Consequences of Poor Vision
What I want to focus on now, like I said, he's, just giving a little bit maura anatomy physiology around what happens when your eyes go bad that cool with you guys because I'm a set it for me is so important to establish context around why were wanting to do these things? So if we start off looking at some potential consequences. So the number one thing that I typically run into if there is biomechanical meaning, if someone has poor vision, they almost always have poor posture eventually, not it's, not always that way, but it is almost always that way, all right? And if you were to think through people that you know who started off, you know, kind of and maybe if people that you've known your whole life, if you actually pay attention to their posture, will you often see is it as their eyes degrade, their whole body begins to come forward, right? They've drilled this what's called forward head posture, they get more neck tension there shoulder starts around there again. If you spend you...
r life doing this like I do, you'll see all kind of alterations in how they walk their gate patterns how they move so poor posture is a is a big deal now, the next thing says increased pain. And most of us can be kind of okay with that mentally right because if you think about going from here to here does that look a little less healthy? You want to try it for me set up to the edge all right think about it you're back think about your back and neck and now just kind of let your head come forward and then have it come forward a little bit more what do you feel in your neck tension right? So now magnify that tension and maintain it for about eighteen hours while you're awake and when you're gonna start to feel probably not so good right tired fatigued because that's like saying there's that whole there's other things is that charlie brown cartoon nikki remember he's talking about being depressed he was practicing his depressed posture it's really hard to be depressed when you have when you're standing up straight but if you get like this you could be depressed really easily. So uh so you could see just biomechanically poor posture can cause a lot of muscle tension and potentially from their pain now there's also some brain reasons for this that I'm going to go into really really briefly and in a couple of minutes that will also help you understand how poor vision because of what it does in the brain that can actually cause increased pain as well so we got posture we have pain respiratory disorders this one sounds crazy but here's our experiment again you're sitting there you're on the edge of your chair going to sit up nice and tall get your head in a good position like you normally would take a deep breath in notice how easy it is to breathe in so we take a deep breath all the way into your abdomen up to your chest get an idea of what that feels like now go back to that same forward head position now try the same deep breath in well, how do you feel like you're getting a little stuck much, much less quantity of air less less quantity of air? I guess pressure in my abdomen, more pressure in the abdomen yet come spring away so I've got a slide in here, professor ah biomechanics and orthopedics basically talks about what happens to the respiratory system when the head comes forward eso I'll get into that but just so you know, with that forward head position that can be caused by bad eyes over time, not only is it going to cause a lot of neck tension can also begin to impact on your ability to breathe which most of us realize is relatively important right breathing is kind of a good thing um cup of others decreased movement skill think about people that you know that have bad eyes if you've ever watched them walk when they do, they walk really fluidly or did they walk a little bit gingerly? They're cautious, they're cautious and this is general. What we see as I assize worsen, his vision worsens, people begin to they usually wide, their feet a little bit, all right, although they're not aware of it and they've been forward a little bit and I would say they're spotting their landing s so they're always watching the ground because they're afraid that they're going to trip over something and fall, and so they go from having nice, comfortable movement to more fearful, wide based like, I don't want to fall movement, and this is a if you if it sounds like I'm describing the process of aging, I am going to think about that. How much does visual fatigue, poor visual function actually relate to aging? Some stuff to consider, right as we go forward? Um now athletic plateaus, how many of you is an athlete? Maybe when you were kid high school or now felt like you've got to appoint athletically and then all of a sudden I couldn't get past it. Most people who are started going the other way and started going the other way, most people I've ever worked with. That's what they talk about it, they go you know, it's like I was working really hard, I got to a certain point and then I just couldn't really get any better from there. Well, in my experience vision is one of the primary reasons for that already mentioned the idea that especially once you start reaching a higher level of competition that your speed reflects time etcetera is going to be fairly similar to the people you're competing against it's your ability to see