Ep. 057 – The Eyes Are the Window to the … Brain

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 057 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. It’s Monday again, so this is our weekly, 30-minute episode. (Tuesday through Sunday we produce five-minute episodes with daily tips.) Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast provides advice for helping you to improve the function of your brain.

In Episode 057, Dr. Trayford teaches us all about how practicing certain eye exercises can strengthen our eyes and improve our vision! He describes which exercises to do and what results you can expect. What a great gift to give yourself: better sight!

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

The eyes are an amazingly accurate window into what is going on in the brain. The eyes really are a very valuable diagnostic tool for brain function.

Eyesight is called visual acuity. This is what optometrists and ophthalmologists are working with. In some cases they’re improving vision. Other instances might be related to cosmetic adjustments like a lazy eye or other serious issues that might require surgical intervention.

What we’re looking at here is the other side of eye function, as it relates to eye movements. This is really quite different from visual acuity. When people first come in to Apex Brain Centers we start doing various types of eye testing. Some people will even tell us that they just saw their optometrist to update the prescription on their glasses. What we’re really looking at though is completely different from measuring visual acuity. The eye movements in our tests are directly related to the brain, rather than the ability to simply see.

It’s important to keep in mind that the visual system accounts for nearly 47% of the input coming into the brain.

Giving your eyes a rest is very important. It’s something that more people need to give attention to. In a lot of cases we’re talking about people who are typically working a lot on computers. If you are on a computer a lot it’s important to take breaks. It’s not an uncommon thing for people that spend a lot of time on computers to get headaches. Some optometrists will tell you the old 20-20-20 rule, which is every 20 minutes you should look away at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Just like how you need to get up and walk around to help stretch out your muscles, you also want to give your eyes a break. You have to keep in mind that we take in so much about our environment through our eyes.

If your eyes are constantly stressed, rigid and strained you can’t take in as much or learn as much about what’s going on in your environment. Let’s not forget that there’s also a stress response associated with this as well.

It might help to have an alarm set to remind you to take a break for your eyes. In terms of the break itself you can simply open and close your eyes every once but do it dramatically. Hold your eyes wide open for a few seconds then hold them closed and squeeze your lids tighter than you normally would. That can help reduce eye strain and reset the tone of the muscles that move the eyes. This can also help with other conditions like dry eyes.

Moving the eyes is critical, because if you’re on a computer screen your range of motion is actually quite limited. You’re usually looking at the same thing for extended periods of time. A simple exercise like this and others like the clock-face exercise, can help improve eye health and can even help to improve your vision. There are even some people who do these exercises for a while and find they have to go back to the optometrist to get an improved prescription.

Links for this episode:

To read more about the Michigan Quarterback click here.

To read Dr. Trayford’s blog post on the issue of non-reporting in sports click here.

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