Ep. 073 – Near / Far Accommodation

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 73 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!

This morning Dr. Trayford shares tip number 73. Vision is a precious thing. If you want to keep your vision sharp, Dr. Trayford has another eye-related brain training tip for you today. Hold your thumb up and practice focusing on it, and then try to focus on something about 10 feet away. As soon as you’re able to establish clear vision of the near object, focus on the far object and go back and forth 10 times. This will help you see better while driving and reading!

Jason: Singing theme music to the Movie Titanic

This relates to the eyes and the ability to look close and then far. This is important not just for visual acuity but for brain function. Our ability to see things in our environment, that our ability to look at targets and keep our eyes on that target, look close and far, feeds your brain information that can impact our lives.

These are built into our more instinctual ability to survive, but we’ve also found a relationship to cognitive function. Our ability to move our eyes from close to far has a lot to do with our higher capacity to pay attention and focus.

As an exercise you simply hold your arm out in front of you. Hold a thumb up with your thumbnail towards your eyes. You should look at a spot on your thumbnail; you can even draw a little spot on the thumbnail to help you get a better focus.

Get a good clear focus on it, then take your focus off of it and look at a spot in the distance. What you can do is have a spot on the wall, about 10 to 12 feet away. Then look at the further dot until you get it into focus. Then switch back to your thumb again.

If it doesn’t get into focus it means that spot is too far away. So you’ll want to choose another spot that is maybe 8 or even 6 feet away, so that you have something that is clear. Then you can start to bring it out farther and farther away as it gets bigger.

You can keep doing these for 10 repetitions, then you can do this two to three times each day. This will not only help your visual acuity, it will also improve your ability to read, brain function and so many other things.
This is just a key eye exercise, like stretching the eyes and gaze stabilization. This is the next level beyond these exercises.
If you have any challenges with your eyes, you might want to talk to your optometrist or a physician versed in functional neurology.

If you experiences any dizziness while doing this you should throttle back on the repetitions or shorten the distance of the object you’re focusing on.

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.

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