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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Exercise For Your Eyes

We all know that our bodies and our mind need exercise, but have you ever thought about exercising your eyes?

Our eyesight can change from year to year, but when entering your forties, you may find that reading becomes more difficult. The print of books, menus, your computer screen etc…are a bit blurry. Of course holding the item way out in front of you helps…, but who wants to do that all the time? There is a way you can strengthen your eyes by exercise. You may think, how can I do that? Pinhole eyeglasses is the answer. Pinhole glasses are eyeglasses with a series of pinhole-sized perforations filling an opaque sheet of plastic in place of each lens. People who are either near- and far-sighted can benefit from these glasses.

With pinhole glasses, you can maintain your best eyesight level during the day and prevent further vision deterioration by developing your eye muscles. If you are wearing ordinary glasses or contacts, you no longer use the focusing muscles in your eyes to their fullest extent, so the muscles begins to weaken. That in turn causes a need for a stronger prescription. If you do not need corrective lenses, you will continue to develop your eye muscles, keeping you from needing glasses.

Pinhole glasses only allows a very narrow beam of light to enter the eye which reduces the size of the circle of confusion on the retina and increases depth of field. In eyes with refractive error (blurry vision), the result is often a clearer image. Two examples of this is 1) If you have blurry vision when looking at an object or while reading, do you find when you squint, you see a bit more clearly? 2) Make a fist and put it up to one eye. While looking at an object or reading words, open your fist just slightly creating a small hole. Do you see a difference? You should see more clearly. That is how the pinhole glasses work. The small holes reduce the rays of light coming from the viewed object.

Normally the full opening of your pupil admits light. When the outermost rays improperly bend, that causes refractive error (blurry vision). The pinhole glasses block those rays and lets only the rays enter into the central portion of the pupil. That is why you can see more clearly.

My father had a pair and he firmly believed they truly helped his eyesight. When I was a kid, he made me strengthen my eyes by wearing them. I have been wearing glasses for distance since I was in the third grade, but my eyesight barely changed from year to year. Did it have something to do with the pinhole glasses? Maybe…

My eye physician told me I needed reading glasses at age 46. I remember that being a little depressing for me. I suddenly felt old. I had an immediate vision of a person with the eyeglass chain around their neck holding their reading glasses :0) My eye doctor told me I was lucky because most people needed reading glasses by age 40. Did that have something to do with the pinhole glasses? It could be...

I have different vision in each of my eyes. One being worse than the other. The pinholes can actually strengthen each eye separately, depending on what my eye needs. Have you ever bought the reading glasses from the drugstore or supermarket? They have the same prescription strength in each lens. If you're like me, they don't help both eyes, so I still see somewhat blurry with one eye while reading.

So while you are excising your mind and body, start exercising your eyes as well.

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