Think Your Eye Muscles Are Too Weak? Think Again

In All Health Watch, Featured Article, General Health

Open Your Eyes to Better Vision

As we get older, most of us find that our eyesight starts to weaken. License plates lose their clarity… digital clocks get fuzzy… and sometimes it’s even hard to make out faces when they’re across the street.

There are plenty of reasons why this happens to us as we age… but half of the ones we accept as fact are little more than myths.

Weak vision is linked to weak eye muscles… true or false?

It’s actually false… In fact, the truth is quite the opposite. Internationally recognized eye expert and best-selling author Martin Sussman says that each eye muscle has at least 50 – 100 times the muscle strength it needs… regardless of how good or bad your vision is.

So if this is not the cause of poor vision… what is?

In this issue – exclusive to Natural Health Dossier – Sussman shares key insights into the real cause of failing vision… busts popular myths about vision… and reveals exclusive remedies and strategies for improving eye strength.

In this issue you will learn:

  • Detailed do-it-yourself eye tests
  • Self-help eye stretching exercises
  • Tips on picking the right contact lenses

And, as an added bonus, you’ll also discover the real differences between far-sightedness and near-sightedness… and easy-to-do-at-home strategies to improve both.

You’ll find all this and more in today’s issue of Natural Health Dossier.

To your health,

Ian's signature
Ian Robinson,
Managing Editor, Natural Health Dossier "Health Watch"

Think Your Eye Muscles Are Too Weak? Think Again

By Martin Sussman

There are five commonly held beliefs that lead people to think their eyesight can’t be improved. That’s why I call them myths – they’re not truthful, and they don’t accurately represent what’s going on in your eyes.

Right at the top of this list of 5 Vision Myths is the one that says poor vision is caused by weak eye muscles. Somehow, this myth goes, eye muscles get weak and the weaker they get, the worse your vision and the stronger your glasses.

In fact, the opposite is actually true: Whether you have perfect vision or lousy sight, your eye muscles are plenty strong enough for you to see clearly.

As noted eye doctor Dr. Richard Kavner says in his groundbreaking book, Total Vision, “We know that each eye muscle has at least 50 to 100 times the strength it needs.”

There are six muscles that surround and move your eyes. They move your eyes up, down, to the right, and to the left. They also turn your eyes in and out.

Tense, Stiff, & Rigid

Tension in these muscles causes eye movements to become more rigid and less flexible, preventing them from moving in a natural, fluid manner. Instead, their movements become stiff, tense, and restricted.

Over time, this tension, rigidity, and inflexibility adds up. Limiting visual patterns and habits get established, affecting how clearly you can see.

But the primary source of the problem is the underlying patterns and habits – how the eye muscles are used over time.

The eyes – just like any other part of your body – can be retrained. As this retraining occurs, the eye muscles become more flexible, gain better tone, and work together in a more fluid, coordinated way.

Want to experience some of the tension that’s in your eye muscles – and start to let it go?

Try This Now: Eye Stretches

Here’s an ancient yoga exercise that you can use to stretch your eyes:

  1. Close your eyes, and relax your eyelids, forehead, and face. Keep your neck and head still. Breathe easily and regularly.
  2. Imagine you’re facing a clock, with your nose at its center. As you stretch your eyes all the way up, you can just barely see the number 12 at the top of this imaginary clock. (Remember, your eyes are closed.)
  3. Starting at the number 12, rotate your eyes clockwise in a circular motion, around the clock. Stretch your eyes as you rotate them, but don’t strain or force the movements.
  4. Repeat for 10 to 20 clockwise circles.
  5. Change direction and make 10 to 20 circles in a counter-clockwise direction.

Most people carry at least some tension and rigidity in these muscles. Here’s how you can tell:

  1. Your eyes unconsciously jump out of your control.
  2. During sections of the rotation, the movements feel stiffer, more tense or stuck.
  3. Holding your breath is a sign of tension. Remember to breathe!

