With the arrival of the new year, we undoubtedly will witness the customary spike in gym memberships as people focus on whipping their bodies into shape.
But what about our eyes? In day-to-day life, we certainly rely on our eyes more than we do our pecs, lats and six-pack abs (not that we have those.)
So, Dr. Rick Graebe, a behavioral optometrist in Versailles, suggests that we make a resolution to conduct an eye health inventory covering our visual environment, visual ergonomics and overall eye health.
Environment – Our visual system is under assault all day long. Not until the 20th century have humans been required to perform so much close-up work (reading, writing, computers, smart phones, etc).
Those devices emit blue spectrum light, which can damage the eyes and lead to macular degeneration and blindness.
Fluorescent lights – common in many office settings – emit more blue spectrum light than LED bulbs.
(Incandescent light, which emits infra-red light and its healing properties, closely mimics sunlight but has been banned for energy conservation reasons.)
Changing light bulbs and ensuring that your work area receives plenty of daylight can limit eyestrain.
Ergonomics – Dr. Graebe recommends the 20-20-20 rule. When working at a computer, take a break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Moving your eyes up and down and from right to left provides the same benefits as stretching any muscle group.
If you don’t believe Dr. Graebe, how about a Beatle? Paul McCartney demonstrates eye yoga techniques on YouTube.
Eye Health – Dr. Graebe recommends that everyone get in good eye shape. At his office, he tests patients in three crucial areas: Visual efficiency, visual processing and sensory integration.
Visual efficiency deals with the physical part of the eyes – how well they point and track when performing close-up work.
The cognitive part of the visual system incorporates visual processing such as memory, visualization and making sense of what you see.
For optimal visual system performance, our senses need to work together (sensory integration). For instance, do your body movements match your visual planning, which addresses balance and coordination.
“If you want good visual skills, you can do it,” Dr. Graebe said. “Just like if you want to lose weight, you can do it. It’s up to you.” Y
Dr. Rick Graebe
Family Eyecare Associates &
Children’s Vision and Learning Center
105 Crossfield Drive, Versailles
myfamilyvision.com • (859) 879-3665