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William Horatio Bates (December 23, 1860 - July 10, 1931) was an American physician and ophthalmologist who developed what is now known as the Bates Method for better eyesight , an educational method intended to improve vision by undoing a supposed habitual strain to see. The efficacy of the method is questionable, and his theory that the eye does not focus by changing the power of the lens, but rather by elongating the eyeball, through use of the extraocular oblique muscles, was contradicted by mainstream ophthalmology and optometry of his day and is still today. 
Additional recommended knowledge
Bates graduated A.B. from Cornell University in 1881 and received his medical degree at the college of physicians and surgeons in 1885. As an ophthalmologist, he formulated a theory about vision health, and published the book Perfect Sight Without Glasses in 1920. Parts of Bates' approach to correcting vision disorders were based on psychological principles, which was contrary to many of the medical theories of the time and remain so. The Bates Method still enjoys some limited acceptance as a modality of alternative medicine.
Bates treated many patients, who claimed to have been cured of vision defects, especially myopia. This brought him into conflict with his peers. He defended himself by claiming that other physicians were in thrall to the establishment. From Chapter 32 of Perfect Sight Without Glasses:
He concludes the chapter:
Bates' personal life
Bates appears to have suffered from a strange episode of amnesia (or possibly psychogenic fugue), referred to in his obituary, perhaps wrongly as 'a strange form of aphasia'. He disappeared, was found, and then disappeared again, only to reappear after his second wife, who searched in vain for him, had died. This episode was said to have given him a particular interest in memory, perhaps influencing the direction of his work. He was married three times, the last time being, in 1928, to the widow Emily C. Lierman, who had been for many years his assistant. In 1943 she published an abridged version of his book Perfect Sight Without Glasses, under the title Better Eyesight Without Glasses.
Discovery of adrenaline
Bates did other serious research, and is famous for discovering a substance produced by the suprarenal gland which later would be commercialized as adrenaline. His report was published in the New York Medical Journal in May, 1886.
Free books and articles by Dr. W. H. Bates
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "William_Bates". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|