Do you grab for your sunglasses if the slightest ray of sunshine hits your eyes? Do you find the bright lights in supermarkets and other public venues too bright for you? If so, you are likely light sensitive.
Sensitivity to light is common in the following conditions:
- Macular degeneration
- Second occurrence of cataracts
- Corneal abrasion (e.g. through Lasik)
- Viral infection
- Taking certain medications
- Most visual disorders, especially myopia and astigmatism
- Visual processing problems.
Of course, your first tendency is to grab for those sunglasses. But is this the best idea? Not necessarily. Involuntary muscles in the eye, called cilliary muscles, work to open and close the iris to let the proper amount of light into the eye. Overuse of sunglasses lenses can weaken the iris’s ability to respond to the environment and increase light sensitivity. This is likely to happen even more so if you wear tinted glasses (the ones that get darker with more light). They make the light sensitivity worse and often the refractive error as well, since the amount of available light impacts clarity when vision is not 20/20. In the long run, you will likely need stronger glasses.
A better idea to decrease light sensitivity is the do sunning. One of the core eye relaxation and improvement techniques of the Bates Method, sunning helps get the eyes used to handling light while simultaneously relaxing all the muscles in and around the eye. This happens because when the fovea in the retina is stimulated by light, the light causes the nerve cells of the eye to replenish a pigment in the eye called visual purple.
INTERESTING INFO: Sunglasses started out as tools for fighter pilots who, flying high up in the atmosphere had to handle the intense glare of the sun. After World War II, the tinted goggle trend spread throughout the world and now most people in industrialized society wear sunglasses while out in the sun.
IMPORTANT INFO: You need to reverse light sensitivity first before being able to improve your myopia or astigmatism.
- Reduces light sensitivity.
- Strengthens pupillary reflex from the shift from shadow to light when turning the head, which slightly opens and close the pupils.
- Massages the lens capsule through the pupillary reaction, stimulating the photoreceptor cells in the retina without need for sharp focus.
- Release tension and improves blood flow to the neck and shoulder muscles from the warmth of the sunlight and head movement, relaxing the facial muscles.
- Gives you needed vitamin D3 through sun exposure, to absorb the calcium needed to keep bones strong and healthy and boosts the immune system.
TAKE HEED: If you suffer from macular degeneration or secondary cataracts, do not do sunning.
- Go outside and face the sun. You can sit or stand depending on your circumstances at the time.
- Gently close your eyes and feel the warmth of the bright sunlight on your closed eyelids. Relax your mind with pleasant thoughts or empty it altogether.
- Inhale slowly and deeply and very slowly turn your head to the left side.
- Exhale and very slowly turn your head to the right, noticing your right eye now being in the shade and your left eye receiving more light and warmth. Notice the vibrant light in the center when both eyes get an equal amount of light. You may see sunspots of a rosy or purple light, especially if your eyes are not used to light because visual purple is depleted by light and replenished by darkness (palming).
- Let the breath initiate the turns of the head.
- Continue going back and forth, as if you were saying “no,” turning your head sideways as far as your neck allows you.
HELPFUL HINT: If your chin doesn’t go all the way to the shoulder for a 180 degree head turn, do not force it. With daily sunning, your tight neck and shoulder muscles will relax and release tension, and in turn improve blood flow to the brain and help you to improve your vision. Tight neck and shoulder muscles are a big contributor to tension in the eyes and vision problems. To help with neck tension, try doing a few “yes” movements with your head, tilting the head slightly back as you inhale and moving the chin toward your chest as you exhale.
Once your eyes get accustomed to sunning, you can deepen the experience by doing the following:
- When head is turned to the sides, open your eyes and blink rapidly.
- Hold your hands in front of your eyes with fingers spread and rapidly move them up and down with eyes open, and blink rapidly. The fingers provide a filter that allows some sun to enter the eyes without being too strong. This is the technique I utilized to correct my own vision.
TAKE HEED: Ultraviolet light from the sun can cause cataract and macular degeneration. If you have an eye condition that requires you to wear sunglasses to keep out ultraviolet light, get the lightest tint you can find.
Sun for five to ten minutes or however long you can.
IMPORTANT INFO: Sunning accustoms your eyes to light and palming accustoms your eyes to dark. Sunning should always be followed by palming to build up the ability of the eyes to replenish visual purple. Never sun without palming; however, you can palm without sunning.
Sun in the early morning or late afternoon hours when the sun is lowest if you are used to wearing sunglasses when outside. Otherwise any time of day is fine. You can sun anywhere, and anytime when you are out in the sun.
