These are questions asked over a period of forty years about the cause of myopia (nearsightedness) in children and young people, and why glasses are a poor and unscientific remedy for them, with answers according to the author's own theory and method for eyes.
They may come as a shock to those who believed otherwise; it also came as a shock to the author when he discovered it. Nevertheless it is the truth, whether we like it or not.
Q. WHAT IS MEANT BY MYOPIA EXPLOSION?
A. It means that there are more cases of myopia than ever before. Up to twenty-five years ago only a few in every thousand children and young people were myopic. Today it is over ten in one hundred, and getting worse every year. It will go to fifty or more per hundred, if something is not done about it.
Q. ARE CHILDREN BORN WITH MYOPIA?
A. No. Their myopia is acquired sooner or later. No one can be born myopic. But for the sake of argument, just suppose one was born with one diopter of myopia. Later on he has two, three, five ten, and up to twenty-five diopters of myopia. Where did he get the increased myopia? He was supposedly born with only one diopter. Even if one was born with myopia, glasses are not the scientific remedy.
Q. ARE NOT MYOPIC EYEBALLS TOO LONG?
A. No; neither are hyperopic (farsighted) eyeballs too short. Eyeballs could not be as long or as short as they would have to be, in more or less high diopter myopic or hyperopic eyes. Even if they were, glasses are not the scientific remedy.
Q. IS MYOPIA HEREDITARY?
A. No. Only hyperopia might be hereditary. It would make no difference if a parent, grandparent, or uncle, or aunt were or were not myopic. Each and every one who is myopic had to acquire it himself. Even if myopia were hereditary, glasses are not the scientific remedy.
Q. WHAT IS MYOPIA?
A. Myopia is a locked over-convexity of the refractive media of the eye. Hyperopia is an undeveloped refractive media of the eye. All myopic eyes were once normal or hyperopic.
Q. HOW IS MYOPIA ACQUIRED?
A. Most cases of myopia can be traced to misuse and abuse of the eyes as heretofore described in detail. Some cases can be traced to watching television at too close a range.
Q. COULD THERE BE OTHER CAUSES OF MYOPIA IN SOME CASES?
A. Yes. Myopia can also be acquired from getting unnecessary myopic glasses for reasons other than real refractive eye trouble. This is called malingering, fooling parents and obtaining glasses that are not needed. Normal and some hyperopic eyes can see better with myopic glasses, but they should not be allowed to. As soon as the unnecessary myopic glasses are worn long enough, the eyes will no longer be normal, or hyperopic, as they were before. They will be myopic from then on, and will go into progressive myopia. This would not have happened if they had not put on the unnecessary myopic glasses in the first place. It is surprising how many malingering cases there are. Myopia can also be acquired from wearing sunglasses.
Q. WHAT DOES THE WORD "BOOKWORM" COVER?
A. The word "bookworm" covers the reading of too many books, newspapers, magazines, prayer books in church, comics; writing, drawing, sketching, coloring, keeping stamps and coins, picking at fingers, manicuring the nails, boys making model airplanes and boats, girls cutting out paper dolls, crocheting, knitting, sewing, etc., all incorrectly.
Q. WHAT IF THEY COMPLAIN OF PAINS, STRAINS, OR HEADACHES?
A. Most of them are caused by the same bad eye habits, in any and all close work, as previously described. Often they are the forerunner of myopia to follow, if they keep up the bad eye habits. There are also other causes, such as exposure to fumes of fresh paint, varnish, gas or systemic upsets, for which glasses are certainly not the remedy. Those who wear glasses for them soon have them with the glasses.
Q. IF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE DID NOT MISUSE AND ABUSE THEIR EYES, OR FEIGN EYE TROUBLE, AS DESCRIBED, WOULD THERE BE FEWER CASES OF MYOPIA, OR COMPLAINTS OF PAINS, STRAINS, OR HEADACHES, AND THEREFORE NO GLASSES WORN BY THEM?
A. That is true, and their eyes would tend toward normal.
Q. WHY ARE GLASSES UNSCIENTIFIC FOR THEM?
A. Glasses are unscientific for them because the glasses create more of the same problem for which they were prescribed and worn. There is no end to the progression of myopia with myopic glasses. It will continue up to and even past the age of forty.
