Balance Part 2: The Visual System
Our eyes gather information at rapid rates, and the information is processed by the brain to give you a visual representation of where your body is in space.
It will provide an orientation of our position, relative to other objects in the room. This is how you can tell if you are sideways or upright.
When the visual system is altered or blocked, or sense of balance can take a real hit.
If you think about it, when would you be most likely to fall, in the middle of the night in a dark room, or in a well-lit area?
Likely it would be a well-lit area because you can process your surroundings in a more complete fashion.
Poor sight or blurry vision can make you feel out of whack as well.
If this is something you deal with regularly, it would be in your best interest to seek medical advice from a qualified professional.
Another thing that people tend to do when they are afraid of falling is to look straight down at the ground.
This turns you to having tunnel vision and can really knock out your peripheral vision and surroundings.
It seems safer, but you won’t know what’s up ahead.
If you actually look straight ahead and have a softer focus, allowing yourself to see a larger area, you can see what’s on the ground coming up ahead of time and give your body the feedback to make proper adjustments beforehand.
That is how we can utilize our balance systems to work as one unit.
Next week we can finish up with the last piece of the balance puzzle, the proprioceptive system.
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Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.