For your eyes only

Recently, researchers have studied the following question: is there a connection between the papillary reflex, stress and auditory issues.

What about the pupil reflex?

The pupil reflex represents the change in the size of the pupil as it responds to a luminous source that lands on the retina. When light hits the retina, the autonomic nervous system that is responsible to manage that kind of situation does so by allowing contraction of the constrictor muscle of the pupil. This mechanism contributes to a reduction of light that hits the retina.

The reverse scenario is also possible. If the body perceives that there is not enough light, it can see it as a threat and the pupil then dilates to allow more light to contact the retina.

The pupil reflex as a means to assess the nervous system

Clinicians in functional neurology have been using the pupil reflex as a means of evaluation of the autonomic nervous system. This is the system responsible for keeping us alive while we are busy living our lives.

For example, an individual that is stressed, generally speaking, can have a weaker pupil reflex, which means that, at rest, its pupils are more dilated than someone who is more relaxed.

It has been many years that the pupil reflex has been used as a component of the assessment of the autonomic nervous system in the cases where patients suffer from Parkinson, Alzheimer and diabetes.

In the context of this study, 36 studies speaking of the pupil reflex and the autonomic nervous system were read. 30 of them made the link between the pupil reflex and a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

What about posturology?

With posturology, we assess the body as a whole with the purpose of evaluating the expense of energy an individual is responsible for to stand upright and move. This evaluation includes motility of the eyes, as in how both eyes work together to allow us to focus on the horizon, as we need to do so to stabilize our body to do anything!

Ocular convergence is interesting for the posturologist. It attests of the capacity of the two hemispheres to work together, which is necessary for all motor tasks to take place.

Since we know that, for ocular convergence to take place, pupil constriction is necessary, if this mechanism is weak, ocular convergence pays the price and the final resultant is postural compensations and, in the worst of cases, instability disorders.

Specific exercises can be suggested as to improve the pupil reflex, which can potentially have positive consequences on the entire balance system.

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