Posture and Eye Sight
Anatomical links affect more than your learning ability, they can influence your health as well. This blog explores the connection between posture and vision. Or in short, how poor vision can affect a performers posture, the related pain and how it can impact on performance.
From the Eyes to the Brain
The eyes are an integral part of our brain, directly connected to our central nervous system. Light is processed by our eyes in order to see. As the beams hit our retinas, they activate rods and cones located in the photoreceptors.
The retina converts the light it receives into electrical impulses that travel along the optic nerve to the brain’s visual cortex.
From the brain to the spine
The visual cortex interprets impulses and uses them to determine how the body should respond. The brain transmits messages down the spinal cord to tell our bodies how to respond to what it sees.
Good posture allows the brain to communicate fast and uninterruptedly through the spine. Each of our five senses, including sight, helps our brain control our body.
But what if the eyes can’t see clearly
Poor eyesight often causes us to squint, lean forward, or tilt our heads into an unnatural position in order to see more clearly. These movements lead to neck, shoulder, and head muscle tightness. This maladjustment can lead to decreased blood flow to and impulse connections between our eyes and the rest of our body over time.
With time, slumped or hunched posture damages the connections between the spinal cord and the brain. In this manner, a lag appears between the moment when our eyes observe an object and the moment when our brain analyses its image and our bodies react to the object. In fact, poor posture can result in many health issues, including slowed circulation, shallow breathing, and blurred vision. All of which impedes our performance and can often affect the sound a musician makes, especially when playing a wind instrument.
When one piece of the puzzle fails
If we have a good posture and decent eyesight (or if it is well corrected), our spine and eyes are well connected. Vision problems, however, interfere with this connection and can have serious health consequences. These may include:
• Blurred vision, difficulty focusing and even dry sore eyes
• Fatigue or eye strain
• Headaches or head pressure
• Musculoskeletal pain, including headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and ……back pain
• Numbness and muscle weakness caused by decreased circulation
• Spinal or neck misalignment
• Pain in all parts of the body, including the limbs
Symptoms such as these, when combined with posture problems, can affect your health. If you suspect it is a combination of vision and posture problems, contact Allegro Optical, the musicians optician.
We will begin by evaluating your eyesight. We can tell you if, and to what extent, the way you see affects the way your body functions. You can improve your health by identifying your vision characteristics, even if you wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction.
In order to make sure our optometrist has all the information they need to help you regain your health, take note of your symptoms and inform them. Important information includes:
• Treatment you have tried before the current appointment and how well it all worked
• How often your symptoms occur
• How severe your symptoms are
• Where you feel pain, pressure, or discomfort
• The time of day when symptoms occur
There are several options you can try to relieve your symptoms, including lubricant drops, a more accurate prescription, or new bespoke spectacle lenses or contact lenses. If necessary, you may also need to contact other professionals for assistance.
Consider the effect your eyesight and posture have on one another. Good eyesight supports good posture.
For more information about how you can improve your eye health, how your eyesight affects the rest of your body, call Allegro Optical on Greenfield 01457 353100 and Meltham 01484 907090 and speak to one of our team.