Defective vision is a common problem nowadays. The main reasons for eye defects are reading in bad light (either too dim or excessively bright), excessive reading, reading in moving trains, buses or cars, watching too much television, seeing too many films, and eating artificial food. The popular belief that the use of spectacles can rectify all cases of defective vision is based on the assumption that such defects are caused by permanently changes in the eyes. This assumption is not correct as defective vision results from functional derangements which can be rectified by simple natural methods of treatment.
Persons who are prescribed glasses are told that they should avoid taking them off because of the danger of eye strain and that they should always look straight through the centre of the lens. So, when looking in other directions they do not move their eyeballs and eye muscles as a natural, but instead move the head up and down or sideways. Thus, constant use of glasses throws the whole natural process of vision out of great and causes ‘parking’ of the eyes. Gradually, the muscles of the eyes degenerate through 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 result in stiff, dull-looking eyes without any sparkle.
The three chief causes of defective vision are mental strain, wrong diet, and improper blood and nerve supply.
Dr. W.H. Bates, the founder of revolutionary methods of eye treatment, considers mental strain to be the cause of all defects of 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 owning to overwork, fear, anxiety, etc. In pursuance of this theory, Dr. Bates has concentrated his efforts on methods of treatment which will remove the condition of mental strain.
The eye is a part of the body and as such must share in any condition affecting the system. Most of the diseases affecting the eyes are symptoms of a general toxemic condition of the body due mainly to excessive starch, sugar and protein ingestion. The muscles and blood vessels surrounding the eyes share in the clogging process taking place over the body due to improper metabolism caused by an imbalanced and too-concentrated diet.
Improper Blood and Nerve Supply:
The eyes need to be properly supplied with blood and nerve force for proper vision. 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 mechanical interference with the blood and nerve supply to the eyes.
The following exercises will loosen the strained and contacted muscles surrounding the eyes.
- Keep your head still and relaxed. Gently move the eye 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 finder of your right hand abut eight inches in front of the eyes, then look from the finger to any other large object then or more feet away – the door or window will do. Look from one to the other ten times. Do these exercise fairly rapidly.
- Move the eyes up gently and slowly in a circle, and 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 effort. All the eye muscle exercises should be performed while seated in a comfortable position.
Neck exercises: Rotate the neck
1. In circles and semi-circles,
2. Move the shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise briskly, drawing them up as far as possible several times.
3. Allow the head to drop forward and backward as far as possible.
4. Turn the head to the right and left as far as possible several times. These exercise help to loosen up contracted neck muscles which may restrict blood supply to the head.
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 10 times at the sun and look at some greenery. This helps shortsighted and is good for inflamed eyes.
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.
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 the left over the left eye. Do not, however, press down on the eyes. With your eyes completely covered in this manner, allowed 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 it surrounding tissues.
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 a clock, and move just as slowly. Swinging should be done in front of a window or a picture. You will se the object moving in the opposite direction of your swinging. 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 vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, turnip tops; root vegetables like potatoes, turnips, carrot, onions and beetroots; nuts, dried fruits and diary productions.
Cereals are also necessarily, but they should only be consumed sparingly. Genuine whole meal 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 visions 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, soybeans, green peas, wheat germ, fresh milk, organs and dates.