🔑 Key Takeaways
- Start small and gradually increase sets, take rest days, and take complete breaks after a 10-12 week cycle. Prioritize visual health for better mental and physical performance, especially amongst young people. Seek professional help for severe vision disorders.
- Our eyes are responsible for more than just seeing and adopting specific behaviors like light viewing can enhance and maintain our visual system, ultimately improving our overall wellbeing.
- Vision relies on electrical signals interpreted by the brain, and perception of color varies depending on surrounding light. Animals' vision differs based on their eyes' cones, and studying this can aid in understanding consciousness.
- Our brain's guesses about our surroundings are largely correct, but can also create blind spots and fill them in with what it thinks should be there. Our perspective of the world is limited to the colors and wavelengths of light we can see, which can vary among different species and individuals. Diving birds use their eyes' ability to adjust to water refraction to catch fish.
- Our brain devotes a significant portion of its real estate to vision and melanopsin retinal ganglion cells regulate our sleep rhythms, mood, hormones, metabolism, pain threshold, learning, and memory. Viewing the sun for a few minutes in the morning and evening is crucial to anchor ourselves in time and enhance vision capabilities. Low/no vision people rely on touch and hearing, but light and eyesight are essential to subconscious regulation.
- Getting early sunlight and outdoor time not only enhances mood and hormone levels but can also prevent myopia. Exposure to blue light triggers melanopsin cells, communicating the time of day to our body and brain.
- Spending at least 2 hours outside every day without sunglasses on, especially early in the day, can improve the health of the eye's focusing mechanism and promote mental and cognitive performance.
- Improper eye habits can harm both vision and brain. Repeated focus on nearby objects can cause headaches and reshape neural connections, while looking at a distance relaxes eye muscles and maintains brain health.
- Regular exercise of eye muscles and breaks from up-close work can prevent vision problems, migraines, and fatigue. Optic flow through self-generated motion improves visual and mood systems, promoting lifelong health at no cost.
- Be mindful of the position of your computer screen and the light surrounding you to trigger areas in the brain for wakefulness. Similarly, sleep in a dark room to reduce the probability of nearsightedness.
- To improve quality of sleep, avoid exposure to light during certain hours. Also, reducing blue and bright light exposure can help prevent myopia. Additionally, spending time looking at distant objects improves vision and induces relaxation.
- Practicing smooth pursuit training and accommodation mechanisms can reduce eye strain, improve vision, and aid in post-concussion recovery. Regularly exposing our eyes to varied stimuli can help maintain a healthy visual system.
- Practicing smooth pursuit, accommodation mechanisms, and rest for your eyes can preserve vision. Try early morning flashing red light with caution under the guidance of an optometrist or ophthalmologist to enhance photoreceptor function.
- Blink regularly to avoid visual distortions. Treat lazy eye in children promptly. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, including foods and supplements that support vision and reverse visual decline for better eye health.
- Balanced visual input is crucial for developing strong binocular visual machinery. Occluding one eye without clinical need can shut down neural information, and early detection of neuromuscular issues is essential for proper vision development.
- Correcting Strabismus in children through eye exercises can provide balanced vision and prevent muscle weakness. Consulting with an eye specialist is crucial for severe vision problems, while practicing with a Snellen chart at home can help improve vision. Understimulated visual systems can lead to hallucinations, especially in low or no vision cases.
- Get regular eye exams from a specialist; avoid incorrect lenses. Eat dark leafy vegetables and consider supplementing with lutein-rich egg yolks. Practice simple exercises, like using a Snellen chart at home, to improve vision over time.
- Lutein supplements benefit moderate to severe macular degeneration, but cooking eggs reduces their effectiveness. Non-animal sources of leucine are also available. Idebenone helps with congenital eye diseases. Zeaxanthin and astaxanthin from seafood improve vision and blood flow. Additionally, Aztec Saxton enhances male fertility.
- Lutein and Astaxanthin supplements improve blood flow to the eyes, enhancing skin elasticity and quality. Endurance and strength training indirectly improves eye health. Consult with a doctor and consider other behavioral tools for a comprehensive approach.
📝 Podcast Summary
Building a Fitness Regimen and Supporting Visual Health for Better Performance.
To achieve your fitness goals, emphasize what you are trying to achieve and build your workout regimen around it. Whether it's endurance or strength training, start with the minimum number of sets required and work your way up incrementally. Taking rest days is essential for injury-free progress. After a 10-12 week cycle, take 5-7 days off completely. The understanding of the senses is crucial to comprehend mental health. Young people should train and support their eyesight for better mental and physical performance as it's easier to reinforce it earlier. The episode offers practical tools to maintain visual health and helpful for people with vision disorders but consult with clinicians for severe problems.
Understanding the Vision System for Wellbeing
Vision involves more than just seeing things around us, and our eyes are responsible for our mood and level of alertness. The neural retinas in our eyes are part of the central nervous system and the only part of our brain outside the skull. By adopting specific behaviors like light viewing at particular times and ways, we can enhance and maintain our visual system. The eyes collect light information and send it off to the brain in a form it can understand. Photoreceptors in the eye react to light and convert it into electrical information that is processed by retinal ganglion cells and sent to the brain. By understanding how the visual system works, we can improve our overall wellbeing.
