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
based on the assumption that such defects are caused by permanent 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 eye balls and eye muscles as is
natural, but instead move head up and down or sideways. Thus, constant use of glasses throws
the whole natural process of vision out of gear 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 eye sight. Wearing
glasses for many years results in stiff, dull-looking eyes without any sparkle.
The three chief causes of defective vision
are mental strain, wrong diet and improper blood and
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 owing to over work, 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.Wrong Feeding
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 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
i. 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.
ii. 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
b. 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
d. 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 shortsight 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 palsm, 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.
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 endof 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
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,
confectionary, 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.