Close up of a woman's brown eyes

The Three Factors that Affect Your Eyesight

One of the major keys to understand about natural vision improvement is that your eyes do not exist in isolation. Rather, they are an integral part of your total being affected by – and affecting – the body, mind and emotions in a profound way. All parts of the visual system – the eyes, the muscles around and in the eyes, the nerve pathways to the brain and the visual centers of the brain – are very delicate and require a high degree of precision, coordination and flexibility to perform optimally.

Your visual system is very sensitive to stress, tension and fatigue of any kind, whether it’s physical, emotional or mental. The visual system is also very sensitive to any nutritional deficiencies and imbalances that might be present in the body. Don’t you notice that sometimes your vision is a little worse when you’re tired or under stress? You might even notice that you see a little better when you’re feeling energized or relaxed.

You can learn how to harness these fluctuations to your advantage as you are trying to improve your eyesight. When you understand what affects your vision you can start to make your eyesight clearer and clearer. Glasses and contacts treat the symptoms of poor vision very effectively: when you put them on you temporarily get rid of poor vision. But glasses and contacts do not address the underlying factors that produced the vision problem. They do nothing to release the underlying stress or change the underlying patterns that caused the problem in the first place.

Vision problems often appear when there is both prolonged stress in the visual system and improper visual/muscular habit patterns. Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are some of the symptoms that result from this underlying tension and imbalance.

In addition to direct tension, strain and inflexibility in the eyes, your eyesight is influenced by three other factors:

1. Secondary tension that is stored in other areas of the body. Also, the overall health and nutritional level of the body also affects vision. (In my book about natural eye care, The Program for Better Vision, the two chapters that address this are: Your Body and Your Eyes [Pp. 20 – 23] and The Role of Nutrition in Vision [Pp. 24 – 37]).

2. Limiting or negative thoughts about vision or about how external reality is perceived . (See the chapter Your Mind and Your Eyes in The Program for Better Vision. (Pp. 38 – 43).

3. Subconscious memories and past emotional decisions. (See Your Emotions and Your Eyes (Pp. 44 – 48). All these factors influence each person in a different way and to a different degree. But in following a holistic approach, The Program for Better Vision helps you explore what affect each may have had on your eyesight.

A holistic model of Better Vision includes these three components:

  1. 1. Physical eyesight
  2. 2. Inner vision
  3. 3. Emotional seeing

1. Physical eyesight involves more than just 20/20 vision. In fact, there are three major visual skills: First, your mind selects what it wants to see from its total field of vision. (SKILL ONE: Peripheral Awareness and Central/Peripheral Balance) Second, your mind commands the eyes to look at or to converge on the object. (SKILL TWO: Convergence/Binocularity) Third, your eyes bring the object into focus to see it clearly. (SKILL THREE: Accommodation/Focusing) In addition, the muscles in and around the eyes must be relaxed, toned and flexible. Tension, stress and imbalance in any of the three visual skills can lead to other visual difficulties in addition to focusing problems. Some of these difficulties might include: eyestrain and fatigue, headaches, glasses and contacts never feeling right, difficulty concentrating, poor eye-hand coordination and depth perception and eyes always feeling tired.

2. Inner vision is the Mind’s Eye in all its different aspects: imagination, visualization, memory, dreams and attitudes. With Better Vision your imagination and visualization will be more alive and vivid and your memory will become clearer. Your attitudes about yourself and others will become more positive. You will replace limiting images of yourself with a clearer and more positive sense of who you are.

3. Emotional seeing speaks about our recognition of the eyes as both a way to express how we feel and a way to connect to other people. The eyes are so often called “the windows of the soul”; Better Vision is a way to heal, clarify and open these windows, allowing us to be open to a deeper connection to others and to give and receive more easily and fully. According to a holistic model, Better Vision means seeing the world in the clearest, most relaxed, easiest and most efficient way possible. Better Vision also means having a positive image of yourself, a clear sense of purpose and emotional clarity.
When you begin to understand how intimately your vision is connected to your body, mind and emotions you come to realize that the state of your eyesight is a reflection of your inner health, clarity and focus and as such can be a barometer of your total consciousness.

Martin Sussman, an internationally known expert in holistic 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, which he established in 1976. He can be reached at Information about his approach to vision improvement that is more than eye exercises can be found at

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Written by Martin Sussman

Explore Wellness in 2021