Dr. Jacob Raphaelson's Story
The Printer's Son and remembrance of Dr. Jacob Raphaelson.
The insightful and motivated optometrist or ophthalmologist could introduce a practical and effective method of solution for myopia prevention.Dr. Jacob Raphaelson( see the picture )did exactly that in the following example—with the following results:
THE PRINTER’S SON
" It was the year 1904 that I met a mother at a social lodge meeting. She told me about her son’s trouble with his eyes in school. I gave her my card and told her to bring him to my office and I would fit him with a pair of spectacles."
" She said she had no money at the time and that her husband was a printer working in another city. She did not expect him home for the next six weeks. I told her all this would not matter, that she should bring the boy over and I would fit him with a pair of spectacles. I told her that she could pay for them when her husband returned home."
" She brought the boy in and I examined his eyes. I found that his vision for distance was poor. It was less than 20/40. I made him a pair of +1.00 D spectacles. She was to pay me when her husband came back home."
" In about six weeks she came and returned the glasses to me. She stated that her husband was provoked with her for getting the glasses. He had tried the boy’s eyes with different prints, far and near, and had found him to have perfect vision with his naked eyes. In fact, she said, the boy could see even better without the glasses than with them."
" My experience with the printer’s son aroused my inborn tendency for exploration. It gave me an incentive to try to do special work on children’s eyes and on vision restoration. It also enticed me to investigate myopic (nearsighted) eyes because I was myself nearsighted."
" On the other hand, this experience was a warning to be cautious in doing such work. For selling spectacles to persons who, supposedely, did not need them was almost a crime. And the fitting of glasses without the advice or a consent of a medical doctor to unhealthy or diseased eyes, or even to an unhealthy person who might need or be under medical attention, was , and is now, an encroachment on the medical profession."
" To shield myself against possible enmity and involvement, I took the following precautions: First , I quit using the title ‘doctor’ in any form, in print or verbally. I was to be known as a spectacle fitter and nothing more. Second, I charged a reasonable price for the spectacles I sold but nothing extra for any special work or relief I gave. I did not advertise about this special work. I just did it as a matter of routine whenever or wherever I was given the opportunity."
" Thus in 1904 I became an independent researcher on the relation of the eye’s behavior to spectacles, vision, and health. I have kept it up, and will continue to do this work as long as I continue to have the incentive and capability."
(Dr. Jacob Raphaelson had passed away in the 1970s. He pointed out use of minus lens for nearsightedness would only deteriorate naked-eye vision in a hundred years ago. He encouraged his descendants and the public to protect innate vision by use of reading plus lens . The use of plus lens to preserve vision continues to be true in the decade of 1990--Otis brown. It continues to be true in 21st century and forever.--- Steve Leung )