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Macular Degeneration

1 Learn

Trevor, EnglandWhat is Macular Degeneration?

The macula is a small area in the retina that contains a high concentration of cone cells. the cells responsible for seeing fine details. In our everyday lives the macula is regularly underused as we ignore fine details in our surroundings. This is due to lack of interest and improper use of the eyes. Like any other part of the body that is not being used properly, the macula becomes weak and begins to degenerate.

Another important contributor to this degenerative eye disease is poor blood flow. Blood flow brings nutrients to and carries waste away from the macula. If there is not enough blood flow to the eyes then neither of these essential jobs can be accomplished.

Wet Macular Degeneration

In this eye disease the blood vessels feeding the rods and cones leak, triggering “neovascularization,” which is a growth of new blood vessels. However, these new vessels are also leaky, drowning the photoreceptor cells leading to quick vision loss.

Dry Macular Degeneration

The chemical process that allows us to see by turning light into electrical impulses (phototransduction) creates debris called drusen. In a healthy eye, specialized cells in the blood called phagocytes consume this debris and carry it  away through the blood vessels. However, in dry macular degeneration this is no longer being accomplished. Debris builds up between the two most inner layers of the eye known as the retina and choroid creating damage to the photoreceptor cells.

Understanding

How the eye works

The eyeball consists of three layers: sclera, choroid and retina.

1. The sclera is the thick outer layer of the eye, 4/5th of which is white and the rest is transparent. This transparent area, known as the cornea, allows light to enter the eye and is the the first stage of refraction (bending of light rays).

2. The choroid layer contains blood vessels designed to nourish the retina. The anterior (front) part is modified to form the iris. This is the coloured part of the eye, which has two sets of smooth muscles: radial and circular. The radial fibers which are responsible for dilation allow more light to enter the eye. The circular fibers which are responsible for constriction, let in less light and sharpen the image.

Another modified function of the choroid layer is the cillary body muscle that surrounds the edge of the lens, connected to the lens by suspensory ligaments. In a process known as accommodation, the lens is rounded when the cillary muscle contracts and flattens when it relaxes, enabling the eye to focus on objects at different distances.
Elizabeth, Maryland 23. The retina lines 2/3rd’s of the innermost layer of the eye. It contains the essential cells responsible for converting light rays into electrical signals (phototransduction) which are then sent to the brain for processing. These cells are known as photoreceptors and can be divided into rods and cones.

Each eye roughly contains 6 million cones, found mostly in the centre of the retina. This central area is otherwise know as the macula and allows us to see colour and fine detail. In our periphery we have 120 million rods, which are responsible for seeing movement and dim light.

The electrical signal created by phototransduction is sent via the optic nerve to the thalamus where unnecessary information is discarded.  It is then sent to the visual cortex located in the occipital lobe for initial processing, before being sent to other areas of the brain. The two separate images from each eye are not identical and are put together to create one single fused image, otherwise known as binocular vision.

Next step

2 Create

Vision ExercisesNelu, Romania

  • Palming Eye Exercise

    This eye exercise is essential to vision improvement, as it rests and relaxes the eyes. It achieves this through allowing the optic nerve and retina to completely rest from any external light or activity. The palms touching your eye orbits also brings healing attention and energy to the eyes.

  • Peripheral Vision Eye Exercise

    This eye exercise rests the overworked/degenerating macula and strengthens the periphery to broaden the visual field and give the macula a helping hand.  Even with Macular Degeneration, the periphery is often weak from a lifetime of disuse.

  • Shifting Eye Exercise

    Shifting from detail to detail promotes increased healthy activity of the cone cells in the macula which is responsible for seeing fine details. Over time, practicing this eye exercise retrains the individual to look at more and more details throughout their daily lives, helping to either prevent or improve Macular Degeneration.

  • Sunning Eye Exercise

    The Sunning eye exercise accomplishes several important, related things. It reduces light sensitivity and thereby reduces the tendency to squint in bright light. It also causes the pupils to fully contract thereby creating sharper vision. At the same time this eye exercise stimulates the macula. Since the macula needs bright light to become fully active, the macula is underutilized if our eyes are not exposed to sunlight.

Body ExercisesHand Rotations Richard Web

Movement Exercises

  • Head Rotations

  • Shoulder Rotations

    Rotating the head and shoulders loosens your joints and relaxes the surrounding muscles, allowing more blood flow to the head and eyes. This increased blood flow brings more nourishment to the eyes, helps with the removal of waste and strengthens the vessels in the eye. This exercise improves eyesight by bringing better blood flow to the eyes.

Massage TechniquesGaeta, India

  • Head Massage

    Many people are surprised to hear that massage can improve eyesight. Massage brings more blood flow to the head. It also helps reduce the muscle tension created by using the facial muscles to see more clearly. This tension causes strain and reduced blood flow to the eyes. Reducing strain and increasing blood flow lead to better vision.

  • Neck Massage

    Many people are surprised to hear that massage can improve eyesight. Massage brings more blood flow to the head. It also helps reduce the muscle tension created by using the facial muscles to see more clearly. This tension causes strain and reduced blood flow to the eyes. Reducing strain and increasing blood flow lead to better vision.

  • Face Massage

    Many people are surprised to hear that massage can improve eyesight. Massage brings more blood flow to the head. It also helps reduce the muscle tension created by using the facial muscles to see more clearly. This tension causes strain and reduced blood flow to the eyes. Reducing strain and increasing blood flow lead to better vision.

