Bates Method Principles of Eyesight Improvement: Central Fixation

When vision is normal, the eyes see best a part (the central part of your field of vision) of everything seen, and other parts are seen worsely in proportion to how far away they are from the point of maximum vision.

When the vision is imperfect, it is always the case that the eye tries to see equally well a considerable part of the field of vision in a simultaneous manner. This produces great tension to the eye and the mind, as anyone whose vision is normal can demonstrate by attempting to see equally well, all at once, a considerably large area of their field of vision.

Central fixation eyesight improvement principle

Central fixation principle. The eye sees the central part of your vision best.


At a close distance, the effort to see in this way an area of even six millimeters in diameter will produce discomfort. Everything that relaxes the eye tends to reestablish the normal powers of central fixation. It is also possible to recover it through conscious practice, and this is sometimes the easiest and fastest way to improve vision.

When you are aware that you see best a part of your field of vision, it is possible to reduce this area. If you look from the lower part to the higher part of letter C in the biggest line of the eyechart and you see worse the part that you are not looking at directly, you can enable yourself to do the same with the next line of letters, and in this manner enable yourself to descend through the eyechart until you can see from the higher part to the lower part of the letters in the lowest, smallest line of the eyechart, while seeing worsely the part of the letter not directly looked at. You will then be able to read these letters.

As it is impossible to look at small objects without having central fixation, the reading of small print, whenever you are able to, is one of the best exercises for vision.