Q. HOW DO MYOPIC GLASSES CREATE MORE OF THE SAME PROBLEM FOR WHICH THEY WERE PRESCRIBED AND WORN?
A. This and the answer to the next question alone should be enough to turn anyone against myopic glasses. All myopic glasses are fitted at one distance, usually twenty feet. The glasses are wrong at every other distance. It would be better to wear no glasses at all than to wear wrong glasses. No lens can be made to fit the eyes at all other distances. No one looks through his glasses at exactly twenty feet all the time. All eyes look at many distances, from near to far, in all directions. Myopic glasses are habit-forming at twenty feet and beyond. Few use their eyes beyond twenty feet as much as they do inside of twenty feet. At every foot inside of twenty feet the glasses are many times worse. At TEN feet the glasses are TWICE wrong; at FIVE feet the glasses are FOUR times wrong; at ONE foot, where all close work is done, the glasses are TWENTY times wrong. This is arrived at by dividing the footage, or distance eyes look at, into twenty feet, where the glasses are fitted. The same reasoning goes for contact lenses, which are worse than glasses. Better read this and the next answer again and again. No one can deny these facts in order to justify the wearing of myopic glasses.
Q. CANNOT EYES COMPENSATE, THROUGH MYOPIC GLASSES MADE FOR TWENTY FEET, TO SEE AT ALL OTHER DISTANCES?
A. Yes. Eyes can compensate, as per the question, as long as they are young enough to do it. But, I must warn you that eyes cannot compensate, as per the question, WITHOUT BEING HURT. It is the compensating, through myopic glasses fitted for twenty feet, that brings on progressive myopia, locking the refractive media of the eyes into more and more over-convexity.
Q. ARE NOT BIFOCALS PRESCRIBED IN SOME MYOPIC CASES, IN AN ATTEMPT TO OFFSET COMPENSATING FOR CLOSE WORK?
A. Yes, but bifocals are a feeble attempt. However, prescribing bifocals does prove that it is bad for eyes to compensate for nearsightedness through myopic glasses fitted for twenty feet. But glasses, particularly of the myopic variety, are bad at ALL distances inside of twenty feet. That is why ALL myopic cases grow progressively worse, even with bifocals.
Q. THEN EYES CANNOT GET BETTER, AND MUST GO WORSE, WITH MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. Yes, in ALL cases. They ALL grow worse every year thereafter. If one does not seem to have gone worse, the glasses were over-fitted the time before.
Q. THEN THERE ARE NO CASES THAT MIGHT BE EXCEPTIONS?
A. That is true. There are no exceptions.
Q. THEN NO CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON SHOULD WEAR MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. That is true. Wearing myopic glasses prevents improvement. The very nature of the glasses is to artificially and temporarily make see or relieve, never to improve or cure. Nature never intended people to wear myopic glasses. Nature intended other means to help improve or cure myopia.
Q. CAN PEOPLE IMPROVE OR CURE THEMSELVES WITHOUT MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. Yes, providing they are disciplined in the use of their eyes and never wear myopic glasses.
Q. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR MYOPIC EYES TO IMPROVE OR CURE WITHOUT MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. It takes a year or longer, depending on the case. But improvement will begin at once, the minute one stops all harmful eye habits. As for a quick cure in bad cases, there is no such possibility. Myopia is very much like diabetes. Once a diabetic, one always has a tendency toward it unless he lives right. Once stricken with myopia, one always has a tendency toward it thereafter unless he lives right. This applies even to the mildest cases. Age and time help to improve myopia, but only if they ease up in their bad eye habits, and never wear myopic glasses. Rather than to stress what can or cannot be done for cases already stricken with myopia, it is more important to prevent new cases from acquiring myopia. Then we would not have such severe advanced cases. Otherwise, the mild cases of yesterday and today will become the severe progressive cases of tomorrow.
Q. HOW SHOULD PEOPLE BE DISCIPLINED IN THE USE OF THEIR EYES?
A. They should be made to stop all unnecessary close work. What close work they think they have to do should be done under good incandescent light, looking up and away often. They should blink and squeeze their eyes with their eyelids often.
Q. ARE THERE ANY OTHER THINGS THEY SHOULD NOT DO?
A. Yes. They should never wear sunglasses, or look through binoculars, telescopes, opera glasses, or field glasses, or try on any glasses.
Q. WHY ARE SUNGLASSES OR TINTED LENSES BAD?
A. They are bad because they dilate the pupils of the eyes, when eyes need sunshine and light to contract the pupils. The smaller the pupils the better eyes see and the safer the future. Dilated pupils are one of the first signs of myopia to follow.
Q. WHY ARE BINOCULARS, TELESCOPES, OPERA GLASSES, AND FIELD GLASSES SO BAD?
A. They are bad because the optical power of the lenses in them are worse than glasses, particularly to myopic eyes.
Q. THEN DILATION OF THE PUPILS, FOR AN EYE EXAMINATION, IS ALSO BAD?
A. Yes, it is bad and totally unnecessary. It takes skill and a knowledge of eyes and optics to examine eyes without dilation.
Q. CAN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE GET ALONG WITHOUT MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. Yes, and their eyes could gradually return toward normal, as my own eyes did, after I acquired myopia at the age of twelve.
Q. WHAT IF THEY SQUINT TO SEE WITHOUT MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. There is no harm in squinting. It helps the eyes improve or be cured. Those who wear glasses to keep from squinting soon squint with the glasses.