Mind ExercisesSunning eye exercise Will 3 Web

  • Breaking the Habit of Glasses

    Although glasses are a quick fix for making the world around you clearer, they also promote poor vision habits and create a large amount of eyestrain. This causes a slow deterioration of vision and an unnatural dependency on glasses. Furthermore, corrective lenses for farsightedness (hyperopia) and presbyopia concentrate the light unnaturally on the macula, potentially leading to damage. Besides, don’t we all really want to get rid of our glasses?

  • Keeping a Vision Journal

    The process of improving eyesight can be slow at times and improvements can easily be forgotten; journaling helps motivation and keeps you on track. The journal also creates a place where you can write about thoughts and feelings.

  • Relaxation

    Our eyesight is clearer when the eyes and the whole visual system are deeply relaxed. Unfortunately relaxation of the eyes is uncommon these days. This creates  eyestrain and leads to poor visual function. We need to take time to relax our eyes to provide the optimum environment for their good use.

Next step

3 Integrate

HOME

Shifting Eye Exercise

Shifting on facial details in the mirror whilst brushing teeth, shifting from detail to detail on a close object ie photo, picture etc.

Sunning Eye Exercise

Open a window from within the house and sun.

Peripheral Vision Eye Exercise

When relaxing, watching TV, performing house chores etc, wear the small piece of paper between the eyes.  if safe wear the medium size paper, walk around the house paying attention to the periphery.

Palming Eye Exercise

Palming before sleep or first thing in the morning, a short palm as a break from continuously looking from near i.e TV or reading, palming whenever the eyes feel tired/strained.

Head and Shoulder Rotations

Before sleep or first thing in the morning, bathroom habits ie whilst brushing teeth, showering etc, anytime whilst in the house, watching TV, whilst distance looking.

Head, Neck and Face Massage

Watching TV, whilst distance looking, bathroom habits.  before bed or first thing in morning.

Breaking the Habit of Glasses

Place glasses only where needed ie next to computer or TV, do not put glasses on bedside table so you don’t wear them first thing, if finding it difficult to read form near without your glasses, try shifting with large and small print first.

Vision Journal

Keep near by and add an observation when it arises, before bed i.e write out the observations of the day.

Relaxation

Palming, meditation, napping, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage, having a bath, going for a walk.

WORK

Shifting Eye Exercise

Shifting from facial details on work colleagues, shifting from detail to detail on a close object ie photo, picture etc.

Sunning Eye Exercise

Try sunning just before and after work, go outside during breaks and sun, open a window from within the building and sun.

Peripheral Vision Eye Exercise

During breaks, before starting and leaving work, wear the small piece of paper periodically throughout the day.

Palming Eye Exercise

Palming just before work starts and just before going home, a short palm as a break from continuously looking from near, palming whenever the eyes feel tired/strained.

Head and Shoulder Rotations

Perform rotations: when on the phone, reading emails, facebook etc, before palming, whilst sunning and distance looking.

Head, Neck and Face Massage

During breaks, while performing other simple tasks,

Breaking the Habit of Glasses

Place glasses on only when essential, avoid contacts as they are more difficult to put on and off, if finding it difficult to read form near without your glasses, try shifting with large and small print first.

Vision Journal

Keep journal near by and make observations.

Relaxation

Make sure you take your breaks! palming, meditation, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage, going for a walk.

TRANSIT

Shifting Eye Exercise

Shifting from facial details on other passengers and bus signs, shifting from detail to detail on a close or distant object.

Sunning Eye Exercise

While waiting for public transit to arrive, when going outside stop a sun briefly to help eyes adjust to the light.  slowly wean yourself from sunglasses

Peripheral Vision Eye Exercise

Wear the small piece of paper walking from A to B, being a passenger wear either small, medium or large papers paying attention to the periphery.

Palming Eye Exercise

During transit, if eyes become strained or tired whilst driving stop and palm.

Head and Shoulder Rotations

Waiting for public transit to arrive, during travel, if driving stop for short breaks, whilst walking.

Head, Nack and Face Massage

Before and during travel, taking a break from driving,

Breaking the Habit of Glasses

if passenger carrying glasses in your pocket and only use when necessary, use pin hole glasses instead of prescription glasses.if finding it difficult to read form near without your glasses, try shifting with large and small print first.

Vision Journal

Make observations about your vision while in transit.

Relaxation

Wear all three sizes of peripheral vision exercise papers while a passenger, palming, meditation, distance looking, listen to music or audio book, self massage.

COMPUTER

Shifting Eye Exercise

Shifting from detail to detail on the screen, shifting from detail to detail on a close object ie photo, picture etc.  download and shift with Large and Small Print.

Sunning Eye Exercise

Try sunning just before and after computer use, go outside during breaks and sun, open a window from within the building and sun.

Peripheral Vision Eye Exercise

Perform the 3 sizes of paper exercise during computer breaks, wear the small piece of paper periodically while using the computer.

Palming Eye Exercise

Palming just before and after working on the computer, a short palm as a break every hour, palming whenever the eyes feel tired/strained.

Head and Shoulder Rotations

Perform rotations anytime when on the computer, before palming, whilst sunning and distance looking.

Head, Neck and Face Massage

During breaks, while performing simple tasks on the computer,

Breaking the Habit of Glasses

Place glasses on only when essential, instead of wearing glasses try increasing font/page size,  avoid contacts as they are more difficult to put on and off, use pinholes instead of prescription glasses, if finding it difficult to read form near without your glasses, try shifting with large and small print first.

Vision Journal

Keep the journal close by and make observations.

Relaxation

Make sure you take  breaks from the computer! Peripheral vision exercises, palming, distance looking, self massage, chair stretches, going for a walk.