well to make good decisions about what you see that almost always engenders higher level of performance. So all these different things in my from my experience come in and it's one of the reasons we focus so much on vision in our training programs now it's another really, really weird went on this one's this one's going to strange I'll give you show a little slide on in here just a minute, but eventually we can make a case neurological e that poor vision can cause increases in your stress hormones all right, stress hormones one that most people know about they've heard of his called court is all it's the one that I want to sell you a diet pill to decrease because when you have too much cortisol is easy to gain weight around your gut on you feel fatigued and anxious and all that stuff well the court is always kind of the in result of ah of an overactive fight or flight response okay, uh you get two different you have a party your nervous system from the ana gnomic nervous system you don't need to remember that but that's divided in two parts once called the sympathetic and once called the parasympathetic the sympathetic nervous system is the one that helps you run away from the sabre tooth. All right, it's the fight or flight danger response system in his primary fuel is adrenaline but then when the adrenaline starts to wear out like you you're running through that burning through that the secondary adrenaline's called cortisol in court is all placed in really important rules in the body but if you have too much of it long term it can also cause some problems so I'm gonna go through a couple more things here we'll look at some mechanics then some neurology to show you how all this stuff can occur from poor vision. All right, so you guys ready? Skidmore exciting all the time but it is fascinating. Good. Well that's I'm like I said the thing that I found in there and just again I want to make sure I contextualized this I am I am a uh our whole system is based off building excellence focusing on extraordinary levels of performance and one of the things that we know from studying talent all right? Because I do a lot of research into talent development, one of things about people that actually did go on to develop high level skill is they understand what they're doing and why they're doing it. And one of the things one of the biggest deficits I found over the years and trying to get people to engage in doing vision work is they go well, I'm just working on my eyes and there's this kind of lack of connection about how the eyes were impacting on the rest of the body, so I appreciate your indulgence. I want to make sure that you understand why this is so important. All right, so here's a great little picture, guys, if you set it up again, everyone the way where were you to think about this? You've got a head right in the head contains your brain, your brain weighs about three and a half to four, five pounds somewhere in there, but your total head, if you're a normal size guy, probably weighs around twelve to fifteen pounds. Now if you're smaller individual may weigh a little bit less if you're bigger guy like I've seen some big heads on people, right? Like, I don't know how he carries that around if you could get even heavier, but the idea is it you basically have a bowling ball on a stick okay that's that's your head and neck um and so what you see is that if we have everything in line like if everything's kind of perfectly aligned let's say our head weighs about twelve pounds now what this is demonstrating for you is that for every inch forward that the head moves you gain about ten pounds in weight right? Because this is just the impact of gravity and physics so most of people that I meet on any given day have postures here or here so think about that if I said, hey, what I want you to do he is I'm gonna give you a thirty two pound dumb bell and I want you to carry it around all day, right? Just getting kind of getting the contracted position just do you think that would add some fatigue and some overtime call some bio mechanical problems? Well, this is one of the consequences of this forward head posture and as I said, this is a forward head is one of the most typical things that we see any time people are doing. I work because it's really easy to start doing this stuff we think about sitting in a computer and and that's where I really want you to start teo to think about this if I'm holding a book, if I got my my ipad I'm holding a real book people still use those I've heard you use a real book or whatever I may play with the distancing with my hands, but most people aren't reading books all day anymore or what are they doing? They're doing computer work, and so when we sit at a computer, we're not gonna keep taking the computer and pulling it closer and further away from us. What we gonna do instead were to do this, we're gonna lean our bodies for we're going to move our heads. So is our eyes getting fatigued over the day? Because we're not taking breaks and doing all the stuff that we've read and prevention magazine that we should dio what winds up happening is that we get closer and closer to this. This is the typical posture of most people that work in computers for a living, I would say seventeen, eighty percent of people that I run into are somewhere in here, and if you start to think about that, as I said