Eye Exercises for Suppression
Before we begin the eye exercises for suppression, let's see how suppression happens.
We have two eyes, the retina of each eye forming an image of its own. Yet, when we look at an object, we do not see it double because our brain processes the two images and fuses them into one. Such fusion is possible only if the two images are almost similar in size and clarity. Our brain cannot fuse two considerably dissimilar images. The images on the two retina will be dissimilar if the refractive power (visual status) of the two eyes is vastly different (i.e., if one eye is normal or has a slight defect and the other has a greater defect requiring a glass) or if one of the eyes is a crossed eye (i.e., it has turned in or out, so that non-corresponding areas of two retina are stimulated). Dissimilar images are sources of confusion for the brain. The brain, therefore, concentrates only on one (better) image and ignores the other. This phenomenon is called suppression.
The suppressed eye can perform by itself when necessary, so that this condition is not discovered when the victim covers the other eye. The person is not usually aware that he is not seeing with both eyes together.
The vision of a person with suppression in one eye could be thought of as one dimensional. He finds it difficult to judge the location of an object in space correctly. He bumps into things or knocks over glasses. He does not know or understand what is wrong or missing and why he is so clumsy. H. G. Wells has written in his autobiography that he believed his unbalanced or uneven vision, good in one eye but poor in the other, had prevented him from becoming a better writer.
If suppression is not corrected or treated in time, the suppressed eye gradually loses its power of seeing and becomes amblyopic. An amblyopic eye is a lazy eye which cannot be fully awakened (i.e., its vision cannot be corrected) even with appropriate glasses.
Testing for Suppression
For this test, you would need a 12-feet thin rope (or string), 3 buttons or beads.
First perform the test without your glasses, and then repeat it with your glasses on.
(1) Tie one end of the string to a door-knob. Place buttons on the string at distances of six inches, eighteen inches and four feet from the door-knob.
(2) Stand twelve feet from the door-knob. Hold the string taut against the tip of your nose.
(3) With both the eyes, look at the hole of the button closest to you.
(4) You should see two strings, crossing exactly in the button-hole [see diagramme above].
(5) Work to direct both your eyes exactly at the centre of the button-hole.
(6) Note your findings accordingly:
- Are both the strings visible?
- Is one string less distinct than the other? Which one?
- Is one of the strings only partially visible? Which one ?
- Does one string disappear completely? Which one ?
(7) Repeat the routine with each of the remaining buttons on the string.
Evaluation of Test Results
If whole lengths of the two strings are clearly visible and they cross at the button-hole you are looking at, both your eyes are seeing simultaneously and the vision of neither of the eyes is being suppressed by the brain.
If one of the two strings' is less distinct than the other (even when you are wearing correct glasses) or if one of the strings disappears partially or completely, the vision of one of your eyes is being suppressed by the brain. Suppression of the right eye is indicated by indistinctness or disappearance of the left string and vice versa. Just indistinctness indicates mild suppression, partial disappearance indicates marked suppression and total disappearance indicates total suppression of the vision of a particular eye.
Guidelines For Eye Exercises
Before we go on to the eye exercises for farsightedness, there are a few points to take note of:
1. First, read and understand the steps of each eye exercise carefully.
2. Do not use glasses or contact unless you are instructed to.
3. Do the eye exercises in in non-glaring light. Vision chart or targets should be well lit at all times.
4. If the eye exercise requires you to close the eye, do so gently.
5. Do not strain your eyes while doing the eye exercise. The result would be better if you do not strain your eyes.
6. Rest your eyes after each eye exercise, and also at the end of the whole eye exercise. To relax your eyes, perform the eye relaxation exercises.
7. As our eyes are tired after a whole-day work, early morning is the best time for eye exercises.
8. If you do not have enough time to complete all the eye exercises for farsightedness, you can do some in the morning and finish the rest in the later part of the day.
9. Learn about the different stages that you will experience when you begin to build your visual habits: The different stages as you build your visual habit.
Eye Exercises for Suppression
To accelerate the progress of this vision therapy, we recommend that you download and practise "The 10 powerful visual techniques" daily:
1. String Exercise
2. Simple Fusion Exercise
Do not miss this exercise that helps to overcome suppression and facilitate fusion.
3. Reading with a card interposed between the two eye
This is another highly effective exercise that stimulates simultaneous vision with the two eyes and strengthens fusion.
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