Bates Method International

An Exciting Visual Journey!

Age: -- Condition: Presbyopia

by Lorna Akimenko

Suddenly in 1990 I noticed that it was very difficult to thread a needle. I tried hard to do it but it made my eyes ache. It was the beginning of presbyopia.

It was about this time that I started having problems with my digestive system and began losing weight rapidly. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. I had been suffering from anaemia for some time, causing loss of bone density bordering on osteoporosis. My new gluten-free diet meant I could no longer eat wheat or anything derived from it.

In my twenties, I had suffered from poor health, mainly due to malnutrition, and this affected my vision. I became highly sensitive to light of all kinds and took to wearing sunglasses day and night. Visual phenomena of various types abounded, especially at night, and were frightening in their duration and intensity. I became very interested in vision and its problems. It was about this time that I read a small book found in a local health shop, called "Improve your Eyesight without Glasses". In this it mentioned Dr Bates and his methods.

It was not until twenty years later that I was first prescribed glasses for reading, with the onset of "old age sight" or presbyopia. With no expectations of ever needing to wear glasses, I ignored the prescription. In 1997, I was prescribed another pair with slightly stronger lenses to include astigmatism. I ignored this too.

It was at this time I saw by chance an advertisement for vision therapy in the "Scottish Health News", placed by Aileen Whiteford, mentioning the Bates Method. I contacted her and subsequently Peter Mansfield of the Bates Association. After visiting him in Brighton, I agreed with him to train as a Bates teacher.

After my first year’s training, my 1998 prescription was significantly lowered. I have learned what eye strain is and how to avoid it. Acuity work allows me to develop my vision and I am strengthening my eyes all the time. I don’t expect ever to wear glasses, but instead, I look forward to regaining the excellent vision I had before presbyopia

Lorna Akimenko,

Case History copyright © by Liz May