Advertisement (Adapted for the WWW by the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices)
Get Rid of the Spectacle Nuisance
Regain Your Eye Freedom
The Natural Eyesight System
Tells You How
No Doctoring-No Drugs-No Danger
Nothing to Wear and Nothing to Fear
THIS IS THE NATURAL EYE NORMALIZER
The Natural Eye Normalizer is the most important invention which makes it
practical for you and your family to have and enjoy the complete revolutionary
NATURAL EYESIGHT SYSTEM in the privacy of your own home. It
administers a most effective treatment for relaxing tense eyes, resting tired
eyes and relieving strained eyes. Operated by a simple "Twist of the Wrist,"
it can be used with perfect safety by everyone.
Your Eyes Were Made to See With
Take Off Your Eye Crutches and Enjoy Stronger Eyes
See the Way Nature Intended You to See
This 1930's ad was produced by the Natural Eyesight Institute manufacturer
of the Natural Eye Normalizer, a metal device finished in chrome with rubber
gaskets fitting the eyes. The device came with five booklets describing
treatments and containing logs to record eye excercises. How did it
work? It didn't!
The "patient" applied the device to the eyes shutting out all light. The
handle on the side of the device allows the gaskets to rotate slightly to
massage the eyelids. In theory, the device was supposed to relax the
eyes thereby eliminating all vision problems. The device had no effect
on vision problems.
This device is one of many which sought to cash in on the theory promoted
by William Horatio Bates, M.D. who published The Cure of Imperfect Eyesight
by Treatment Without Glasses in 1920. Dr. Bates wrongly suggested that
relaxation would cure vision problems. Today, many of his followers
have altered his theory by suggesting that eye exercise will cure vision
problems (and there is a kernel of truth in this for
exercise is recommended for conditions like lazy eye and crossed eyes).
In mystical ways, Bates followers suggest practicing how and where
to focus, rotating eyes from left to right and back again to increase peripheral
vision and more. For almost all vision problems, eye exercise
has no effect. Claims that the Bates theory and exercise may 'eliminate
the need for glasses and contacts' are false.
These claims are made today by
sellers of pinhole
eyeglasses and expensive consultants who lead vision therapy 'classes.'
"It is difficult to understand the widespread popularity of the Bates System
unless one considers that its followers make up what is essentially a cult.
Its practitioners are faith healers who appeal to the gullible, the neurotic,
the highly emotional, and the psychosomatic
. Perfect sight without
glasses is an empty promise," say
S. Worrall, O.D. and Jacob Nevyas, Ph.D. (cited by George Nava True II).
"In 1956, Dr. Philip Pollack, a Manhattan optometrist, wrote The Truth
About Eye Exercises which exposed the flaws in the Bates System. Alas,
Pollacks book was soon forgotten while the Bates System lives on."
Eye Exercises Improve Vision? by George Nava True II.
Urbane Barrett, owner of the Natural Eyesight Institute, was convicted of
mail fraud in 1937 - a year before the U. S. Food and Drug Administration
was authorized to regulate medical devices.
ON VISION QUACKERY
Advertisement and Natural Eyesight System logo from the
American Medical Association's
Historical Health Fraud & Alternative Medicine
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