like the zoom feature of a camera, tiny eye muscles are now working to make you focus alternatively between a close-up spot and a distant one to check the depth of your vision.

More Exercises

Here Is a Tip

Once you have established which eye is weaker, you can work on that weak eye without spending any extra time. While you are at home alone or with your family, cover up the strong eye with a pad and carry on with your normal, day to day activities. Covering up the strong eye will train the weaker eye to catch up a bit and give the overworked eye a good rest. Of course, when visitors arrive, make sure you take the pad off or they'll wonder what’s wrong with you.

Well? What's the result?

Have you found which eye is weaker?

See results

Treat Your Self

Those who spend many hours at the computer need to find a way to destress the eyes. With all this new information and the practice exercises, you deserve a treat. A good eye, head, and temple massage can help you relax the eyes and the whole body. It gives great relief and helps to meditate all your worries away.

For more information and the full set of Bates eye exercises, you can order the original book Better Eyesight Without Glasses which I have been using for many years to keep my vision in good standing. It is well worth getting the book to learn many more exercises which are fun to practice almost anywhere, anytime.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        iblindness 

        2 years ago

        Thanks for your article on the Bates method! The more info is shared like this the better. The method does work, especially if you get really in depth with it and start to work with all the subtleties of how we use our eyes.

      • profile image

        Jacobb9205 

        3 years ago

        Will do! Thank you again!

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        3 years ago from Andalusia

        Hi Jacob,

        Yes, bookmark this page so you can come back and keep doing the eye exercises until you know them by heart. You will see how well they work after a very short time.

      • profile image

        Jacobb9205 

        3 years ago

        Thank you for these exercises I will try some of them as soon as I can

      • profile image

        debbieanderson12 

        3 years ago

        I think best way to cure eyes is to do some eye exercises.

      • carrie Lee Night profile image

        Carrie Lee Night 

        4 years ago from Northeast United States

        Voted useful and awesome ! :). Thank you for sharing

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        4 years ago from Andalusia

        Hi vibha,

        Close one eye and look at something. How well do you see the object? Now close the other eye and look again. The eye you see less well with, i.e. the picture is less clear, perhaps a little blurred, that is your weaker eye. Not everyone has one eye weaker than the other but most people have.

      • profile image

        vibha 

        4 years ago

        weak eye means exactly what? one focusses a fraction of a second later or which is red or very white or swollen or what?

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        4 years ago from Andalusia

        OK Jasmann, I'll try.

        The glass in a window is see-through/transparent, right? The idea is to alternatively focus on a point actually on the glass, like a dirt spot or something, and then to find an object far-away through the glass at roughly the same place in your visual field. The only difference between the two focal points being their depth, the distance from your eye.

        As to which eye is weak, that depends on every individual. Some people, like yourself perhaps, may not have one eye weaker than the other.

        I hope this helps, thanks for the read,

        Sue

      • profile image

        Jasmann 

        4 years ago

        I did't understand the last exercise the window one could u explain it briefly .thanks

      • profile image

        Jasmann Singh 

        4 years ago

        Hi Sue I liked ur exercise but i am still not. Able to understand that which eye is weak ,left or right is their any ither way?

      • profile image

        Sylvia Jones 

        5 years ago

        Dear Sue

        When i got glasses for myopia, i abandoned them after around a year because i didn't like wearing them. But my power went up from 1.25 to 2.75 in just 8 months. I don't want that to happen again. So can you please give me some more details about how you managed to bring down your power? Can you please also say how long it took you?

      • profile image

        Edward111 

        6 years ago

        Wow! I tried the focusing exercises and found instant improvement just after doing it a few times. This is really amazing. But then if you think about it... You can exercise almost any other part of your body so why not the eyes as well. It just never occurred to me that this was possible. Great stuff Sue, and thanks.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        6 years ago from Andalusia

        Hi Jools,

        Yes, go for it. I do the exercises regularly and it has helped me a lot. I went down from a number 3 reading glasses to 1 1/2. Hopefully soon I won't need them at all .

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        6 years ago from Andalusia

        Hi Jools,

        Yes, go for it. I do the exercises regularly and it has helped me a lot. I went down from a number 3 reading glasses to 1 1/2. Hopefully soon I won't need them at all .

