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    Mikolaj Miko Markiewicz

    Polish psychologist who has been teaching vision improvement since 1981

    Mikolaj Miko Markiewicz

    Mikolaj Miko Markiewicz provides intensive Vision Training® workshops. Now he concentrates on sports vision and relieving symptoms of Computer Vision Symptom.  During the time of home office most people working with screens suffer from some forms of discomfort connected to visual stress.

    He worked with Polish volleyball national representation, the young athletes from the best soccer club in Poland and many individual athletes. He is the co-author of a book about vision training in sport, based on the research conducted at Szczecin University in Poland.

    He conducts workshops for athletes, psychologists, pediatricians and teachers, and instructs parents of visually impaired children. Over the years he has developed many programs of visual training for various professional groups (computer workers, pilots, athletes, racing drivers). He has originated and implemented special trainings for children suffering from dyslexia, low vision people, preschool and elementary school children (to prevent school myopia), and handicapped children placed in institutions. He has lectured at several universities about vision therapy.

    He initiated the cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Education launching a campaign to protect schoolchildren’s vision. He underlines the fact that every year children and young people spend more and more  time looking at small screens of their electronic devices. This leads not only to the epidemics of school myopia but also causes learning difficulties. An increasing number of children have problems at school and even drop out from the educational system because they cannot learn even though they are smart and motivated. It is because their visual system is burdened by hours of looking at the screen and the children cannot  process all the information received at school.

    The ailments we experience when working with screens, often multiplied in the home office era, were described by American Academy of Ophthalmology in 1994 as Computer Vision Syndrome. Its defining indicators are dry eyes, various forms of eye irritation including conjunctivitis. But also blurred vision and broadly understood eye fatigue. Added to this are symptoms of body tension – headaches, shoulder and neck pain. This is how it was defined almost 30 years ago. Today we could add dozens of other problems.

    More and more people are suffering from eye ailments. In the days of the home office, CVS affects almost everyone who spends several hours in front of a screen. It seems unavoidable. But there are proven methods of taking care of our eyes that have already brought relief to thousands of people.

    When Miko started teaching people how they could take care of their eyesight 40 years ago, fatigue was a marginal problem. Now it’s the most common symptom of people who spend a lot of time with screen devices. It is eye and body fatigue, but also mental fatigue that decreases efficiency.

    Working with a screen is a huge challenge for the eyes. Our eyes are designed for a completely different kind of activity. For hundreds of thousands of years, our eyes have been shaped to see in motion, close up, but most of all far away – this ensures safety. We hardly ever encountered a situation where we had to look carefully at a flat surface, the world around us has 3 dimensions. Eyes are adapted to make wide movements, not making small jumps while looking ahead. The colors of nature and the colors of the screen are different. In the past the only sources of light were the sun, moon and stars, occasionally fire and a few other natural phenomena. Now we live among thousands of glowing objects and the screen is one of them. Working with a computer also requires significantly more visual attention than our ancestors needed. Screen devices are challenging our eyes causing various ailments.  Their fatigue can also be felt as lack of concentration, fatigue, boredom, or nausea. Our creativity, enjoyment, and engagement decrease.

    Since the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic and the advent of the home office, there are more and more people who want to get relief of eye problems. This is relatively easy. Typically, it takes 2-3 hour meetings to gain the knowledge and develop the habits to reduce ailments.

    Vision is fundamental in most sports, although the role of vision is not equally important in all of them. In many sports it is impossible to achieve success without proper eye work. Meanwhile, during classical training there are few elements aimed directly at improving vision. This is usually done on the occasion of training to improve other skills.

    Vision Training® makes it possible to improve an athlete’s performance with an individually tailored program of specialized exercises based on a detailed diagnosis of visual skills. This approach distinguishes a couple of dozens of skills that make up optimal vision. These skills are mastered by individuals to a different extent. They can be improved, which results in better sports performance.

    For many athletes, limitations in visual skills are a fundamental barrier to performance. Vision Training® helps overcome these barriers so that the athlete can realize their full potential.

    The visual skills most commonly worked with in sports are:

    • depth perception,
    • peripheral vision (peripheral visual awareness), sensitivity to information received from ‘the corner of the eye’,
    • preventing myopia from getting worse (for many young athletes it is the reason they have to stop doing professional sports),
    • perceiving multiple elements simultaneously (e.g., position of other players, net, ball)
    • reaction speed,
    • evaluating the speed of objects, their trajectory, and their shape,
    • differentiating relevant from irrelevant visual information, ignoring irrelevant information,
    • the ability to see in motion, jumping up,
    • the eye’s protective reflex (e.g., how to keep looking when the ball comes dangerously close to your face),
    • seeing under stress, in a state of mobilization, (e.g., how to maintain game efficiency in the face of a hostile audience),
    • eye motility (improving eye movement as required by sport discipline),
    • coordination: visual-motor; visual-auditory; vision and balance; vision and use of the right and left sides of the body,
    • eye regeneration after effort,
    • handling the glare from lamps or reflectors,
    • integration of systems informing about body position and orientation in space: deep sensing, sense of balance and vision.

    Working with athletes begins with a diagnosis of their visual skills. Athletes are given appropriate exercises that don’t require much time, usually 15-25 minutes a day. As visual skills are refined athletes are given further, more difficult exercises. The process of reaching full visual potential usually requires 4-7 sessions.

    If you would like to make at least two appointments for reducing CVS or work on Sports Vision please write to mikolaj108@gmail.com.