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The Art of NOT Seeing Part 2 – Underusing The Pupil


Last week I talked about how, as a society, we have developed an art of NOT seeing. By this, I mean that there are aspects of our vision that could help improve our eyesight, but we are not using them.

This is a result of poor visual habits, a shift in the importance of the different parts of the visual system related to survival and a lack of knowledge in regards to good visual habits.

This week I will be looking at how the pupil can be the key to clearer eyesight and better night vision.

The coloured iris at the front of the eye is made of two muscles. These muscles constrict and dilate the pupil to regulate the amount of light that enters the eye. When the light is bright, the pupil constricts and reduces the amount of light that enters the eye.

This prevents the central vision from being overwhelmed with light. The shrinking of the pupil also directs the light straight to the fovea, which is the part of the eye which sees best.

The opposite is also true when being in a dark environment. Here, the dilator muscle in the iris contracts and dilates the pupil. This allows more light to enter the eye, allowing us to see better in the dark.

However, few of us spend much active time in the dark anymore as we have all become accustomed to having lights on all the time. Because of this, the pupil rarely has the opportunity to be fully dilated, meaning the dilator muscle in the iris becomes unused.

The same can be said for the constrictor in bright light. Due to the modern day lifestyles, a vast majority of our time is spent indoors in poor lighting. This means the constrictor muscle is again underused. To make matters worse, the only time we do go outside in the sunshine, we wear sunglasses, which further prevent the constrictors muscle from doing its job.

As a consequence, the iris becomes weak and the days seems brighter and the nights seem darker. All of this causes a strain on our visual system.

A simple remedy is to spend more time in the aforementioned light and dark environments.  Another option is to perform the Palming Eye Exercise to help fully dilate the pupil. To help constrict the pupil, you can perform the Sunning Eye Exercise, which is a great way to improve eyesight and help you get rid of your sunglasses!

Good luck with your eye exercises this week and happy healing!

You can also stay connected by following me on twitter and facebook which can be located next to my name below.


After plenty of hard work and persistence Will no longer wears glasses and has experienced clear, increased improvements in his eyesight. Will's ambition is to give others the same chance he had in improving not only his vision, but also body and mind. View all posts by Will


  • Lianne

    1) How long should it take before one starts to notice that their sensitivity to bright light has lessened? 6 months…more? I have gone without sunglasses for two weeks now and sun 10 for minutes twice a day. Should I increase my sunning?

    2) I live in Las Vegas, Nevada which is VERY bright (which creates lots of glare while driving), yet I do not want to have to wear fully darkened sunglasses. What about gradient lenses which are only dark on the top half of the lense? This sounds like a happy medium to me, your thoughts?

  • Envision Admin

    There can be many different reasons to why someone is sensitive to sunlight. As you can imagine some will take longer to improve than others. Also the intensity of light that someone is trying to adjust to can make a difference. Some people notice improvements almost immediately after sunning others it could take several months.

    We would recommend you make your comparisons to the morning sun so you can compare more easily on how your eyes are strengthening to the sunlight.

    You can increase the amount of sunnning, but you will also want to do some relaxation exercises as light sensitivity can be a sign of eyestrain. Check out our eyestrain podcast series to learn more.

    If the sun is causing difficulties driving, especially mid day, then certainly wear sunglasses. You can get glasses of all different levels of darkness. Try and find one that is just dark enough so that your eyes feel comfortable when driving. We are unfamiliar with the progression, but if you go that route let us know how it goes. Just make sure they are full spectrum UV protected.

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