As you’ve probably heard or read hundreds of times before, taking care of your eyes is very important for your overall health. But that does not mean taking every bit of optical advice to heart. After all, not all people who claim to be eye professionals are telling the truth; you’d be better off with certified and qualified doctors!
While finding a ophthalmologist is easy these days, back then was a different story. In the past there were many eye-related false medicines and therapies, all of them as effective for the vision impaired as wearing spectacles with no corrective lenses in the eyeglass frames. Many were fooled, costing them tons of money and worse eye conditions. Here are some examples of quackery that wouldn’t help you get better eyesight or health:
Named after eye physician William Horatio Bates, this alternative therapy aims to improve eyesight. According to Bates, all optical problems are effects of physical strain on the yes, and that “relaxing” it can help improve vision. He dismissed eyewear as harmful and useless, recommending patients to expose their eyes to sunlight instead as he claimed this would also help reduce strain. He even made a self-published book about his treatments, all centering on eye movements and visualization. The Bates method is criticized as ineffective and dangerous. Exposing your eyes to sunlight for too long can damage it and not wearing spectacles can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
This alternative medicine technique claims that characteristics in the human iris can be examined to determine a patient’s overall health. Doctors who specialize in it have iris charts, which have specific zones that pertain to a certain part of the human body. Iridology is considered a pseudoscience due to its lack of support from quality research studies and the failure of its practitioners to provide irrevocable proof of its authenticity. In 1979, Bernard Jensen and three other iridologists were asked to examine photographs of 143 patient’s irises to determine which among them have kidney disease (there are 48) and which have not. Suffice it to say that they failed the test—big time!
Another study considered as pseudoscience, chromo or color therapy is the use of light and color to balance the human “internal energy,” physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. This quack therapy has been around as early as 980 A.D. when Avicenna discussed the importance of color in diagnosing and treating different diseases in his book, The Canon of Medicine. However, modern research has proven that it’s an ineffective treatment to eye problems. Take note, though, that chromo therapy should not be confused with other types of light therapy which are scientifically proven to cure certain medical conditions. And it should not also be mistaken for photobiology, the study of interactions of living organisms and light.
These treatments won’t do your eyes any good; in fact, it can make your condition worse! So don’t try any of these quack alternatives—ever. In case you’re having eye problems, better make an appointment with a reputable ophthalmologist.