twelve, eighteen hours a day where I am now doubling or tripling the weight of my own head people, then go well, I'm you know I'm so tired at the end of the day, I don't have enough, I don't have enough energy to work out, I don't even have the energy to play with my kids. I'm so tired when I get home all I want to do is lay down, take a nap or you know, just sitting the in the on the sofa watch tv well yeah, because you're carrying a bowling ball around or three by the time you get to hear all day so there are some, like I said fairly strong just biomechanical muscular consequences to poor vision so that's one that I really like to point out to people um this is the guy I was talking about renee collier who was he was director if you can read that department physical medicine and rehab at usc and he goes through and just talks about some of the difficulties and things that occur from the forehead posture that first sentence there talks about that you can result in a loss of vital capacity the lungs which basically means is changing my ability to breathe well by about thirty percent. So think about that how many of you would go you know what take out thirty percent of my lungs? I don't need them let's just I just don't need him well that could be generated just from having poor head and neck posture um he then took it even further because in his research he said, you know what? The lack of good breathing isn't going to impact on my heart and my mind blood vascular systems which is true when I breathe poorly, I have to make up for that somehow so it's gonna have potentially a problematic effect for the rest of my body, heart and vascular system he then also talks about the fact that and there's there's a good neuro uh, neurological reasons for this that whenever we get into this forward head posture, not only do we now have headaches back pain and that pain decreased breathing capacity changes with my heart and lungs, it can now also begin impact on my digestive system because the nerves that actually control your digestive system and talk to it actually come out of the brain, stem through the neck, travel down through so as I add in mechanical tensions, I can begin causing mechanical problems throughout the rest of the body. So for my perspective, I'm always a foundational gag. Okay, so I see someone walk into me and they're here what caused it? Was it that car wreck they had twenty years ago or is that their habitual practices? Well, if we can say that most people get heart disease and diabetes because of their daily dietary habitual practices, I think that most of our movement problems and other disorders come from our daily habitual movement practices, right? And so for movement what I know well, my eyes control most of it so a really foundational level I want to know how your eyes are functioning because I believe that they can create a cascading effect throughout your body. Is this making you think a little differently about eye exercises? What about at least testing your eyes, making sure that they're functioning as best they can? Yeah, um, do you have any recommendations as to how you can maybe give yourself, like, a daily, uh, had being too forward kind of check? Because I feel like it's really easy to just get so focused on what you're doing? Absolutely thought never even quite enters your head until oh my gosh, I have a tension headache. Yeah, he's a fantastic question, probably as we get a little further into today, we'll talk about that the number one thing I will tell you guys, though, about all these reflects of things because posher supposed to reflects of breathing supposed be reflexive. In most cases, what you have to have is you have to have a trigger built into your life, just some little biofeedback you set a timer every hour, and a soon as it goes off, you go to my head check there's a lot of little simple things that you can do, but because most of it is happening below conscious thought, if you don't have the reminder, you can go years without ever pondering it khun pa is do you get into kind of a feedback loop so that posture can can benefit vision in the way that vision committed fit posture absolutely that's what we're gonna talk about going to the segment too okay all right now you guys ready for some kind of weird neurology what you've been waiting for this all their wear neurology because nothing I've said so far have been weird I want to go to this last slide for this segment um now I said earlier and this is that weird kind of idea that bad vision can eventually lead to strange biochemical responses in the body all right, so I've got this little flow chart over here for you starts the top it's his decreased visual skill with people lose visual skill and hear that word really clear the skill because I'm gonna be focusing on that going forward because vision is a skill right have any speaker I've ever tried to speak a foreign language alright um so I have studied five different foreign languages I've traveled a lot and what I've learned is that while I learned languages quickly I also lose them quickly if I don't practice yes right so it's language acquisition to skill in his language maintenance of skill right so vision's very much the same way you have to be able to practice it from that perspective it's not just a god given right it is actually something that you can improve and you can