Welcome back, [s2Get user_field=”first_name” /].
I’ve been promising for a while now, that we’ll talk about uninterrupted distance vision.
We’re getting into the nitty gritty now.
Here’s the scenario, as you quite possibly know well. You go outside for a walk. Your phone buzzes in your pocket. You grab it, check messages. While you’re there, you check other messages. You respond to something. You stick it back in your pocket.
How often does that happen?
Maybe not at all. Maybe once. But a lot of my students are basically addicted to that little screen. I am too, don’t feel bad if you are. I won’t tell you to go check into rehab, change your life.
Acknowledge it though, if you are a little addicted to the little buzzing screen.
Here’s where it gets just a tiny bit problematic.
That close-up that you’re meaning to get a break from, it’s the cause of something called a “ciliary spasm”. You already know about this. Focusing muscle in your eye stays tense while focused up close. After many hours of this, the muscle has spasmed, no longer fully relaxes, your distance vision is now “locked out”.
Taking breaks before all that happens, is your goal.
This varies for everyone, and for everyone it’s also not the same every day. You develop a feel for it eventually. And it’s easy enough to tell when you went to far, since what was clear at a distance earlier today, now stays in persistent blur. That is a ciliary spasm. Very easy to self diagnose.
So you go for a walk to prevent it, or a longer walk to help relax a spasm that already is in progress.
Good idea. With one issue.
When you grab that phone out of your pocket and look at it, that’s back to close-up. And for whatever reason, your ciliary muscle is already primed to lock up again. It’s like when you slap your arm lightly once or twice, it’s no big deal. But slap it lightly a hundred times, and the next slap feels really unpleasant.
The ciliary muscle is already overly sensitive to that close-up. That one minute of close-up during your walk is all it takes to undo a half hour of good distance vision.
You’ll notice this to be true whenever you compare a proper hour walk with NO close-up interruptions, to an hour walk with ten little phone interruptions. Check your distance vision for either scenario, see for yourself how that one minute here and there is all it takes to undo your walk’s efforts for relaxing your eyes.
Simple to see once you know.
Simple to prevent, also. When you go for that walk, you want to really be on that walk. Not a slave to that buzzing in your pocket.
How many half hours of uninterrupted distance vision time have you been getting?
The correct answer is a bit of a trick. It should be, ALL of them. It’s fine to be an Internet addict, this isn’t the venue to cast judgments on that front. But you want to draw the line at your walks. Leave the phone at home or in the office. Turn off the ringer, if you have to keep it on you. Forget about smartwatches.
Don’t let these things own your walk.
And yes, I struggle with this sometimes too. Like it or not, that’s how life tends to be for a lot of us now. Shiny toys, distracting us at every step.
But you need uninterrupted distance time. An hour a day is really pretty minimal. More is better. Do you need it? That’s up to you. Gauge your progress. If you’re not going down a quarter diopter every three months or so, you’re probably not getting the minimum amount of distance vision time and pulling focus with it. Truly in a large majority of cases of slow progress, lacking distance time is to blame.
So, uninterrupted outdoor time. See what you can do.
Take a look at this just somewhat related post in the forum, if you haven’t seen She is Biking Around the World, yet.
Next session group (11), we’ll start looking at some other very interesting subjects. Get ready for learning about “cognition and velocity” (speed makes a difference in your eyesight), avoiding prescription mistakes, bad plateaus, and lots more.