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Oculomotor muscles: structure and purpose
Oculomotor muscles: structure and purpose

Our eyes perform a lot of functions and a huge number of movements every day. Sometimes it happens that their muscles weaken and their vision begins to suffer. What to do in this case? Read below.

A bit of anatomy

The eyeball is unable to provide a clear and precise view without the coordinated work of the corresponding muscles.

The latter have a typical muscular structure and are of the following types:

  • straight top and bottom;
  • medial straight lines;
  • lateral straight lines;
  • upper and lower oblique.

These are the main muscles of the eye, the name of which corresponds to their course and location in the eye socket itself. Their adequate, full-fledged and coordinated work is provided by the oculomotor, block and abducens cranial nerves.

Muscle innervation is a set of nerve contacts or synapses that force the muscles to make the required movements and literally "direct" the eyes in the right direction, focus on a specific object, consider objects at a far or near distance.

Also, the tasks that the muscles of the eyeball perform include providing bright and volumetric central vision, as well as projecting images onto the retina. The oculomotor muscles can perform their duties only under the condition of their normal structure and full innervation from the central nervous system. It is she who sends electrical impulses to specific nerve fibers that contract / relax the muscles of the eye.

Major pathologies

The muscles of the human eyeball can partially or completely lose their function due to the following diseases:

  • Muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis by the optometrist;
  • Complete loss of the ability to accept and execute the "commands" of the central nervous system. Paralysis of one eye muscle or all at once may be the result of abscesses, cysts, vascular and other disorders that have affected the brain;
  • Spasms resulting from inflammatory diseases. In this case, there is a chaotic and uncontrollable contraction of the oculomotor muscles;
  • Aplasia or muscle hypoplasia.

Diagnostic techniques

The condition of the muscles of the eyeball is specified by the following ophthalmic techniques and methods:

  • Strabometry. They turn to her in the case of strabismus, when it is necessary to establish the exact angle of deviation from the center of the eyeball or to control the dynamics of its change;
  • Ultrasound. With its help, it is possible to determine the pathology of the oculomotor muscles located in the immediate vicinity of the apple;
  • Tests. Covering one and the other eye in turn and looking at the corresponding pictures, a person can determine the type of strabismus or the presence of heterotrophy. Naturally, testing should be done under the guidance of an ophthalmologist;
  • MRI and computed tomography. Thanks to these technologies, the muscles of the eyeball can be viewed along their entire length, identifying deviations in their work in a specific area of the fibers and monitoring their condition as a whole;
  • Observation of human movements in space. The specialist can identify the pathology of the oculomotor muscles by how complete, accurate and confident the patient's movements are.

When should you see a doctor?

The eye muscles need to be checked urgently by an ophthalmologist if the following symptoms of abnormal functioning are present:

  • Doubling, which is a consequence of impaired binocularity;
  • Eye movements beyond the control of a person's will. As a result, he cannot fix his gaze on one object and even at one point. In ophthalmology, this condition is called nystagmus;
  • Headaches or soreness in the eye socket. As a rule, they are the result of continuous spastic overstrain of the muscles of the eyeball.

Strengthening exercises

It would seem, why train the eye muscles, which are already in constant dynamics? Yes, they move almost continuously, and even in a dream, the central nervous system sends them minimal nerve impulses. But they are all of the same type, especially if a person's activity is associated with the performance of the same manipulations for several hours.

In order to strengthen the external muscles of the eye, the following exercises can be done:

  1. Sit down and keep your head still. Slowly move your gaze from the ceiling to the floor and back, then look to the right and slowly move your gaze to the left. Repeat all this 20 times in a row;
  2. To relax the muscles of the eye, you need to blink quickly and often for twenty seconds in a row;
  3. Make circular movements with the eyeballs, first moving them from right to left, and then from left to right. The manipulation must be repeated 6 times for each organ of vision.

The main muscles of the eye are strengthened by regularly performing the following manipulations:

  1. Without moving, you first need to look at the floor, and then abruptly shift your gaze to the ceiling. Make sure that the session is effective and accurate, feel the muscles inside the eye socket tense (there should be a feeling of tension);
  2. Without moving your body or head, move your gaze from left to right and in the opposite direction. Avert your eyes to the sides as much as possible. Repeat the steps 10 times for each organ of vision;
  3. First, focus your gaze on the upper right corner of the room, and then move it diagonally to the lower left. Repeat the manipulation 10 times, and then do the same in the other direction and the same number of times;
  4. Imagine that there is a large circle in front of you. "Outline" its borders with your gaze, moving your gaze to the right, in the direction of the clock hand. A similar action must be repeated in the other direction, "outlining" the boundaries of the circle against the course of the clock hand. Both exercises are performed 10 times.

Please note that all these manipulations must be done in a standing position, with a motionless head and neck.

Training for the weak muscles of the apple of the eye is as follows:

  1. Sit back in a chair and close your eyelids tightly. Breathe evenly, count to three in your mind and look at the object in front of you. Repeat 5 times;
  2. Having taken a comfortable body position, close your eyes and move your eyeball against and in the direction of the clock hand. Do this for a couple of minutes, rest a little and do a few more approaches;
  3. Attach a mark in the form of a cardboard oval or square on the window pane. Sit at a distance of 30 cm from the window and peer at the mark for a minute. Then move your gaze to what is happening outside the window and look at the mark again. During the day, the exercise must be repeated three times;
  4. Sitting comfortably, close your eyelids tightly and rub your palms until you feel warm in them. As soon as it appears, place your palms on your closed eyelids and sit for a couple of minutes without thinking about anything. After such a procedure, you will immediately notice the clarity of the look;
  5. At any convenient moment, try to blink frequently, helping your muscles to relax;
  6. Focus on your own bridge of your nose, and after five seconds, look at the tip of your nose. Do not take your eyes off him until a feeling of fatigue appears in the organs of vision.

Don't forget about nutrition

In ordinary products there are a lot of useful vitamins and minerals that strengthen the muscles of the eyes and contribute to the preservation of visual acuity.

In order to prevent ophthalmic problems, the diet should include:

  • carrots;
  • fresh blueberries;
  • spinach leaves;
  • broccoli and corn;
  • rosehip drinks;
  • all kinds of citruses and apricots;
  • cod;
  • garlic and onions;
  • beets;
  • cod.

Naturally, leaning on these foods day after day and several times a day is not a good idea. The food should be varied, it is enough to include one of the indicated ingredients in the daily menu, preferably fresh.

We hope these tips will help you strengthen your eye muscles. Take care of your health!

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