Perceiving the World: How Vision Works for Different Creatures
Vision is not a direct process, but a result of electrical signals that the brain interprets to make guesses about what is in front of us. The perception of color depends on the comparison of light reflected by surrounding objects. Animals perceive light differently based on the types of cones they have in their eyes. Some animals can see ultraviolet light, heat emissions, and signal using sunlight reflections on their bodies. Understanding how creatures perceive the world can help scientists study consciousness and the extent to which we can access the world around us.
The Incredible Communication Between the Eye and the Brain
The way that the eye communicates with the brain is incredible. The brain makes guesses about what is there and those guesses are largely right. This is why we can functionally move through the world. However, the brain's guessing can also create blind spots, which the brain fills in with what it thinks is there. The brain also creates a sense of depth by comparing the location at which information about light lands on the two eyes. We experience the outside world through a limited perspective of colors and wavelengths of light. This is why some animals and individuals with color blindness see the world differently. The eye's ability to adjust to the way water refracts the image helps diving birds catch fish.
The Importance of Vision in Regulating Subconscious Aspects of Our Biology
Our brain uses 40-50% of its real estate for vision, which also governs our mood, sleep, and appetite. Melanopsin retinal ganglion cells regulate our sleep rhythms, mood, hormones, metabolism, pain threshold, learning, and memory. If you are not viewing the sun for 2-10 minutes in the morning and evening, you're disrupting these rhythms. Every cell in our body needs to know if it's day or night. Hence, one of the most important aspects of our biology is to anchor ourselves in time. Low vision or no vision people have their real estate in the brain taken over by touch and hearing neurons. These neurons are faster and higher acuity. Hence, it's essential to use light and eyesight to regulate these subconscious aspects and enhance our vision capabilities.
The Benefits of Early Sunlight and Outdoor Time
Getting sunlight early in the day is essential to set our circadian clocks, enhance mood, optimize hormone levels and dopamine levels, and prevent myopia or nearsightedness. The ancient cells in our eyes inform our body and brain about the time of day. Exposure to blue light, even if it’s from artificial sources, triggers melanopsin cells that signal every cell in our body, including the circadian clock. The effect of sunlight is not just limited to its distance but directly related to reducing the probability of myopia emergence. Children and adults should get at least two hours of outdoor time without sunglasses to prevent and offset the formation of myopia.
The Benefits of Sunlight on Eye Health and Mental Focus
Getting outside for at least two hours a day without sunglasses on, even on cloudy days, can offset the formation of myopia (nearsightedness) and promote the health of the eye's focusing mechanism. The melanopsin cells, activated by sunlight, can improve the health of the muscles and neurons responsible for moving the lens in the eye. This dynamic lens allows you to adjust your vision to things up close or far away through a process called accommodation. The ability to hold visual focus is a critical determining factor in mental and cognitive performance. To enhance the health of your eyes in the short and long term, and improve mental and cognitive focus, get sunlight early in the day and spend at least 2 hours outside every day.
The Connection between Eye Health and Brain Functioning.
The eyes and pupils reflect the status of the brain. If one pupil is bigger than the other, it indicates brain damage. Accommodation is the ability to adjust to objects at different distances, and spending too much time looking at things up close can reshape neural circuitry and cause health problems, including headaches. Looking up from a computer or zoom screen is not enough; one needs to look out at a distance. It is essential to allow the lens and muscles of the eye to relax by looking at distant objects, helpful for healthy vision, and maintaining the proper functioning of the brain.
Simple Habits for Healthy Eyesight
Maintaining the health of your visual system is important for overall well-being. Exercising your eye muscles by looking out into panoramic vision and relaxing your face and eye muscles every 30 minutes of focused work can help prevent severe vision problems, migraines, and fatigue. Getting outside and experiencing non-up close vision for at least 20-30 minutes every 90 minutes of looking at things up close can also help. Optic flow through self-generated motion, like walking or biking, is good for the visual and mood systems of the brain and body. These simple protocols for healthy visual behavior are essential for maintaining good, healthy eyesight throughout your lifespan and are essentially zero cost.
Simple Factors for Better Focus and Health
Positioning your computer screen up at eye level or sometimes having it actually above eye level can create wakefulness and alertness for the work that you're going to do. Looking up triggers areas of the brain involved in wakefulness and eyelids opening. Similarly, children sleeping in very dark rooms have a much lower probability of developing nearsightedness. It's because the wavelengths of light that matter for these melanopsin cells can often get through the eyelids. Therefore, it's important to be mindful of the position of our eyes and the light around us for better focus and health. These simple factors may seem insignificant, but they have deep mechanisms to support them, and understanding them can positively affect our well-being.
