Vision Improvement Self-Help Books

Bates Method

Classic Bates Method

These books present methods that are entirely within the framework of Bates's original theory of refractive error, accommodation, and mental strain as the primary cause of eye problems. Some, however, add advice on nutrition and physical fitness that Bates never concerned himself with in his writings.

"Second Generation" Bates

The authors of the following books never knew Bates personally, but many of them knew his students (e.g. Margaret Darst Corbett). They have all worked as vision improvement consultants. They present various philosophies of vision improvement, using Bates's ideas as a starting point, but often incorporating ideas from the tradition of behavioral optometry.

Personal Approach

The following books are written by people who discovered the Bates method, improved their vision, did a little research, and wrote a book which draws from their personal experience as well as their research.

Engineering Approach to Myopia Prevention

The following books are written by engineers who make the case, using scientific evidence and engineering concepts, that myopia is caused by too much focusing at the near point. "Plus lenses" as a way to prevent myopia, and to treat it in its early stages, are discussed. These books are addressed to technically-minded readers who would like to maintain or regain their own or their children's good distance vision.

"Enlightened" Optometrists

Robert-Michael Kaplan and Jacob Liberman hold doctorate degrees in optometry, and both used to have private practice in optometry. They now work outside the established institutions of optometry; they no longer prescribe lenses. Instead, they work as consultants to optometrists and other health care providers. Their books combine ideas from the Bates method, behavioral optometry, as well as insights they have gained as optometrists.

Behavioral Optometry

Behavioral optometry is usually considered to be a tradition completely unrelated to Bates's school of eye education. Where the principle behind the Bates method is to enable the eye to see well without glasses or other devices in a mind-over-matter sort of way, behavioral optometry relies on "therapeutic" and "stress-reducing" lenses, patches, and mechanistic games to achieve a goal of efficient vision. Naturally, "freedom from glasses" could never be promoted by any group of optometrists who wish to remain in good standing with their peers, but the promise is there, if muted.

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Revised 25 December 2001