Friday, June 30, 2017

Reading Correctly for Better Vision

Biologically, you eyes are designed to adjust from close to distant focus, back and forth, continually. But, in reality, you focus your eyes for a long span of time at close distance when you read. This is one of the main causes of nearsightedness. Your vision health has much to do how you read.

Reading causes eyestrain, which results in the constriction of eye muscles. Prolonged eye muscle constriction distorts the shape of the eye. Eyestrain is due to the following conditions: 
  • Reading material being too close (less than 20 inches), and not parallel to the eye
  • Insufficient lighting or too bright artificial lights (fluorescent lights)
  • Poor posture in reading, such as slumping or neck-bending-downward position, leading to lengthening of the eyeball
  • Reading while eating: digestion drawing blood to the digestive system, thereby temporarily depriving the eye of nutrients 
To overcome eyestrain during reading, do the following:
  • Breathe naturally; do not hold your breath.
  • Take a meaningful break every 20 minutes or so, and blink your eyes repeatedly.
  • Make sure the lighting is sufficient. Inadequate light is the first factor that tires the eye.
  • Make sure the print is large enough.
It should be pointed out that speed reading may be damaging to the eye, because in speed reading the eye tends to take in a large visual field without focusing on any specific word. Remember, the macula can see small details only one at a time, that is, moving from one point to another. If the macula cannot focus, it does less work, leading to more blurry vision, which ultimately increases eyestrain—and thus a vicious circle of eyestrain and weak vision.
To enhance vision in reading, do the following to focus on the physical aspect of reading:

Occasionally read a page upside down, one letter at a time, moving from one point to another.

Increase your peripheral vision and stimulate your macula by wearing black cardboard paper to partially cover the eyes.

Adjusting the Eye to Light

Given that light is the essence of good vision, it is therefore important that you train your eyes to adjust comfortably to light, otherwise you may have a tendency to squint your eyes when the light is too bright or too dim.

Eye sunning

Sunning the eye is an exercise that utilizes the energy from the sun for healing the eye and improving vision. The healing power of sunlight should come into the eye at a diagonal angle, and the sunlight should not be too strong (i.e. early in the morning, before 10 a.m. and late in the evening, after 5 p.m.). 
  • Sit or stand outdoors, your body facing the sun. You can also sit or stand at an open window, but do not let the sun come through glass.
  • Close your eyes; do not wear sunglasses. Let the warm sunlight bathe your eyes.
  • Now, move your head slowly but constantly from side to side.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly.
  • Relax your head, shoulders, and eyes, while continuing the body motion.
  • Turn your back to the sun, and briefly palm your eyes for a few minutes during which you visualize black in your mind’s eye.
  • Return to the original position, and resume your eye sunning.
  • Alternate between sunning and palming. You will notice that during sunning, the color seems brighter, while the black seems blacker during palming.
  • Practice this for 10 to 20 minutes a day, if the weather permits.
 Sun flashing

Flashing stimulates retinal activity.    
  • Sit or stand with closed eyes facing the sun.
  • Spread your fingers apart, and wave your hands back and forth across each other in front of your closed yes.
  • Wave your hands more rapidly up and down past each other. You will see the interplay of darkness and light.
  • Do palming for a few minutes, while visualizing black.
  • Blink your closed eyes before you open them so they can readjust to light. 
It is important that you never look directly into the sun, and that you do not practice sunning when the sunlight is too strong so as not to damage the eye.

Do you know that your eyes are connected with your mind? You see not just through your eyes, but also through your mind!

Take care of your vision health!

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Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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