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Cataract

Better Eyesight ( Vol.7 No.10 )

Issue:  April, 1928
Author:  W.H bates

SOME years ago a professor of anatomy was exhibiting the effect of pressure on the enucleated 4S eyeballs of a dead cow and some other animals.At a distance of about twenty feet from the eye, the audience observed that the pupil was perfectly clear. Immediately after the eyeball was squeezed by the fingers of the professor, the area of the pupil became at once completely opaque, from the production of a cataracti.

Then when the pressure on the eyeball was lessened, the cataract at once disappeared and the eyeball became normal. Again squeezing the eyeball, a cataract was produced as before. And again, the cataract disappeared when the pressure was lessened. The experiment was repeated a number of times with the result that the pressure on the eyeball always produced a cataract, which was relieved by reducing the pressure.

There are two oblique and four straight or recti muscles on the outside of the eyeball.

The superior and inferior oblique pressing on the eyeball at the same time have always been followed by lengthening of the eyeball. The four straight muscles on the outside of the eyeball shorten the globe or eyeball by their contraction. In animals the eyeball has been shortened experimentally by operations on each of the four straight muscles, which increased the pressure temporarily. These operations were performed after death.

Similar operations on the two oblique muscles at the same time produced pressure and increased hardness of the eyeball, with cataract following.

Patients suffering from cataract have increased the hardness of the eyeball, at the same time increasing the density of the cataract. While the cataract is being observed with the aid of the ophthalmoscope, it can be seen to change in size or density when the patient consciously or voluntarily increases or diminishes the hardness of the eyeball with the aid of the memory or the imagination.

When a word, a letter, part of a letter, or other object is remembered perfectly with the eyes closed or open, the cataract can be seen by the observer to become less. But if the memory of letters, colors or other objects is imperfect, the cataract always is seen by the observer to become worse. A great many cases of senile and other forms of cataract have been temporarily improved and this improvement has become more complete and more permanent by the practice of a perfect memory.

A perfect memory usually becomes manifest when the patient practices the optical swingi. However, the cataract always becomes worse when the optical swing or the perfect memory is not practiced. To keep the eyeball hard by practicing an imperfect memory is difficult and requires effort. The practice of an imperfect memory is tiresome and requires constant attention of the patient. In others it can be demonstrated that the formation of cataract in elderly people requires hard work and is exceedingly difficult. These patients are difficult to treat because they cannot control the functions of the mind.

A perfect memory is easy. It is quick, continuous and beneficial. Patients with a perfect memory have consciously or unconsciously a perfect optical swing. They are able to remember, to imagine letters, colors and other objects continuously without any strain or fatigue. These cases are favorable and recover from cataract after they demonstrate that a perfect memory is beneficial.

The study of cataract has occupied the attention of eye doctors for many hundreds of years. It occurs very frequently in India, China, Japan and among people of the highest intelligence, as well as among those whose intelligence is of the lowest order. Some cases appear without apparent cause. It may increase rapidly or slowly and continuously, until the vision is completely lost.

Of all organic diseases of the eye which have received medical attention, measures of relief by operation or by the use of eyedrops have usually, in a large number of cases, been unsatisfactory. Cases have been operated upon in which a temporary cure was obtained. However, in too many of these cases the good vision obtained soon after the operation did not remain good. In some of these cases and without apparent cause, inflammation of the interior parts of the eye developed and was followed by serious loss of vision.

Some cases of cataract are found in the eyes of children soon after birth, sometimes in one eye, less frequently in both. The cataract which occurs in children is softer than in the eyes of adults and is more readily benefited by operation than in the eyes of adults. In some cases of cataract in children, the front part of the lens becomes opaque. Such a cataract is called an anterior polar cataract. Often, after the lens has been punctured, it becomes absorbed and good vision is obtained. In other cases an opacity forms on the back part of the lens which increases until the lens becomes entirely opaque. Here again repeated puncturing of the lens is followed by a total opacity of the lens, and its complete absorption. In a third variety of cataract in children, an opacity of the lens forms in one or more layers of the lens, which is usually absorbed after repeated punctures of the lens are made with a sharp needle. This operation has been called "needling of the lens."

When cataract occurs in adults of forty years or older it is called senile cataract. In adults, the operation of needling the lens is not so successful in being followed by absorption of the lens. In some cases, if not in a large number, better results are obtained by removing the whole lens by one or more operations. There are many diseases of the eyes such as inflammations of the iris and choroid which are believed to produce cataract. The removal of the lens is usually very difficult without injuring the iris, choroid and retina.

In cataract the crystalline lens becomes opaque and being opaque it interferes very seriously with the vision. To obtain good vision, eye doctors were usually able to improve the sight by the removal of the opaque lens. After the lens was removed, the vision was materially improved by the use of strong glasses, which rarely improved the sight to normal.

I have studied the physiology of the eye and I have repeatedly published the fact that it is much better to cure the opacity of the lens so that the patient could have normal vision with a normal eye rather than to relieve the blindness by the removal of the lens. Curing rheumatism of the hand by an operation which removes the hand is not the best treatment. Likewise rheumatism of the big toe is not considered a proper case for amputation. Medical or simple treatment without an operation will usually result in a cure.

I do believe in operations when necessary or where medical treatment fails to correct the trouble. However, removing the lens from the eye does not cure cataract of the lens nor does it prevent cataract from forming in the other eye.

Since cataract or opacity of the lens is caused by tension, relaxation should cure or prevent the trouble. If relaxation fails to cure cataract we should consider this fact an evidence that tension is not the cause of cataract. Relaxation can be obtained with the aid of memory, imagination and sight. If the eye of a child is injured by a blow and a cataract forms early or late in life it has always been demonstrated that the eye with cataract is under a tension.

Treatment which brings about relaxation always cures the cataract after a considerable amount of treatment which may require several months or longer. Among the many methods of treatment, the amount of relaxation necessary to be followed by a cure is a perfect memory, perfect imagination and the benefit obtained by sun treatment. Central fixation has in some cases cured all forms of cataract-senile cataract, soft cataract in children, cataract caused by sugar in the blood and other poisons.

It is found that when patients sit facing the sun with both eyes closed (Sunningi) and move the head a short distance from side to side, they can stand the strong light of the sun for longer periods of time. When the sun is not shining, a strong electric light is a good substitute.