Bates Method International

Do optometrists teach the Bates Method?

Generally, no, for a number of reasons:

  • Most optometrists learn in college that nothing can be done to improve vision.
  • Optometrists are trained to measure vision in a fixed way and to prescribe glasses. Bates teachers state that glasses are no solution to the problem and merely serve as a palliative measure that masks the symptoms of poor sight.
  • Optometrists regard vision as a purely physical and mechanical process, regarding the lens and shape of the eye as fixed as if it were made of glass. Bates teachers engage with the person behind the eyesight and regard the function of the eye as a living, organic process that engages physical, mental and emotional aspects of the person who is seeing.
  • While there are a few optometrists who acknowledge the value of the method it is still difficult for them to use it properly. The financial structure of conventional optometry requires the optometrist to see 3 or 4 patients an hour and preferably to sell all of them glasses. Many will work directly or indirectly for optical companies, or have set up their business with big loans: they simply cannot afford to spend the time teaching a Method that requires in-depth understanding of their patients.