Seeing Through Holes

Eyes.

Can’t see without them. 90% of what we get from the world we get through our eyesight.

When I was at St Nicholas Home for the Blind recently, I was truly grateful for my vision though I wear contact lenses. It’s like, sure, I don’t have perfect vision but these children are blind. Some of them don’t even know what a rainbow looks like.

Actually right about this time, we’re also involved with a new website development project for a new client from The Adventist Hospital. Coincidentally, this division deals with laser eye correction surgery or what we all know as LASIK.

As we’re also involved in producing copy for the website, I’ve been researching about laser eye surgeries from PRK to LASEK and then to the newest technology called iLASIK. I’ve read so much about the pros and cons of these vision correction surgeries that it’s eye-popping (pardon the pun).

I’ve had friends who have had this corrective eye surgery done and they’ve been raving over the results. Finally they say, they can see without glasses and what a change in lifestyle it has been!

I’ve been so tempted to try this laser surgery myself but I’ve still got so many pairs of disposable contact lenses. I would need to wait till my stock is finished.

But then Nic, who is all about natural healing, tells me to try the Bates Method. Apparently, your eyes can heal themselves. The issue is, they can’t heal if all we ever wear are glasses and contact lenses (which are like crutches for your eyes). Bates is the name of the man who popularised this method of training the eyes to heal by wearing pinhole glasses.

Bates pinhole glasses - not the most fashionable eyewear in town!

So Nic decided last week that he wanted to try the natural way of bringing back his 20/20 vision. He got out and bought the Bates pinhole glasses. They’re not cheap. A pair of this costs RM78. It’s just a pair of dark glasses, much like your plastic sunglasses, but with pinholes scattered on the area where the lens are.

I was a bit of a skeptic but I tried them on anyway (had to remove my contact lenses first). I could actually read the words on some books about 3 feet away!

I have shortsightedness and since 11, have been wearing glasses till I found contact lenses when I was 19. Although my prescription has stabilized at 4.5 diopter and I can use contact lenses now (and I don’t have dry eye problems unlike most lens users), I still want good vision. Vision without spectacles. I’ve done a lot of stuff wearing contacts lenses such as swimming and other outdoor activities but I still wished I didn’t have shortsightedness.

Back to the Bates glasses.

Can it cure my shortsightedness?

The idea is to train your eyes to heal themselves naturally. I’m supposed to wear the glasses while watching TV or reading.

The first time I wore them, it was a bit annoying. My eyes have to get accustomed to the pinholes. I have to focus correctly otherwise I will see overlapping images. Once I get the correct focus, I can actually see well! I can watch TV clearly and read the subtitles without squinting. I can see most objects clearly without problems.

The only thing I didn’t like was reading with the Bates spectacles. As I am shortsighted, I usually don’t read with my normal glasses on. I usually take the glasses off when I look at near objects like books. If I read with the Bates spectacles, it is also irritating. Maybe it works for people who have longsightedness.

I can’t bear to wear them when I work on the PC because it’s just too weird for close objects. For me it works best on objects about 3 feet or more away. Anything nearer and it makes me giddy looking at double images!

Accordingly, it is best to wear and ‘train’ one’s eyes for a few hours a day. This way, our eyes can adjust and correct themselves. I should be seeing an improvement in my eyesight after 2-3 weeks of using them.

Let’s see what happens over the next few weeks or whether I need LASIK surgery after all!