Eye Care: Loss of Vision and Its Fitness

Less than 10 percent of the population is born with blurred vision, upset binocularity (two-eyedness), or diseased eyes. But by young adulthood, a disturbing 60 percent of the remaining 90 percent have nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, crossed or wall eyes, or ocular disease conditions. This provocative statistic clearly demonstrates that we as a culture are slowly losing our natural vision-fitness.

From the time we are born until adulthood, our interaction with our environment leads to a drop in vision-fitness. In interviewing thousands of patients, I determined some of the environmental and other factors that play a part in the evolution and development of eye and vision problems (these are not ranked in any order):

□ Inappropriate eating patterns, such as excessive intake of simple carbohydrates and over-refined foods, and eating while emotionally upset.
□ Going to school.
□ Poor reading habits.
□ Air, water, and food pollutants (chemicals, preservatives, etc.)
□ Excessive sugar consumption.
□ Too little exposure to sunlight.
□ Poorly designed workplaces.
□ Achievement-oriented schooling and sports.
□ Lack of physical exercise.
□ Breakup of the traditional family model.
□ Divorce.
□ Frequent moves.
□ Excessive viewing of television.
□ Poorly monitored use of computers
□ Denial and addictive patterns of behaviour.

If you ever have a chance to spend time around aboriginal people, especially in non-industrialized countries, notice how their eyes move around. They rapidly shift their focus from close to distant objects. Their eyes scan left to right, up and down, and diagonally, stretching the muscles.

The human eye is designed to move, stretch, and focus at far distances. The eyes are designed for hunting, gathering berries, growing crops, and farming. Industrialized culture, however, has developed technology that requires your natural vision-fitness to be modified. Your eyes must adjust to long hours sitting at a desk, looking at a terminal screen, typing, reviewing computer printout sheets, reading books, working with fine eye-hand coordination, and the myriad of academic arid job-related tasks you demand of your eyes. Your eyes are also forced to adjust to artificial fluorescent lighting, filtered air conditioning and heating, and the bombardment of particles from synthetic carpeting, desks, chairs, paper, inks, and paints. This is a far cry from the green forests, lustily carpeted grasslands, and pristine mountaintops of your counterparts living in nature.

Moreover, you also encounter the challenges of quotas, deadlines, dealing with co-workers, and financial budgeting. All these stressors can ultimately affect the fitness of your eyes. You may notice that on the days when you are more relaxed, your ability to use your eyes efficiently is greater.

These environmental changes haven’t happened overnight. There has been an insidious slow movement to the point where over 100 million people in the United States now require eyeglasses or contact for nearsightedness. Your brain and eyes have, had to adjust from far looking to concentrating more on school work and office tasks. Nearsightedness is a perfect adaptation. You maintain high vision-fitness up close at the expense of clarity at intermediate or far distances.

The distress that can be brought about by looking through full-strength eyeglass or contact-lens prescriptions. The strength of the distance-viewing prescription may be too strong for close work. Seventy percent of the time, a lens prescription is designed for looking at a far distance, which produces distress while looking at a closer distance. It’s not so much that things look blurry up close, but you experience discomfort, a feeling of tiredness, or even sleepiness while reading, doing computer work, and other close distance looking. This may also occur if you have 20/20 vision without lenses.

What may be happening is that your eyes are giving you feedback that you are experiencing a drop in vision-fitness. Over time, your eyes may no longer be able to cooperate as partners. Your brain, in desperation, may finally decide to shut off one of the images.

Typically, if you receive this kind of feedback, you’ll think that there’s something ‘wrong.’ You may rationalize that you’re tired. You may feel that your eyes are getting weak or that you need a stronger lens prescription. Seeing Without Glasses presents another choice. You can view this symptom as you would a red warning light in your car and take steps to restore your vision-fitness.

What should you do if you receive feedback that your vision fitness is dropping? One of the first signs of distress in the body is holding one’s breath, or shallow breathing. Shallow breathing can deprive the eyes of essential nutrients, as they are situated far from the heart and lungs. Your vision may appear blurry or gray. And more than likely you’ll be staring—maybe even with your head thrust a little forward. To see the best example of this, watch the people next to you at the spotlight at 5 p.m. on a weekday. Are they starting aimlessly into space, not blinking?

Check you breathing—Is it shallow? Breathe deeply. Hear the sounds. Feel your chest and stomach moving. Blink your eyelids. Check your body posture. It’s like pulling into a service station and checking the water level, oil level, and tire pressure for your car.

As more people suffer vision loss as a result of eyestrain in cir offices and at home, it is more important than ever to take steps to improve vision-fitness. You could ignore the reality of vision-fitness loss and become solely reliant on artificial devices well-being, you can begin to improve and maintain your vision fitness. Begin protecting your vision by being aware of when your vision-fitness decreases.

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