      • Jools99 profile image

        Jools99 

        6 years ago from North-East UK

        What a great hub; I am long sighted so I need glasses for reading and the computer but I would love to not wear them if I could. I am going to try some of these exercises to see if I can manage to retrain my eyes.

        Voted up.

      • htodd profile image

        htodd 

        6 years ago from United States

        Awesome hub..Thanks a lot for the nice exercise

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        6 years ago from Andalusia

        Thanks kerlynb

        Like all of us who have tried the Bates method, you are proof in the pudding that it really works. The trick, however, is to keep doing the exercises as a part of daily routine for ever.

      • kerlynb profile image

        kerlynb 

        6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

        I have a slight problem with my vision. It is still clear but definitely not 20/20 :( I do not wear eyeglasses though. I heard about this Bates method a year ago when my work started becoming really centered on using computers and I must say it has helped. Every 30 minutes or so, I do palming. I also do focusing and once in a while I do try to look at one moving object, like my finger, as it goes from left to right. Doing these things have helped improve my visual focus. Voting your hub up and useful as it is!

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        6 years ago from Andalusia

        Good for you Nana, You'll find it's great fun to experiment in training your body to improve its performance.

        Good luck with your exercises. You may find more of them on YouTube. If not, get the book, it's worth it if you are serious about improving your own eyesight.

      • ThussaysNanaMarie profile image

        ThussaysNanaMarie 

        6 years ago from In my oyster

        Wow! I just read this with amazement. I'd never heard of Dr Bates and I'm fascinated.

        Once again I've been led. I have just had my eyes tested and about to request glasses. I will try the exercise for a while and ask for another test.

        Thanks for sharing this information.

      • Lauryallan profile image

        Lauryallan 

        6 years ago

        Hey Sue this hub is great!

        My family have a history with bad eyesight. Both of my brothers have one significantly weaker eye and had eye patches growing up, which was to do these type of exercises. One wore the patch while the other took tantrums and refused. The one that refused never improved while the one that wore it has great vision in both eyes.

        I always thought I had missed the bad eyesight gene but it turns out it got me too. I found out when I went to uni that one of my eyes is long sighted while the other is shortsighted. The Optician thinks this has happened because my right eye is weaker and my left has been compensating for it.

        Kinda a pain when your eyes keep flickering between what's right in front of them and what's 20 feet away. Glasses don't help because my eyes just try to focus round the lenses. I think I will try your exercises and see if I can give my left eye a break, beef up my right eye and hope the focusing issues improve.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        6 years ago from Andalusia

        Good for you Charmaine, I glad you are going to improve your eyesight without cumbersome glasses. You'll soon feel great improvement.

      • profile image

        Charmaine 

        6 years ago

        Wow,

        This is so interesting. I am going to try the focusing exercises straight away and let you know how I got on.

        Thanks for very useful hub.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Yes, kk after a few weeks my weak eye caught up with my strong eye. But I still keep doing the exercises on an irregular basis when I notice that my eyes weaken again.

      • profile image

        kk 

        7 years ago

        Hi,what was the result of your eye patch exercises ?

        Did your eyesight improve ?

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Hi Richard, thanks for dropping by

      • RichardCMckeown profile image

        RichardCMckeown 

        7 years ago

        Lots of information.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Hello MizzLizz,

        Your case proves once again that listening to dogma is a waste of time. You are right in listening to your own body signals. If you want to make good progress I suggest you get Bates's book for the full set of exercises. Good luck with it and don't give up.

      • profile image

        MizzLizz 

        7 years ago

        I remember in middle school, the school nurse insisted I wear glasses even when I tried to explain that I heard on the radio that corrective lenses make eyesight worse. I have been wearing glasses on and off since I was 14 and my eyesight really hasn't gotten any better. In fact, it's gotten worse :( I use to get really bad headaches and my eyes would be really sore, that was after I got my first pair of glasses. Even my dad insisted that my eyes were hurting because I WASN'T wearing my glasses. I will definitely do these exercises. I'm getting sick of overworking my eyes with glasses. Thank you for making these exercises available for anyone to use :)

      • Sun-Girl profile image

        Sun-Girl 

        7 years ago from Nigeria

        NICELY WRITTEN AND WELL PACKAGED HUB WHICH I REALLY ENJOYED READING FROM.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Well Vauban, get on with it then. From what I can see at the moment your blog hasn't been born yet. Why don't you use the domain name to create a WordPress.com blog. Free and easy. Or if you want to make it commercial, so it can carry google AdSense adverts, go to WordPress.org

        Good luck,

        Sue

      • Vauban profile image

        Vauban 

        7 years ago from Dublin

        Good hub, Sue, you've set a high standard for me to aim at on my blog at www.improvingeyesightexercises.com

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        You are welcome Temirah. Have fun doing the Bates exercises. You can do them almost anywhere, anytime.