Q. ARE NOT SOME CASES BLIND WITHOUT MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. No. None are blind without their myopic glasses. They only say they are blind without them. Only blind people are blind, and they cannot see even with glasses. Myopic cases may not see small things, or signs farther away without their glasses, but otherwise they can see well enough to get along, until they improve and begin to see better.
Q. CANNOT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WEAR MYOPIC GLASSES PART-TIME, SUCH AS IN SCHOOL, AND NOT GROW WORSE?
A. No. There is no halfway in myopic cases. If they wear myopic glasses all the time, or even part-time, they must grow worse. If there are some things they cannot do without myopic glasses, they cannot do them until they improve enough to do them. One must persevere and do the best they can without glasses. If one left his myopic glasses off for a day, a week, a month, or a year, and then put them on, even for a minute, he would ruin all the good he had done by going without his myopic glasses. Eyes are quick to take hold, through myopic glasses, and to be what the myopic glasses make them.
Q. HOW CAN THEY GO TO SCHOOL AND LEARN WITHOUT THEIR MYOPIC GLASSES?
A. Many myopic cases go to school and learn without myopic glasses. Not all myopic cases wear glasses. Some parents refuse to allow their children and young people to wear glasses. They have found ways and means to keep them from wearing them. Children and young people can get their education and save their eyes at the same time, by using their eyes in the right way. If they do that, sooner or later the eyes will improve and they will find things easier and better. Not one of them has to ruin his eyes to get his education. With the proper cooperation of teachers and school nurses, all students can go through school without myopic glasses. A student recently graduated from the University of Chicago with the highest honors. He was totally blind.
Q. HOW CAN TEACHERS AND SCHOOL NURSES COOPERATE TO HELP MYOPIC CASES?
A. Teachers can write larger on the blackboard, keep the blackboard black, and see that there is no glare on it. They can allow myopic students to sit in or near the front row. They should not give students so much homework to do. Students' eyes become weary and bleary from too much homework, with or without myopic glasses. School nurses can make screening tests of students' eyes, but should not suggest or insist that the student get glasses. Teachers should spend a little time every day in every class, in all schools up to university level, teaching students how to use their eyes right and how not to use them wrong. Fast and furious overeducating is the cause of too many students going myopic. It would be better to be the poorest student with the best eyes than to be the best student with the poorest eyes. Eyes should come first.
Q. THEN PERFECT VISION, WITH MYOPIC GLASSES, DOES NOT MEAN PERFECT EYES?
A. That is true. Strong glasses do not make strong eyes. Myopic eyes are already too strong. Only hyperopic eyes are weak, and hyperopic glasses make them weaker. Myopic glasses over-develop the refractive power of the eyes, as previously explained.
Q. THEN MYOPIC EYES ARE TOO STRONG, AND HYPEROPIC EYES ARE TOO WEAK?
A. That is true, and they grow more so with glasses.
Q. HOW BAD CAN EYES GROW WITH GLASSES?
A. Very bad. Myopic eyes can go as bad as thirty diopters, with glasses, as compared to eight diopters for hyperopia. The naked visual acuity can go as bad as 20/400, or worse, with myopic glasses. Wearing myopic glasses through life could lead to blindness from detachment of the retina, conical corneas, myopic cataracts or glaucoma, at middle age or past. Myopic cases are more subject to these conditions than other cases.
Q. WILL MYOPIC CASES NOT GO THAT BAD WITHOUT GLASSES?
A. No, they will not go that bad without glasses.
Q. IS HYPEROPIA AS BAD AS MYOPIA?
A. No. All eyes are born with more or less hyperopia. This is natural. They develop toward normal by the natural use of the eyes as they grow older. If they resort to glasses, the glasses stop their natural development. It would be better for eyes to be more or less hyperopic than to be even one diopter myopic. Hyperopia is not nearly as bad as myopia.
Q. THEN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WOULD BE BETTER OFF IN THE LONG RUN, REGARDLESS OF THE EYE CONDITION, IF THEY HAD NEVER PUT ON THEIR FIRST GLASSES?
A. That is certain. They have no future, with glasses, but to grow worse.
Q. THEN WHY ARE GLASSES PRESCRIBED FOR THEM?
A. That is a good question. Professional ethics do not permit me to answer, but I have records to show that all cases grow worse with glasses and improve without them. It stands to reason that this is so. Since I am opposed to glasses for children and young. people, it is not up to me to answer this question.
Q. WHY CANNOT ALL THIS BE BROUGHT TO PUBLIC ATTENTION?
A. That is another good question, but difficult to answer. Again I have to hide behind professional ethics. It is bad enough for me to say what I do against glasses. I can only say that the old tradition of glasses has taken such a hold on the masses, that anyone who raises his voice against glasses is branded as a quack. I know of no media by which all this could be brought to the attention of all concerned. One would have to ask elsewhere for the answer to this question.