If you find facing the sun with closed eyes too strong even in with the morning or late afternoon sun, practice on an overcast day or stand with your back to the sun until you feel comfortable enough to face the sun.
INTERESTING INFO: Your eyes are light receptors constructed to respond to light. Good vision is a highly developed sense of light perception, and people and animals living in bright light have the keenest eyesight.
Follow sunning with 5 minutes of blinking into the light. The light relaxes your eyes and mind, and the heat soothes tight muscles.
After blinking, palm for ideally twice as long as you did sunning. If you don’t have the time, sun until images or colors have faded and your visual field with eyes closed is dark again.
Both palming and sunning keep the eyes young and flexible and allow you to take in natural full spectrum sunlight with ease. This makes both the most important things you can do to eliminate light sensitivity and improve vision.
HELPFUL HINT: Should your eyes get watery, itchy or start to twitch, it’s usually a symptom of the intense strain you’re carrying in your eyes. Continue to do the sunning in a relaxed way, and it will slowly melt that tension away. Maybe do it for shorter periods or only with the morning or evening sun until the worst strain is released. I did sunning for about 20 seconds to start and had great results.
HELPFUL TIP: If the real sun is not shining or if you live in a part of the world where you get little sun, especially in winter, you can “sun” inside, using a high wattage white infrared lamp, like the OTT lamp.
Try this. Take off your glasses and create a pinhole with your hand by bending your finger to create a small pinhole between the skin folds. Notice how clear your vision becomes without any corrective lenses. Now hold the pinhole in front of your eye, and notice how much more in focus everything is that you’re looking at.
Pinhole glasses are glasses with many small holes in the lenses.
An affordable alternative to prescription eyeglasses for some, they are comprised of precision-manufactured lightweight perforated plastic lenses, inset into standard metal or plastic eyeglass frames.
They work by reducing the amount of light entering the eye allowing your eyes to relax. In a healthy eye, light rays are focused into a single point on the light sensitive retina located at the back of the eyeball. Less healthy eyes focus light rays in front of or behind the retina, casting a blurred circle on the retina. The minute pinholes on the surface of the plastic lenses allow a narrower beam of light through to the eye lens with a greater depth of field. The narrow beam casts a smaller blur circle on the retina, improving vision. Since the pinholes allow only direct and coherent light rays to pass through into the eye, they are ideal for those with refractive eye disorders, seniors and computer users.
Pinhole glasses can “improve” vision and allow you to read or see with less blur, but only while worn.
Here are the many benefits of pinhole glasses.
- Improved visual clarity and resolution.
- Increased apparent object brightness, especially helpful for those who struggle with vision in low-light situations.
- See clearly at all distances.
- Less stressful on the eyes.
- One pair covers seeing near and far.
- Lightweight and durable.
- Affordable (they typically run around $15 to $20).
This simple exercise stretches the eye muscles to give them a warm up before further practice. You can do this exercise anytime, and in any place.
- With eyes open, move your eyes open up to down while keeping your head still.
- Move your eyes left to right and vice versa, keeping your head still.
- Repeat whole procedure several times.
- Move your eyes diagonally from bottom-left to top right and vice versa.
- Move your eyes in a circle, clockwise and counter-clockwise several times.
- Repeat whole sequence with eyes shut.
This is how law enforcement can determine if a person is lying or being truthful. Up and to the left is recalling a memory, up and to the right, as you observe them, shows they are making the story up!
Part 5 is full of little known exercises that can optimize your vision with as little as 5 minutes a day! Lazy eights, the mandala and even the fusion string will be explained so you can optimize your vision ASAP!
After retiring from football, Dr. DeWitt earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Los Angeles Chiropractic College.He is practicing in Orange County, at Bergman Family Chiropractic, specializing in concussion assessment, advanced sports nutrition, natural vision correction techniques and more.
Dr. DeWitt can be heard on several radio shows from LA Talk Radio to ABC News Radio. He speaks on the future of sports as well as other natural ways to optimize brain function, eyesight and overall productivity.
He has authored several, best-selling books on a variety of topics including Goal Setting, Golf, Concussions and CTE and a three-part series on Natural Vision Correction.
He has been happily married to Cathy DeWitt for over nineteen years.They live in Huntington Beach, CA with their two adorable dogs, Ricky and Lucy.
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- Part 10 – Natural Ways to Improve Your Vision – 10 Part Series - March 2, 2018
- Part 9 – Natural Ways to Improve Your Vision – 10 Part Series - February 27, 2018
- Part 8 – Natural Ways to Improve Your Vision – 10 Part Series - February 23, 2018