Importance of Sleep, Light Exposure and Eye Care
Getting good quality sleep is essential for both children and adults, especially those with thin eyelids as they are more prone to light coming in through the eyelids. People should try to sleep in a completely black or dark environment to avoid any exposure to light, especially during the hours of 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM as it can negatively impact the dopamine and other mood-producing systems of the brain. Avoiding blue light exposure and bright light exposure can help prevent myopia in some cases, and getting bright light for two hours a day can help offset it. Spending at least ten minutes a day viewing things off in the distance can also improve vision and provide relaxation.
Visual Exercises to Keep Your Eyes Relaxed and Healthy
Looking at distant objects can help relax eye muscles and reduce stress. Smooth pursuit training, by visually tracking a moving object, can improve vision and keep extraocular muscles in good condition. Spending time looking at objects in our environment that require smooth pursuit, such as watching sports or kids play, can also benefit our visual system. Regularly training accommodation mechanisms by focusing on objects at different distances can improve our pattern vision and even aid in post-concussion recovery. It's important to be mindful of the stimuli we expose our eyes to and to incorporate exercises that keep our visual system functioning optimally.
The Benefits of Eye Exercises for Vision Preservation
Exercise your eye muscles, practice smooth pursuit, and accommodation mechanisms of your eyes to preserve your vision. Try to practice this for two to five minutes every other day. Be sure to get some rest and look at a horizon or do nothing to relax your eyes. Early morning flashing red light can help offset age-related macular degeneration by enhancing the mitochondrial function in the photo receptors. However, it's important to be careful, and talk to an optometrist or ophthalmologist before trying it as eyesight is precious and vital. Our photoreceptors are most active in the dark, and it's essential to preserve them by practicing eye exercises.
Simple Tips for Maintaining Good Eye Health.
Blinking for 5-15 seconds can lubricate the eyes and support clear optics. This is important as dry eyes can cause visual distortions. Additionally, occluding one eye early in life can lead to permanent changes in the way that the brain perceives the outside world, emphasizing the importance of addressing imbalances and treating lazy eye in children as early as possible. Finally, some foods and supplements have been shown to support vision and even reverse visual loss, making it important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Maintaining Balanced Visual Input for Strong Binocular Vision
It is important to maintain balanced visual input through both eyes, especially in young children, to develop strong binocular visual machinery in the brain and eye musculature. Occluding one eye to create an imbalance can help improve the weaker eye, but it is not recommended to do so recreationally without clinical need as it can shut down the neural information for the occluded eye. Competitive plasticity suggests that covering both eyes can extend the period of critical plasticity and reopen plasticity later in life, but caution needs to be exercised. Neuromuscular issues that cause imbalances in the eyes need to be dealt with as early as possible by contacting ophthalmologists or neuro-ophthalmologists.
Correcting Strabismus and Improving Vision
Strabismus, which is common in young children, should be corrected as it can provide balanced vision and prevent weaker eye muscles. Eye exercises such as near-far smooth pursuit and checking for dominant and non-dominant eyes can be beneficial for those with eye fatigue or differences in focus between the eyes. It's important to consult a good ophthalmologist or optometrist, especially for severe vision problems or offsetting vision problems. Additionally, putting a Snellen chart in your home can help improve vision and can be fun to practice. Hallucinations actually occur because portions of the brain become underactive, particularly the visual portions. Visual systems are trying to make guesses about what's out there when understimulated, which is why in low to no vision people, their brain makes guesses based on auditory and touch sensations.
Simple Steps to Preserve Your Eyesight
Preserving your eyesight is one of the most life-enhancing things that you can do. It is important to have your vision tested by a specialist as opposed to relying on supermarket or eyeglass store tests. Putting overcorrecting or undercorrecting lenses can weaken the system. Eating dark leafy vegetables, especially in their raw form, can help support vision. Supplementation with lutein-rich egg yolks has been shown to increase macular pigment optical density and improve visual acuity, but one must determine what is safe and economical for them. Preserving eyesight and movement are vital to take care of ourselves and others, and simple exercises, like having a Snellen chart at home, can be immensely beneficial in building a framework for good vision over time.
Nutrients for Eye Health and Beyond
Supplementing with lutein can help offset some of the detrimental effects of age-related macular degeneration, but only for individuals with moderate to severe macular degeneration. Cooking eggs eliminates the benefits of lutein. There are other non-animal sources of leucine available. I D E B E N O N E can be beneficial for Lieber's congenital eye disease and optic neuropathies. Z E A X A N T H I N and A S T A X A N T H I N, found in seafoods, can offset some of the disruption in vision that occurs with aging, and increases ocular blood flow. Aztec Saxton, a pro-vitamin A compound, also has a notable effect on male fertility.
Supplements and Exercise for Eye and Skin Health
Lutein and Astaxanthin are supplements that can improve blood flow to the eyes, which can in turn improve skin elasticity, moisture, and quality. While these supplements are still in the experimental phase, studies have been done and published in peer-reviewed journals. It's important to talk to your ophthalmologist and physician before taking any supplements. Additionally, having a healthy cardiovascular system through endurance and strength training can indirectly improve eye health and vision by delivering blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the retina. However, other behavioral tools besides exercise and supplementation are necessary to support your eyesight. It's important to consider your family history of vision loss, occupational hazards, and long view vision for a comprehensive approach to eye health.