By Lorne Holden
Use Your Eyes in a Variety of Ways to Help Protect Your Visual Health
When my Dad was a teenager, he began to have trouble with his vision. His Doctor gave him some simple, remarkable advice – to look far into the distance as often as possible. Learning that Dad was about to spend his summer working on a sailboat, he said simply: “Look out to the horizon as much as you can.”
My Dad followed this simple recommendation and returned home at summer’s end with no vision problems whatsoever.
What did this Doctor know that can help us right now? He knew that eyes need to move fluidly between moments of convergence (moving close together) and divergence (moving further apart.) When a person’s eyes spend too much time in either position, the visual system of eyes and brain becomes disrupted and vision problems can occur. Healthy eyesight means that our eyes can converge and diverge fluidly, spontaneously and without interruption. This essential interplay is crucial for the health of the whole visual system.
This idea is more important now than ever before. With out heads tipped forward into computers and hand held devices, our eyes are mostly seeing what is right in front of us. That means that our eyes are in a state of convergence. If we don’t take time to balance this fact with moments of looking away, our problems can develop, including tension headaches and visual limitations. Additionally, when staring at bright screens for hours on end, we tend not to blink and dry eyes can develop.
Try these simple ideas to bring balance to your visual system.
* If you work at a desk, once an hour stand up and look way out your windows. If there are trees there, look at specific areas of leaves and branches and then look at the sky through the branches. If you are looking at buildings, try to see aspects of the buildings facade in detail. If you can see into the windows, look into the windows.
* Take a moment and sit back from your desk and use your eyes to scan the seam where the walls of the room meet the ceiling. Gently, glide your eyes back and forth along this line. This is particularly helpful is you are having to do a lot of reading. Giving your eyes this back and forth action will bring ease and efficiency to your reading and help boost comprehension.
* When you are outdoors, if a flying bird catches you eye, watch that bird. Follow it on it’s journey as far as you can. Blink your eyes quickly and breathe fully. Then look for another bird.
* When you are in a store with aisles of products, use your eyes to gently pop around everything you see. Give your eyes a gentle dance from bright color to bright color. Look near. Look far. Look over there.
Take time to gives your eyes both rest and variety every day. You will be more comfortable and your
vision will stay healthy longer.
– Lorne Holden is an award winning artist and author of the bestselling book “MAKE IT HAPPEN in Ten Minutes a Day/The Simple, Lifesaving Method for Getting Things Done,” which is available at makeithappenintenminutesaday.com and by request at any local bookstore.