Eye Exercises to Better Maintain Your Vision
Almost all of us know that we can improve our aging by exercising our bodies and many of us know that we can exercise our minds to do the same. Very few people, however, know that we can exercise our eyes to better maintain vision as we age.
Eye exercises can help patients strengthen muscles, stimulate the vision center of the brain, and improve eye movement and focusing. This means that eye exercises may be helpful for patients who have trouble focusing their vision, have an eye that drifts, have strabismus (“crossed eyes”), have amblyopia (a “lazy eye”), have double vision, have problems with depth perception, or have recently had surgery and suffer from weakened muscles.
Patients who have these symptoms will generally benefit the most from eye exercises, but some research also suggests that eye exercises can help improve vision around the blind spots all people have naturally, as well as delay the need for glasses or contacts for some patients; so whether you have vision problems or not, you may want to consider working a few eye exercises into your daily routine. Here are five eye exercises that you can try on your own.
1. Switching Focus
This simple exercise can help strengthen your eyes’ ability to adjust and can help patients who suffer from age-related farsightedness. First, focus on an object far from you. When the object becomes clear, switch your focus to an object near to you. Once this object becomes its clearest, switch back to the distant object. Continue switching between the two objects to strengthen the muscles that help your eyes change focus.
Cover one eye with your cupped palm (Don’t press against your eye, even when it’s closed, as this can damage it). Keeping your eye covered, look around you with the uncovered eye, constantly moving your line of sight, rather than concentrating on particular objects. Repeat with the opposite eye covered.
3. Eye Circles
Just like stretching your body can help to wake your body up in the morning, stretching your eyes can help wake them up, too. To do so, move your eyes slowly in a clockwise circle, making your circles as wide as you can. When you’ve made about 20 circles, relax for about 10 seconds, then repeat your circles, but going in the opposite direction. It’s recommended that this exercise is performed with the eyes open, but this can cause discomfort. If this is the case, you may want to try doing the exercise with your eyes closed. Regardless, this exercise gives the most benefit if practiced three times throughout each day.
4. Smooth Transition
This exercise is another that helps your eyes’ ability to focus and can also help with the eyes’ ability to work together (binocular vision). It is best performed sitting upright or standing. Hold a pen or similarly shaped item upright in your hand with your arm straight out in front of you. Focus on the point of the pen for 10 seconds before bending your arm to bring the pen slowly towards your nose, maintaining focus on the pen’s tip. When the pen is directly in front of your face, hold it there for five seconds before slowly moving it back to the starting position. Repeat this three times with a 10 second break in between. Don’t forget to breathe throughout the exercise, and don’t blink except during the breaks between repetitions.
Can Eye Exercises Benefit Me?
Of course, not all eye exercises can help all patients and not all conditions can be helped by eye exercises. These exercises can be helpful, but a qualified and experienced doctor can recommend an eye exercise plan that will best suit you.
Doctors R.K. Ghosheh and Faris Ghosheh at Advanced Eye Medical are experienced ophthalmologists with a passion for helping patients get the best vision possible. They, along with our team of optometrists, can help you determine which eye exercises can best benefit you and your sight. Contact us now.