Q. THEN THERE IS NO AUTHORITY WITH THE POWER TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT - TO FORCE IT ON ALL CONCERNED, SUCH AS PARENTS, TEACHERS, SCHOOL NURSES, AND THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE THEMSELVES?
A. Not that I know of. I only wish there were. Something could be done about it if and when enough interest in these questions and answers is shown. It is strange that the masses so strongly believe in glasses and that they are skeptical of anyone who raises his voice against them. Eyeglass wearers, who are not qualified to be skeptical, would scoff at, deride, and ridicule anyone opposed to glasses.
Q. WHAT ABOUT OTHER EYE CONDITIONS NOT MENTIONED HEREIN?
A. Let it be understood that other eye conditions cannot be included herein. This deals mostly with myopia. Information on all other refractive and muscular eye conditions can be furnished on request, by written questions. Let it also be understood that adult eye conditions are not included herein. It is too late for most of them. Their eyes are more or less set in their refractive eye trouble. While most of them have to resort to glasses, they should be fitted with the weakest lenses possible, and wear them no more than necessary. Their glasses should never be on when they could be off. The more they go without their glasses, the better their eyes will be and the longer their glasses will last, without changing them so often.
Q. THEN GLASSES SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR ADULTS, NOT FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE?
A. That is correct. Just because adults have to resort to glasses is no reason to think and believe that children and young people have to. There is no comparison. While an adult's eyes are more or less set in their refractive eye trouble, as said before, children's and young people's eyes are flexible and in the process of development. The eyes of children and young people will respond to discipline, with or without corrective measures, while the adults will not.
Q. IS THERE A SECOND BEST WAY FOR ALREADY ADVANCED CASES OF MYOPIA TO HELP THEM TO KEEP THEIR EYES THE SAME, OR FROM GOING WORSE?
A. Yes. First have minimum - or less - prescription glasses for emergency use only, such as driving, or for whatever might be important. Then wear the glasses as little as possible otherwise. Stop all unnecessary close work. What close work one thinks he has to do, should be done without glasses if possible, under good incandescent light, looking up and away often. If the ease is so severe that one cannot do close work without glasses, he should have special half-power glasses for close work, or bifocals. From then on, do not change the glasses, unless the power of the lenses can be reduced. Be checked for that every one or two years.
This is not a solicitation of patronage. It is intended to help those who care to help themselves. However, there are corrective measures for the already severe advanced cases that may need help. This could only be done in person, and after an eye examination under the proper theory and method. But even such severe advanced cases can help themselves somewhat by quitting their bad eye habits and deliberately discarding their glasses permanently, even without correct measures.
This is a WARNING against myopic glasses for children and young people. There is nothing in the healing art that could look so right and be so wrong as myopic glasses for them. They are the ones who must pay the penalty, as they grow older, for what was done for them when they were younger. Innocent and unsuspecting as they are, they will wear any glasses that are put on them, with never a complaint as to whether the glasses are fitted right or wrong. Real refractive eye trouble begins then and there.
If all concerned with the eyes of children and young people would heed the warning given herein there would be no new cases of myopia, and therefore no glasses to be worn. Cases already stricken could be improved or cured. Symptoms of pains, strains, and headaches would be no more. All would have better eyes through life. Loyalty to the old tradition of glasses for the masses will not save the eyes of the present and future generations. No one has ever had to prove, or ever could prove, that myopic glasses save the eyes of children and young people. I should not have to prove further that they do not. If what I have had to say is not enough proof, then there is no hope for their eyes.
Most cases that do what is called for herein will notice and admit improvement or cure. However, there are some who will hold back. Due to their loyalty to the old tradition, to save face and not be proven wrong for having worn glasses, they will insist that they notice no improvement in seeing or feeling better. In fact, some will declare that their eyes have grown worse. They love their glasses, and what they think glasses do for them, for secret reasons of their own. Such unfair opposition makes it hard to prove to the world that glasses do not save eyes; that eyes never get better with glasses; that eyes do not even stay the same with glasses; that all eyes grow worse with glasses; that all eyes would be better off, in the long run, if they had never put on their first pair of glasses. Such is the law of optics and eyes, whether we like it or not. Time will prove it to be true. No one can defy the law of optics and eyes and get away with it.
It took a Civil War to free the slaves of the South. It will almost take a war, or at least legislation, to free children and young people from becoming slaves to glasses. This is the only way I know to try to arouse parents to turn against glasses for the masses of children and young people. They may have refractive eye troubles that they brought on themselves unknowingly and innocently, but glasses are only a poor makeshift remedy. They need more than glasses can ever do for them. This is about all I can do, at this time, until parents do their part.