Three Factors That Affect Your Visual Acuity and How You Can Use Them to Naturally Improve Your Vision

Three Factors That Affect Your Visual Acuity and How You Can Use Them to Naturally Improve Your Vision

From a technical standpoint, visual acuity is limited by diffraction, optical aberrations, and photoreceptor density in the eye. Apart from these limitations, a number of factors also affect visual acuity such as refractive error, illumination, contrast and the location on the retina that is being stimulated.

Simply put; besides the impact of disease and certain types of medications, there are 3 main factors that impact visual acuity and cause blurry vision:

Use of Visual range

Before technology and modern life brought and kept most people indoors and required them to work repetitively at close distances, we exercised our eyes naturally. While outdoors or not in confined places that limit our viewing ranges, we exercised and relieved stress on our eyes by varying the distances that the eyes focused instead of fixing them at one point at close distances for extended periods of time.

Fixating or limiting the visual range for extended periods causes stress to build up in the Ciliary Body Muscles that focus the Ciliary Body and Lens of the eye. Although the Optometrist that provides corrective prescriptions may disagree with this comparison, it serves to help one understand how the eye naturally relieves stress. Operating your visual fields at limited short distances indoors or by staring at a computer screen, can cause eyestrain and computer vision syndrome. To put this into perspective as a simple analogy, it can be compared to limiting the distance that your arm may bend at the elbow, or your leg may bend at the knee, from its most closed position. While operating either appendage only in a limited range for the majority of time that it is used over years you cannot then expect either appendage to function at full capacity when you attempt to use it outside of that limited range or in a full range of motion. The muscles and supporting tissue that is responsible for proper operation are not maintained in the necessary condition to provide the proper support. If you were to use either outside of normal usage ranges neither would be able to perform at 100%. Anyone who has worn a cast for even a period of a few short weeks is fully aware of what immobility does to muscles and related supportive and connecting tissues.

Accumulated Stress and Tension

Stress and tension in the eye and body can both affect our quality of sight.

The fast pace of life and unreasonable amounts of stress create tension in the body. Accumulated tension has been shown to have a pronounced effect on mental operations and physical condition. It is well understood and accepted that mental stress can manifest itself through physical ailments and symptoms. Unhealthy levels of mental stress or one's inability to manage their stress levels can have a substantial impact on the body's hormonal production, and a deteriorating affect on health and visual acuity.

Similar to how aging can affect other muscles and tissues in the body in a more pronounced way if those areas are not exercised or put to proper regular use, our vision also deteriorates as a result of poor regular visual practices such as reading, writing, watching TV, and looking at computer screens for long periods of time. These practices create a considerable amount of eyestrain on the Ciliary muscles that focus the lens of the eye enabling us see both near and far. This can be a primary cause of cause blurry vision. Visual acuity is affected by this eyestrain and the quality of your vision gradually declines. You may notice temporary blurred vision for short time periods or when shifting from near to far distances. Although your blurred vision may not be noticeable at first, it may become more noticeable as it becomes more blurry or the blurred vision occurs more often. This can help explain why many people who once had normal 20/20 or better vision, may need corrective lenses now or at some point in the future to maintain their visual acuity as they age.

Tension in the eye, or eyestrain, that is not relieved can negatively affect the ability of the ciliary muscle to contract the lens and focus images properly on the retina. This prevents the eye from operating as effectively as is necessary to produce proper signal output to the brain for clear image interpretation. This of and by itself can be what causes blurry vision. This can also make just one eye blurry. Blurry vision can also cause a headache.

Our body is a remarkable machine which adapts either to stress or the lack of stress that is applied to it. The body adapts to reasonable amounts of stress by strengthening itself and the affected areas and becoming stronger. The body reacts to the lack of reasonable stress by allowing the affected areas to become weaker from lack of use. As indicated in previous text, anyone who has an injured limb immobilized for any length of time is aware that the affected area becomes weaker as a result of not being used. The weakness affects an area greater and wider than just the limb or muscle that was injured. In addition, too much stress or overuse can weaken an area of the body by creating inflammation or causing the over production of hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol is the bodies stress hormone. In excess quantities it also causes premature aging.

Tension in the body will decrease the synthesis and utilization of helpful hormones and increase the body's production and levels of stress related hormones such as cortisol. High levels of cortisol have been proven through scientific studies relating to Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome to speed the aging process and negatively affect all tissues in the body.

Either of these conditions are enough to noticeably negatively affect visual acuity independent of each other, let alone in combination.


Aging can be a cause of visual deterioration and blurred vision.

Aging can be delayed by proper nutrition and activities such as exercise that promote proper hormone secretion or accelerated by poor nutrition and improper practices that affect hormone secretion.

The effect that proper nutrition has on the aging process cannot be overstated. Proper nutrition does not consist of solely consuming healthy foods. The elimination of certain foods and chemical food additives, the combination of proper types of foods, the amounts consumed, and the timing in which they are consumed, have a huge impact on your body's production and utilization of hormones and aging process. Improper nutrition is the leading cause of disease in the body in general and in eye disease.

Combining different types of anaerobic and aerobic exercise causes an increase in the secretion and utilization of hormones that help to prevent and reverse aging. Proper hormone utilization is essential to controlling or reversing the effects of aging on our bodies, and our eye sight. Improper hormone utilization speeds the effects of aging and the increases blurry vision and negative effects on visual acuity.

In addition, when our eyes do not receive the right type of stress or "exercise" and this situation is combined with the normal or accelerated effects of aging, the result is an exponential weakening effect on visual acuity and increase in visual deterioration and blurred vision.

Other than the impact of disease and certain types of medication, the use of visual range, accumulated tension, and aging are the primary factors that affect visual acuity and are what causes blurry vision.

There is overwhelming evidence as to the effectiveness of vision therapy to improve eyesight.

Under Articles, also see:

Does Vision Therapy Really Work to Naturally Improve Eyesight?
How Eyesight Works
Why Does Our Eyesight Worsen as We Age?

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