Defective Vision-Functional Derangement
Defective vision is a common problem nowadays. The reasons for eye defects are excessive reading in either too dim or excessively bright light.
Over and above the other reasons for defective vision are:
Reading in moving trains, buses or cars,
Watching too much television,
Seeing too many films,
Eating artificial food.
There is popular belief that spectacles can rectify defective vision but at the same time it is based on the assumption that such defects are caused by permanent changes in the eyes, which are not correct.
Actually defective vision is a result of functional derangements which can be rectified by simple natural methods.
Persons prescribed with glasses have been told that because of the danger of eye strain they should avoid taking glasses off and always look straight through the center of lens.
So, for this reason when these persons look in other directions, they do not move their eyeballs and eye muscles, but instead move head up and down or sideways.
Thus, constant use of glasses stops the natural process of vision of the eyes. Therefore, the muscles of eyes start degenerating gradually through their non-use.
Moreover, the use of glasses results in a reduction of blinking, which is a movement intended to assist and preserve eyesight. Wearing glasses for many years results in stiff, dull-looking eyes without any sparkle.
The three chief causes of defective vision are:
Improper blood and Nerve supply.
Mental strain is considers as one cause of defective vision, which puts corresponding physical strain on the eyes , their muscles and nerves. In his opinion the lesser defects are mainly due to mental strain owing to overwork, fear, anxiety, etc.
Wrong Feeding : The eye is a part of the body and as such must share in any condition affecting the system.
Any factor capable of interfering either with the blood vessels or with the nerves of the eyes could cause defective vision.
The muscles covering the upper portion of the spine at the back of the neck are the main seat of the mechanical interference with the blood and nerve supply to the eyes.
Eye exercise : The following exercises will loosen the strained and contracted muscles surrounding the eyes :
Keep your head still and relaxed.
Gently move the eyes up and down six times.
Repeat the same movement twice or thrice at two-second intervals.
The eyes should move slowly and regularly as far down as possible and then as far up as possible.
Move the eyes from side to side as far as possible, without any force or effort six times.
Repeat two or three times.
Hold the index finger of your right hand about eight inches in front of the eyes, then look from the finger to any other large object ten or more feet away – the door or window will do.
Look from one to the other ten times.
Do this exercise fairly rapidly.
Move the eyes up gently and slowly in a circle, then move them low in the reverse direction .
Do this four times in all.
Rest for a second and repeat the movements two or three times, using minimum efforts.
All eye muscle exercises should be performed while seated in a comfortable position.
Neck Exercises : Rotate the neck in circles and semi circles.move the shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise brisky, drawing them up as far as possible several times.
Allow the head to draw forward and backward as far as possible.
Turn the head to the right and left as far as possible several times.
These exercises help to loosen up contracted neck muscles which may restrict blood supply to the head.
Sun gazing : Sit on a bench facing the sun with your eyes closed and gently sway sideways several times for 18 minutes.
Open the eyes and blink about ten times at the sun and look at some greenery.
This helps short sight and is good for inflamed eyes.
Splashing : Splash plain, cold water several times on closed eyes.
Rub the closed lids briskly for a minute with a clean towel.
This cools the eyes and boosts blood supply.
Palming : Sit comfortably in an armchair or on a settee and relax with your eyes closed.
Cover your eyes with your palms, right palm over the right eye and left over the left eye.
Do not, however, press down on the eyes.
With your eyes completely covered in this manner, allow your elbows to drop to your knees, which should be fairly close together.
With your eyes closed thus, try to imagine blackness, which grows blacker and blacker.
Palming reduces strain and relaxes the eyes and its surrounding tissues.
Swinging : Stand with your feet 12 inches apart, hands held loosely at the sides, the whole body and mind relaxed.
Gently sway your body from side to side, slowly, steadily, with the heels rising alternatively but not the rest of the foot.
Imagine you are the pendulum of the clock, and move just as slowly.
Swinging should be done in front of a window or a picture.
You will see the object moving in the opposite direction of your swing.
This must be noted and encouraged.
When you face one end of the window or object, blink once.
This exercise has a very beneficial effect upon the eyes and nervous system.
Natural, uncooked foods are the best diet. These include fresh fruits, such as oranges, apples, grapes,peaches, plums, cherries ; green vegetable like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, turnip tops ; root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, carrot, onions and beetroots ; nuts, dried fruits and dairy products.
Cereals are also necessary , but they should only be consumed sparingly. Genuine wholemeal bread is the best and most suitable. Nans, cakes, pastries, white sugar, white bread, confectionery, tea, coffee, etc., together with meat, fish, or eggs, soon play havoc with the digestion and the body.
The value of vitamin A for improving vision must be stressed.
The intake of sufficient quantities of this vitamin is essential as a safeguard against or treatment of defective vision or eye disease of any kind.
The best sources of this vitamin are cod liver oil, raw spinach, turnip tops, cream, cheese, butter, egg yolk, tomatoes, lettuce, carrot, cabbage, soya beans, green peas, wheat germ,fresh milk, oranges and dates.
Yogic exercises :
The four yogic exercises prescribed for strengthening the optic nerve known as ‘trataka’ as explained in chapter 7 on yoga therapy should be practised daily. Certain yogasanas such as bhujangasana, shalabhasana, yogamudra, paschimottan asana and kriyas like jalneti are also beneficial for the eyes.