Bates method

alternative eyesight improvement therapy

The Bates method is an ineffective and potentially dangerous alternative therapy aimed at improving eyesight. Eye-care physician William Horatio Bates (1860–1931) attributed nearly all sight problems to habitual "strain" of the eyes, and thus felt that relieving such "strain" would cure the problems. Bates' main physiological proposition—that the eyeball changes shape to maintain focus—has consistently been contradicted by observation. In 1952, optometry professor Elwin Marg wrote of Bates, "Most of his claims and almost all of his theories have been considered false by practically all visual scientists."No type of training has been shown to change the refractive power of the eye. Moreover, certain aspects of the Bates method can put its followers at risk: they might damage their eyes through overexposure to sunlight, not wear their corrective lenses while driving, or neglect conventional eye care, possibly allowing serious conditions to develop.
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