Manual eyesight focus
November 27, 2010 1:47 PM   Subscribe

When I press the inside edges of my eyes, closest to my nose, my eyesight sharpens. Why?

My eyesight is decent but I have some minor trouble reading things at a distance. I don't wear glasses. I noticed that when I press on the inside corners of my eyes, just on either side of the bridge of my nose, my eyesight sharpens up to a crystal clear focus. What's happening here? It feels like I'm pressing some muscle that focuses my lenses. And if this the case, could these muscles be exercised to make this happen on their own instead of glasses?
posted by Liquidwolf to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Most of the focus of your eyes comes from the shape of your eyeball; the lens inside is for fine tuning. By pressing on the sides of your eyes, you are distorting the shape of your eyeballs and bringing them closer to a shape that gives you perfect vision.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:58 PM on November 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

You can gently massage this muscle with your little finger and the other muscles circling the eye. Try rubbing each sore spot twice 6-12 times whenever you take a break say. You may need to do some more work on trapezius trigger points to make any gains more permanent.
posted by Not Supplied at 1:58 PM on November 27, 2010

It is likely that you are squinting when you press your eyes. Squinting reduces the area of the pupil like a pinhole camera. Your eyes have a lens that bends light that is off center so that it focuses on your retina. A pinhole only allows through light that is on center so it doesn't have to bend and is always in focus. This might be what is happening when you press you eyes. Try poking a small hole in a piece of paper with the end of a paper clip, look through it and check for the same sharpening effect.
posted by JackFlash at 1:59 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I heard that it might be because you are physically pushing your eyeball's shape from more football-shaped (astigmatic) to more round, thereby temporarily reducing your astigmatism. IANYOpthamologist.
posted by tristeza at 2:08 PM on November 27, 2010

Basically what la morte de bea arthur said. You can physically change the shape of your eye to adjust focus. Forcefully squinting/compressing your eyes can sometimes improve vision too, for the same reason.
posted by Decani at 2:55 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Whenever I've got my contacts out and can't see much at all, tugging the outsides of my eyes sharpens my vision, and I can adjust the clarity based on the level of tugging. It used to provide perfect vision, for as long as I could keep it up, but now that I have regressed I can only get it to moderate clarity. I can keep my eyes fully open during this, though, not really squinting, so I imagine it comes more down to modifying the lens, forcing it into a more effective thickness/whatever. Not very comfortable or, I imagine, good for the eyes in the long run, though, I suggest corrective lenses!
posted by Dr. Christ at 3:59 AM on November 29, 2010

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