Active Seniors

Why it is important to exercise your eyes if you wear glasses?

Glasses are a common accessory for many people and help to provide visual clarity in different circumstances. There is however one side effect that is associated with their use that can affect how your body moves as well as your risk of falling.

Our body movement and balance systems rely on feedback from 3 main areas; our eyes, our inner ear and our joints. Movement and balance problems often occur when there is reduced or conflicting information coming from these areas. While glasses provide our eyes with greater visual clarity, they can do so at a cost.

The inner ear and eye muscles work together. If we are looking at someone or something and slightly turn our head, our instinct (as guided by a reflex) is to maintain our gaze on the person or object while our head moves. This requires coordination of the eyes and inner ear areas as we move both our eyes and head together.

Glasses provide a small clear “zone” for our eyes that is dependent on the size of the frame. Smaller glasses have a smaller zone. The significance of this zone is that it alters the way we react and use our eyes. Instead of maintaining our gaze while we turn our head, we keep our eyes fixed in this zone and move our head.

While glasses give us clear vision, this altered reaction means that we have less visual information coming in. The movement of the eye muscles helps to increase our body’s awareness of its position and is an important part of our own GPS. However this can be assisted with the inclusion of some simple eye exercises.

Click here for a short video on some easy eye exercises that you can do anywhere.