also lose depending on what you're doing. So if we have someone that is progressively losing visual skill because they're not practicing vision, is that going to impact their movement? What did we say? Yes, yes, absolutely right, so we know that their movement is going to be probably degraded, but the other likelihood is that not only were their basic movement patterns be degraded, but there are amount of movement will also go down. Do you think about that, right? If I don't feel good moving, I'm not motivated to go move that's a natural survival mechanism, right? And that's fine, I mean, that's what I was telling people we do, the things that we do because our brain is trying to achieve something is trying to achieve keeping me alive. So if we see that decreased visual scale goes, the less movement whenever our whenever we move less, we are brain actually receives less stimulation. Now I'm going to talk about that a lot in segment two, but what I want to understand right now is that every time I take a step when I breathe, every time I move, I'm getting millions of little nerve endings active in my body, those air sending signals to the brain and your brain is a use it or lose it uh mech organ so if it is not getting constant good stimulus good information from the rest of the body it will actually begin to go through a mild amount of dysfunction or degeneration that makes sense all right, so I have less brain stimulation and then the next slide our next box says less brain stem stimulation now I'm gonna draw a picture up here for you guys all right and again I'm trying to make this as simple as possible all right? So I'm gonna draw a brain okay, now this is the front of the brain is the back of the brain so we're looking at it from the side this little part back here is the little section that sits in the back of the cerebellum but what we're really interested in is this guy right here alright this break this come the brain stem and actually extends up kind of into the center and here just put it like that now your brain stem controls most of what keeps you alive so your breathing your heart rate you're a lot of your digestive system and what's interesting is the nerves that control your eyes particularly my movements actually all come from that spot and so what we want to realize is that this section this brain stem the amount of health in a house like how healthy actually is very much determined by how much total stimulations coming to the brain okay, so I'm trying not to like I said is this too complicated? It gets with me so far okay, so I'm gonna draw I'm gonna put a little bit more up here for you. All right? So if I'm a mickey mouse right and mickey moves his foot all right making moves his left foot what's gonna happen if we go to a different color is it? Every time mickey takes a step he's gonna get information coming all the way up his spinal cord and it's gonna cross over and something's going to go back here but it is going to go up into a couple of spots up in the brain right now that's super important because that's this it's this brain activation that supposed to be occurring so the more I move especially if I'm moving well, the front part of my brain gets a lot of activation. It gets a lot of like blood flow and a lot of electrical activity and when that happens it makes your brain stem healthier. So make sense it should make your brain stem health here and what do we say lives in the brain stem control of all of our breathing in our heart rate and all that stuff in most basic stuff the most basic stuff so ultimately how this all rules around is that if I lose visual skill which causes me to move less over time I have a less healthy control mechanism in my brain stem and when that happens my sympathetic nervous system my hey keep him alive nervous system my fight or flight system can get out of whack and all of a sudden I have excess levels of adrenaline I have access levels of court is all you get all this kind of stuff that starts to occur so I have breathing issues my heart rate can go up some of the things that we see with this, like if I were to take your blood pressure, you may have high blood pressure on one side because these air you have this brain stem functions on both sides of the body so you just read through that list and like I said, that may sound really far reaching, but at the end of the day, as I said, I'm interested in foundational causes so when I look at someone I go, what could ultimately come from the fact that this person is not seeing well well, all of this and it's not that big a jump neuro physiologically to explain how this whole system could could come into play. Now with that in mind, like I said, I'm not don't want us to be overly complicated have I made the point in this first segment that visual issues are probably more profound than not being able to read the sunday paper yes yeah okay so what thoughts is this engendered for you anyth any thoughts or questions? But what one question is the fact that the vision is tight and you know our goes directly to the brain stem does that have to do with the fact that that in our species visions are dominant sense yes yeah I mean, most most mammals we're kind of wired the same way more important than division yeah, but for us uh it's a vision a vision that's it is our number one from liable mechanism. You okay? Teo teo look