In Western cultures, the eyes are the point of focus during most forms of interpersonal communication. Your eyes are indeed “the window to your soul.” They reveal an extraordinary degree of non-verbal communication.
If you are aware of your eyes, you will notice that they provide feedback about the effects of many variables in your life. There are many factors in your internal (mental and emotional) and external environments which can lead to a drop in vision-fitness. The food you eat, the way you exercise, the way you relate to others, and satisfaction or upsets in relationships can all cause fluctuations in the quality of your vision.
The loss of vision-fitness takes place over time. You do not become nearsighted, farsighted, or develop astigmatism overnight. An astute, developmentally interested optometrist can monitor the stages of vision-fitness loss. And in the same way, as you redevelop fitness in your seeing, the changes can be measured physically in the eye.
Hearing What Your Eyes Are Saying
Let’s go a little deeper into this concept of how your eyes can act as a biofeedback mechanism. First, let’s review what 20/20 eyesight means. The 20/20 refers to the measurement of how well you see. If you can see a one-inch letter at a distance of 20 feet, your doctor will give you a rating of 20/20. On the other hand, if you can see the letter designed for 40 feet at 20 feet, your rating will be 20/40, and so on.
Most eye doctors determine the refraction (measurement of the eye prescription) needed to provide you with 100 percent ability to perform visual discrimination at 20 feet – a standard set many years ago.
This standard course of treatment is far from ideal. Years ago, many people began asking if there was any way they could improve their eyesight naturally. They were concerned that each time they visited they optician, that they would pass on the news that their prescription needed to be stronger.
In response, some opticians began to experiment, reducing the power of patients’ lens prescriptions. After a number of research trials, the optimum vision-fitness level seemed to be around 83.6 percent. If the vision clarity was less than 83.6 percent, the world appeared too blurry and patients’ frustration level was too high, thus defeating their natural seeing capabilities.
If their vision was clearer than 83.6 percent, there was not enough blur to encourage the patients to develop their vision-fitness. This meant that the opticians would measure the patient for 20/40. If the patient was nearsighted and/or had astigmatism, they reduced the power equally for the two conditions.
The overall response from the thousands of patients who took part in this ongoing experiment was that they loved their new vision-fitness prescriptions. Their looking appeared softer and generally produced a calming effect. When these patients looked at far distances, closer objects automatically became clearer. This meant that while looking at ten feet, their vision-fitness increased to 100 percent.
You might be asking the question, Why wear or use a lens prescription that does not completely correct your vision? Besides the behavioral advantages already mentioned, a reduced prescription allows you to teach your brain and your eyes to work more harmoniously as partners. If you wear a prescription that gives you 20/40 vision, or 83.6 percent vision-fitness, you can train your brain, eyes, and muscles to make up the other 16.4 percent, giving you 20/20 vision with this prescription.
This lens prescription can be called a vision-fitness type because while wearing the prescription (preferably in eyeglasses because of ease of removal), there will be times during the day when you will be able to monitor changes in vision-fitness. Many patients have reported that their vision-fitness is affected by many elements of their lifestyles, including foods they eat, posture, aerobic exercise, level of stress on the job, reading patterns, working for extended periods at a computer, weather changes, and emotional fluctuations.
Observing the fluctuation in the quality of your vision allows you to learn how to interpret the feedback your eyes provide. For example, if you notice that your vision-fitness drops as job stress increases, you can learn to take action to alleviate stress. Recall that by breathing deeply you can send extra oxygen and nutrients to the eyes to increase their function.
Focusing to your nose (like crossing your eyes) and then looking off into the distance can also bring about a remarkable increase in vision-fitness. Over time, by employing vision-fitness exercises and making lifestyle changes as needed, you can stabilize your vision-fitness at 100 percent through the vision-fitness lenses. Then you can have your doctor order an even more reduced lens prescription and begin the process once again.
As you reduce the power in your lenses, your natural vision-fitness without lenses will also improve. You will be wearing contact lenses that are weaker, you will see more clearly without lenses, and you will be in control of how you use your glasses.