Macular Degeneration and Me

Low Vision and High Hope

Taking My Eyes Our For A Walk

For some time I’ve felt that my eyes needed some type of exercise, but I couldn’t really put that into words.  I’m not talking about improving my vision, just that overall tiredness and weight around my eyeballs.

Then a few weeks ago I read an article from Katy Bowman, one of my favorite bloggers and things fell into place.   According to Katy in her post Can I See You Now, up close vision requires muscle tension and distance vision means muscle relaxation.

For someone who always has her head in a book, or writing or working on the computer I figured my eyes must be ready for some relaxation.  In Katy’s second article The Eyes Have It she says the length of the muscles of your eyes creates physiological states in the body.  Eyes need to be in their long muscle orientation and that you can exercise these small muscles as you can exercise the large muscles in your body.

Now this was something I could follow.  It answered that deep down longing to do something for and with my eyes.  As I read more I realized that not only could I get some well-needed outdoor exercise for my body but my eyes could come along too.

I started going outside every day, sighting in on some things on both the near and far horizon – my vision is blurry but I can still pick out things.  Then I started walking, slowly, since with my mac degen I’ve lost a lot of contrast and depth perception and need to be very careful not to fall, but surely each day I try for 10 minutes at least.  We’ve had a lovely late fall and early winter here in the great northeast so it’s been easy to get outside.

Another idea from Katy is eye-muscle meditation; closing the eyes and inspecting your eyes, muscle by muscle.  Now I had a hard time doing this and then a friend suggested I envision my eyeballs outside of my head.  This sounds impossible and it took me quite awhile to get my mind’s eye to work but now I can do it quite well.  Once I can ‘see’ the eye I let each little muscle relax and rest up.  It’s true that whether in your eye or somewhere else in your body, muscles respond.

For those of you with more limited or no vision, I would still suggest taking your eyes out for a walk.  Picture what the horizon might be like and ‘look’ for the tree or the rooftop.  Be careful walking, take someone with you.  Enjoy the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair.

Thanks to Katy Bowman for her kind permission to use her information and articles.  Katy has a graduate level degree in Biomechanics, is the Director of the Restorative Exercise Institute and the author of the new book, Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief.  From head to toe Katy is a great person and resource.

NEXT UP: Inner Vision

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2 thoughts on “Taking My Eyes Our For A Walk

  1. I love this idea! It makes tons of sense to me and you explain it in a way that’s easy to understand. I’m so glad you’re sharing ideas like this with folks.

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