      • profile image

        Temirah 

        7 years ago

        This is fascinating and I'm definitely going to try these. My site is getting gradually worse as I get older which just reminds me that I'm getting older (I don't need that - I'm only 42!) so anything that helps is fine with me! Thank you!

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Well Suejanet, I'm so glad to have introduced you to some useful information which you might want to pass on to your friends and family.

      • suejanet profile image

        suejanet 

        7 years ago

        I have never heard of this before and find it very interesting.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Hi puddingicecream thanks for dropping by. Good idea, relax and exercises your eyes to prevent future problems.

      • puddingicecream profile image

        puddingicecream 

        7 years ago from United States

        very helpful! i'm going to try out some of these and hopefully relax my eyes more

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        You are welcome Gigi. I am sure that if you persevere with the exercises on an ongoing basis, and maybe buy Bates' book for more, your eyesight will improve. Mine did. You just gave to make it a part of your daily habits.

      • profile image

        Gigi Thibodeau 

        7 years ago

        Wow, what a helpful hub! I have had severe eyesight problems all my life and have been wearing glasses or contacts since I was six years old. I will try these exercises. It would be wonderful to keep my eyesight from getting any worse than it already is! Thanks for the great information.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        You are welcome Logic.

      • profile image

        logic,commonsense 

        7 years ago

        Thanks for sharing! Valuable information!

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Hey I just discovered something:

        When I work at the computer my right eye is weaker. But when I read small print (at closer range) my left eye is weaker. The computer screen is at about 50cm while the book only 25cm away from my eyes. So that means I would need two different pairs of glasses for the above actions. How cumbersome and expensive!

        I prefer to try and train my eyes by closing / patching the right eye while computing and the left while reading small print.

        Interesting isn't it? I will keep you posted on improvement.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        He sure was onto something very important Enlydia.

      • Enlydia Listener profile image

        Enlydia Listener 

        7 years ago from trailer in the country

        great article...I have heard of Bates and think he was on to something.

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Bonjour Princesse. A doctor once put my the 4 year old daughter through a routine hearing test with a sofisticated machine and said that she was hard of hearing. I knew this to be incorrect as we had never noticed any signs of it ourselves. So I ignored what the doctor said and my daughter is fine. She has never had any problems with her hearing. Just goes to show, sometimes doctors just like to try out new gadgets it seems. Sometimes I think that doctors have some ulterior motives for bringing bad news. After all, bad news from a doctor boosts the medical industry.

        It would be wonderful if you could save your son from having to wear glasses. Give him adequate lighting when he practices the exercises. It's amazing how much good light plays a role in good vision.

      • Princessa profile image

        Wendy Iturrizaga 

        7 years ago from France

        I tried some of the exercises while reading, very interesting. I will use them for my little boy too as he has been prescribed glasses a few weeks ago.

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        ssaul 

        7 years ago

        hey thanks for this, its just fantastic!

      • Sue Adams profile imageAUTHOR

        Juliette Kando FI Chor 

        7 years ago from Andalusia

        Thanks for dropping by Cagsil and Happyboomernurse. Good idea to bookmark this Hub so you can do the exercises when you need to. And good luck with them.

      • Happyboomernurse profile image

        Gail Sobotkin 

        7 years ago from South Carolina

        Great hub. I'm bookmarking it as I need to do some of these exercises. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. It's something that the medical community does not give out and it wasn't taught in nursing school.

      • Cagsil profile image

        Cagsil 

        7 years ago from USA or America

        Hey Sue, that was fantastic. Really cool hub. :) I do not have an issue, at least that is what the doctor who last saw me said- my vision was 20/15. He said it wasn't a problem. I don't wear glasses. I once was told that I needed glasses by a doctor. However, it turns out it wasn't really the case. Thumbs up! :) I've bookmarked it so I can share it. Thank you. :)

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