back at like hunter gatherer times regarding thes type of diseases but do you think that there seems to be a correlation with, um the type of our type of habits that were in in this day and age affecting increases that these types of diseases since we're not out using our vision to the fullest extent that was once required of us that's a really cool, awesome question and I think I can I said I think I could make an argument that's the case but the other issue is the most hunter gatherer societies died really young so you know, because of other in, you know, infections, etcetera so I'm always really I tryto try to bring a lot of logic to this whole idea of hey, how do we compare to our ancestors? Because we're not them right so at the end of the day do are habitual practices make a huge difference in her healthy answer is absolutely yes, but I could just say that from looking at what's happening now as opposed to trying to do some kind of strange comparison teo hunter gatherer tribe yeah, you've probably read it but uh a year and a half ago or two I read the book younger next year and that's the they're very point is what he was saying I mean that if we become sedentary everything starts shutting down right and that's basically what I just gave you a little science around here um is that more sedentary less movement over time it's gonna have a full body impact and we already all know that on the lock and logical they take it even further and say that if is you become more sedentary you're actually sending messages to your body that it's not needed anymore and you can die right? You're ready? You're ready you're done your highness's bodies not needed any yeah always tell people that movement of life so you would agree with that premise and yeah yeah yeah a said if you go into our next segment we talk more about the brain this one was this first segment is said to give you some context trying to hit you with the idea that training your eyes we'll do far more for you and be far more beneficial than just how well I can read it can change your posture, you can change, your movement can change your pain, it can change your athletic performance. Um, and then, like I said, it's segment two, which is coming up to talk about the brain and how I actually perceive most of this stuff is effective in the real world. S o we have any other questions, you know? You know, we sure do. We got a ton of questions, okay? Yeah. Hey, so, dr cobb, we do have a ton of questions regarding specific situations, and we talked about this. We're going to get a lot of these, you guys, so were we will go through, I'll show a couple of these too, doctor, calm well, we're at break and we'll addresses many of them as as we can. Ah lot of what I'm saying is that if it's exercise is good, so it's probably not going to be harmful, but we'll take a look, a lot of the's, a break and just let you know, but go. Zack has a question that says, I know a lot of people who, when standing, have very, very good posture, and that includes me never slouching and always stand up and walk with st posture, but when it comes to sitting, I tend to slouch after five minutes with my back, getting into hunch speight and into a hunch shape. How do I fix us? Some my vision will be affected anymore, and I don't think are there things that you would recommend that we do to help alleviate or remind ourselves about hunting and sitting great? Really great question. So let me give you my basic answer on sitting just kind of across the board westernized society sitting is probably one of the worst positions that we can assume for the human body s o they're a couple different options. People always ask me what's, the ideal sitting posture based on research there isn't one every single sitting posture has its positives and has its negatives, so when it comes to sitting, I tell people a couple different things number one, if at all possible, avoid it, get a standing desk, just change your change your lifestyle of much of gary your office environment trying use a standing desk. Um, a second option is if you're going to sit once again, we're back to that whole idea of kind of the biofeedback set a timer so that every twenty five to thirty minutes you remind yourself to get up or at least change how you're sitting there was a bunch of studies done looking at back pain in sitting postures and what they found was that the most effective way to avoid back issues when sitting was to just move a lot. So rather than trying to find this, you know, sitting on a swiss ball or sitting in some kind of ideal posture move more that's really? Ultimately again, from a research perspective, the best advice that I can give you. I'm going to talk about some other tips going forward as faras what to do with your computer screens, tilson angles and font sizes and all that stuff. The main thing that we're going to learn in all this is that movement is good in immobility is generally bad, so the more we can encourage ourselves through any kind of system set up to move more, the better off you're gonna be. Now, we'll say some people don't respond as well to the standing desk all day, because that can also be fatiguing. So in our office, we have standing desk, we have seated desk, and basically people can rotate throughout the day based on how they're feeling and that's one of the big things that I would encourage.