Where in the movements did your muscles tense up? When did they jump out of control? What parts of the movements were not smooth?

With practice, you’ll be able to make all parts of the circular movement smooth and easy.

By itself, this eye stretch won’t give you perfect vision, but it definitely has its place in a total system of vision improvement.

Near-Sighted or Far-Sighted: The Real Cause

Those of us who are either near-sighted or far-sighted share the same problem: an overly rigid and inflexible focusing system.

In fact, this is one of the key underlying causes of not being able to see clearly. Essentially, the muscles that control our ability to focus are too stiff and inflexible to focus clearly.

TRY THIS QUICK TEST NOW: (without glasses or contacts)

Hold a finger up near your face and focus on it, and then quickly look at something beyond it in the distance. Then look back at your finger.

If you’ve got clear vision, here’s what you should see:

Your finger will be clearer than the distant item when you are focusing directly on it. When you’re focused on the distant item, it will be clearer than your finger.

However, if you’re nearsighted, your finger will be clearer, even when you’re looking at the distant item.

And if you’re farsighted, the distant item will be clearer, even when you’re looking at your finger.

In other words, if you’ve got a vision problem, your eyes can’t change focus swiftly, easily, and sharply, from far to near.

Many people think there’s nothing that can be done about that, perhaps even believing that it’s because the eye is the wrong shape (that’s another vision myth!).

But you can train the muscles in your eyes to focus better at different distances, and here’s why: The lens in the eye changes its shape to bring objects into focus.

Fatter or Flatter: Can Your Lens Make the Change?

The lens needs to be flatter to see objects that are further away more clearly. And it needs to become fatter to focus on something closer.

We are always changing what we are looking at, so the lens is continually making fine adjustments in its shape.

Normally, the lens changes its focus – and thus its shape – more than 100,000 times each and every day.

The shape of the lens is controlled by a group of muscles that surround the lens. These muscles have to work together to change the lens into the exact shape required to bring whatever you are looking at into sharp focus.

This changing of the eye’s focusing power is called Accommodation.

But if you’ve got a vision problem, these muscles around the lens become stuck and stiff. Some of them can’t relax when they need to, while others can’t stretch when they need to.

If you’re nearsighted, they’re “stuck” for near vision and the lens has too much power. On the other hand, if you’re farsighted, these muscles are “stuck” for distance vision; the lens has too little focusing power.

Like any other group of muscles in the body, the muscles around the lens can be exercised. When you exercise them correctly, they can regain flexibility and tone, and they’ll work the way that they’re supposed to.

Here’s one exercise that retrains Accommodation:

Try This Now: Near-to-Far Shifting (without glasses or contacts)

1. Look at your finger, about 4-6 inches in front of your eyes.

2. Shift your focus to a distant target, at least 10 feet away.

3. Shift your focus back and forth from your finger to the distant target 10 – 20 times.

4. Repeat as many times during the day as you remember. The more the better!

Make sure that your focus rests for a brief moment before you shift your vision again.

With practice, you’ll be able to train the muscles around the lens to become more flexible and to change focus more easily and quickly. The result: You’ll see better and better through an increasing range of distances.

Editor’s Note: Eye Stretches and Near-to-Far Shifting are just two of 24 different exercises, techniques, and processes that you’ll find in Marty Sussman’s The Program for Better Vision, a powerfully effective combination of eye exercises, muscle control techniques, brain/eye coordination, and complete body, mind, and eye relaxation. We highly recommend it.

[Ed. Note: Martin Sussman, an internationally recognized expert in natural vision care, is the author of five books, audio courses, and DVDs, including the #1 best-selling The Program for Better Vision and the Read Without Glasses Method (for middle age sight). He is the founder and president of the Cambridge Institute for Better Vision, the original natural eye care company, which he established in 1976. He can be reached at [email protected]. Information about his “more than eye exercises” approach to vision improvement can be found at]