Contact |  Links | Privacy | Log In

A Case Of Cateract

Better Eyesight ( Vol.7 No.10 )

Issue:  April, 1928
Author:  Emily Lierman

HERE was a time when I thought that all cases of cataracti could be treated and benefited by one and the same method. I know now that this cannot be done for many reasons. Age has nothing to do with treatment for the cure of cataract, because I have had patients over eighty years of age who responded much quicker and became well much sooner than younger patients who were troubled the- same way.

I was treating a woman with cataract who was seventy-seven years old, at the same time that I was treating another woman, age sixty-two. Both women had the same amount of vision with the test card, and neither one could read newspaper or book type. Yet, the elder of the two was benefited and the cataract of both eves had entirely disappeared, while I was still working hard with the younger patient who was becoming irritable, rebellious and most discouraged, because of the increased length of time required to benefit her.

Neither of us was at fault as far as my good judgment goes, because she was faithful in what I directed her to do when I was not with her. While I was treating her, I had to remember constantly that there was a man named job who was severely tried, according to the Old Testament of the Bible. However, my dear patient did not know of my endurance because I kept smiling always. She was very nervous and had cause to be. Money was no object to her but a great disappointment had come into her life. So great was it in fact, that all who knew her thought she was losing her mind. For this reason, my heart went out to this patient who suffered mentally because of her wayward son.

During the hour, or I should say two hours of her treatment, because I could never accomplish anything much in less time, she would mention the name of her boy who, although he was of age and married, was still her little boy. Her room, which was cheerful and sunny, had pictures of him all over the walls. Some of them were baby pictures and there were others taken at the ages of sixteen and twenty-one and when he graduated from college. I noticed particularly that when she looked at his baby pictures her face would show signs of tenderness and relaxation. But when she looked at the pictures of his later years she would close her eyes and her face would become wrinkled with age and tension.

For days after I had noticed this, I studied her case and planned a different way of treating her. All my spare moments were spent in thinking out the best way to relieve her strain which prevented a permanent benefit.

Weeks grew into months before I finally conquered the wrong, or really helped her to overcome her disappointment and nervousness. In seven months' time with treatment several times every week, never less than three treatments each week, she finally became able to read every test card, even to the ten line letters, at fifteen feet.

She had been a great reader, and could read a whole book in less than two hours when she was much younger. Therefore it was a terrible disappointment to her when her sight failed and she had to forego that pleasure. Occasionally, a neighbor or a friend would visit her and read her favorite books aloud to her. Now at the end of seven months' treatment of her eyes she was convinced that I had told her the truth; that she would become able to read again without the aid of glasses.

Neighbors and friends were invited to call so that they could see with their own eyes what she was able to do. These friends knew how she had doubted me. They doubted me too, except one who was at one time a patient of Dr. Batesi. This friend had not called because she was too far away, but she had written to my patient. What she wrote gave my patient enough faith and confidence in me to start the treatment, although she doubted me. She told me so in plain English. She was not the only patient who doubted me at the beginning of the treatment and who later on believed in me completely.

When the vision of this patient became normal for distant sight she soon was able to read the finest print readily without glasses. I had not tested her ability to read fine print because I feared the bad effect of disappointment if she failed to read it. My experience with other and similar patients encouraged me to believe that if I could improve her distant vision to the normal that she would soon become able to read the fine print, "diamond type," without the aid of glasses.

I felt that it was useless for me to test her ability to read fine print from our usual test cards, so I asked her if she had some book in her possession containing small it. print, and she answered me by pointing to a large dictionary fastened to a stand in a sunny corner of her room.

Before I asked her to go near the dictionary, I said: "I have had patients with your trouble who became able to read the small print of the dictionary by placing a small card with tnuch finer print in the neighborhood of the small letters of the dictionary." As I watched her closely while saying this and noticed her frown, I said quickly, "Of course, I do not expect you to do this just now."

This remark worked something like a magnet, for she at once hurried to the dictionary and with the aid of the small card which she received from me and which contained fine print or diamond type, she read occasional words of the dictionary, much to her delight.

There were times during the months which followed, when she had relapses which caused depression, but after she had removed some of the pictures of her son from the walls of her room, the conversation while I was with her was more about herself and the improvement in her eyes. In the beginning, her distant vision with the test card was 10/30 with the right eye and 10/50 with the left. At the end of her treatment her sight was better in each eye than the average normal eye.

During the last treatment, I spent the day with her, and she read for me a large part of a book in which the print was very small. She announced with a great deal of pleasure that for years she had been unable to read this book, with or without her glasses. The cataract in both eyes was very materially improved. Only the lower inner part of the pupil had a trace of the cataract in each eye.

The principal part of the treatment given this woman was the sun treatment. While I was with her, I applied the sun glass. When I was not with her she was able to use the sun glass with benefit or just the same as I used Because she was of a nervous temperament, I always focused the sunlight on the outside of her closed eyelids.