Chinese Acupressure to Improve Eyesight

This is an exercise borrowed from the Chinese and its purpose is to promote better eyesight. It relieves stress in the eye and the area surrounding the eyes. As it is based on Chinese acupressure it releases energy flows, or “Qi” or “Chi” energy.

You can combine all of these eye acupressure areas in one routine, or pick and choose certain points.

Massage these points seven times in one circular direction, then seven times in the opposite direction. You can use your thumbs or your index finger to do this.

sketch-of-the-eye

Circular motions on these acupressure points:

  1. Side of nose, next to the corner of the eye
  2. Under the eyebrow, the left and right of the top of the nose
  3. Start of the eyebrow, where the bone behind the eyebrow turns into the bridge of your nose
  4. Corner of the eye, one the bone in the corner of the eye
  5. Above the cheekbone
  6. Under the eye, on the bone just below your eye, in line with your pupil if you look straight ahead
  7. Side of nose, under pupil. Helps relieve pressure in the sinuses

Human Eye Anatomy

The eye is one of the most complex parts of the body. There are more than a billion parts all working in synchronization. The eyesight is one of the most important senses, a fact supported by the amount of brain that is dedicated to process the information received through the eye.

Anatomy of the eye

Anatomy of the eye

How the eye works

The image begins as light waves bouncing or emanating from an object which enter the eye through the cornea. The cornea is a thin transparent protective shield on the front of the eye. The corneal also functions as a lens and begins focusing the rays of light by bending them (refracting) these as they enter.

These rays then enter the pupil. This is the black hole in the center of the eye, and is a door way which, along with the iris, regulates how much light comes through. Hence the term “dilated pupils”, meaning the pupil is very large letting more light rays through. The iris and pupil are constantly regulating how much light enters the eye.

Once the light rays enter through the pupil they then are focused by the lens. The lens is controlled by a band of muscle called the ciliary muscle. The natural relaxed state of these muscles would be focused at a distance of about 7 feet. In order to focus on objects closer than this the ciliary muscle must push on the lens, shaping it in a more convex shape similar to a bowl. To refocus further the muscles shape the lens to a flatter shape. Accommodation is the process by which the eye changes focus between objects that are far and objects that are near. There is much debate whether the eye focuses by the ciliary muscles acting on the lens, or whether it is the varying elongation of the eyeball caused by the extraocular muscles, or a combination of both.

The action of the lens and the shape of the eyeball then permits the light rays to travel through the rest of the eye. The vitreous humour is the transparent gel between the lens and the retina, the final destination of the light rays.

The retina is a complex light sensitive membrane that lines the inner eyeball. It contains hundreds of millions of light sensitive receptors responsible for transmitting the image to the optic nerve. These receptors are made up of cones and rods. The rods monitor how bright the rays of light are. Cones pick up sharp detail (acuity). There are three types of cones, one for each of the primary light colors. Red receptive cones are stimulated by the amount of red light for example. At the center of the retina is the macula. This has a very high concentration of cones. Within the center of the macula is the fovea. The fovea has the highest concentration if cones.

The optic nerve sends all of this information to the brain, where it is translated into what we see.

Each eye has six extraocular muscles which surround the eye and are responsible for controlling the movement of the eye. These muscles are very powerful, many times stronger than would be required to simply move the eyeball. This strength permits rapid acceleration and precise accuracy in eye movement.

Types of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are one of the most popular forms of eyesight correction. It has been estimated that there are greater than 3.3 million people in the UK alone wearing contact lenses (The Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers). Contact lenses are used to correct short sightedness (myopia) and long sightedness (hypermetropia), and there are also lenses available for astigmatism and presbyopia. After an eye examination you will be checked to see if your eyes are suitable for contact lenses, and all being well will fit the lenses. The optician will check to see if your tears are good quality to ensure that the lenses are kept lubricated. The optician will also measure the size of your cornea, the pupil and the position of your eyelids to ensure the correct size lenses are fitted.

Contact lenses generally fall into two categories, hard and soft. The contact lenses themselves are held in place by the tears in the eye between the lens and the cornea, the front of the eye. Most contact lenses are worn on a daily basis and should not be worn overnight. Your optician may advise you whether it is safe to wear lenses when sleeping but always check if you are not sure.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are made from oxygen permeable plastics. They contain between 30 and 40 per cent water and are very pliable, comfortable to wear, as well as being easy to fit.

Astigmatism (the shape of the cornea causes distorts the eyesight) can be treated with “toric” contact lenses. Bifocal contact lenses are used to treat presbyopia, when a person has difficulty seeing close up particularly when reading. This condition was traditionally treated by wearing reading glasses for close up tasks but now bifocals ensure the person can see objects in the distance and as well as for reading.

Hard Lenses

The first contact lenses that were developed were hard lenses. These lenses didn’t allow for oxygen to pass through the lens to the cornea. These lenses needed to be very small to leave as much cornea uncovered as possible so they could easily fall out especially when blinking. These lenses are still available for certain specialist needs, however they have largely been replaced by rigid gas permeable lenses.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP)

These lenses combine the functions of both hard and soft lenses. These lenses are firmer than soft lenses, but are made of an oxygen permeable plastic. RGP lenses last longer than soft lenses and are quite hard-wearing. Some prefer to wear these lenses as they are easier to handle than soft lenses. People with a high level of astigmatism are often prescribed RGP lenses. Once a person has got used to the lenses they are generally just as comfortable to wear as soft lenses.

Disposable Lenses

Disposable contact lenses have become very popular these days, especially with those who have a busy lifestyle. There is no need to look after the lenses as they are replaced each day with new lenses and the old lenses are thrown away. It is also means you do not have to worry about losing a lens. The cost of disposable lenses is comparable to other lenses. They are usually not more expensive than non-disposable lenses. Your optician will advise you how often you need to replace the lenses. This can vary from daily replacement to a much longer period.