Eye exercises are sometimes touted as a way to improve vision naturally in fairly dramatic ways. Some programs even claim to be able to correct conditions such as myopia and presbyopia. While these exaggerated claims are medically improbable, eye exercises certainly can improve some milder vision issues. In particular, eye exercises can be a great way to correct vision health problems due to eye strain. Eye exercises to improve vision, which has become blurred or distorted due to strain, can be very effective. They can also help with soreness and tired eyes.
Exercises to improve vision
Unfortunately, there are no exercises that will correct conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Eye exercises to improve vision can help with temporary blurring, strain, and headaches, but they won’t allow you to see without your prescription glasses. Exercises to improve peripheral vision can be helpful in some cases, as can practices designed to rest your eyes. Eye exercises to improve far vision or close vision, however, are unlikely to produce much improvement.
Some conditions, such as amblyopia or lazy eye, can benefit from exercises. Patching and possibly surgery, along with corrective lenses, are more likely to produce significant improvements. Doctors treating these conditions may recommend eye exercises but only as part of a broader program of interventions.
How to exercise your eyes to improve vision
There are several exercises you can perform if you suffer from (or are at risk of) eyestrain. Here are some that you could try. They can all be done from your chair indoors, although it is helpful if you’re near a window.
The 20-20-20 Rule
Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen or your books. Look at an object around 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple exercise stimulates the muscles in your eyes and helps prevent them from becoming tired.
The Figure Eight
Sitting in your chair, look down at the floor approximately 10 feet in front of where you are sitting. Starting from this point, move your eyes as if you were following an imaginary figure, eight drawn on the floor. Carry on doing this for around half a minute. Return your eyes to the central point, then repeat the same exercise but move your eyes in the opposite direction.
Hold up your finger or thumb about 10 inches from your face. Find another object about 10 to 20 feet away from you. Focus on your finger for 15 seconds, then switch your focus to the more distant object for another 15 seconds. Repeat this process, flipping your focus back and forth between your finger and the other object, five or six times.
This exercise works best if you’re outside or have a window to look out of. Hold up one finger in front of your eye but a few inches away. Focus your eyes on that finger. Now, slowly move your hand away from you while keeping your eyes fixed on that finger. When your arm is outstretched, glance away from your fingertip and let your gaze go off into the distance. Look back to your fingertips. Bring your hand slowly back towards your face, maintaining your focus on your finger as you do so. Glance away and look into the distance again. Do this three or four times.
If you’re wondering how to improve your vision naturally, eye exercises are only part of the story. You should also look at getting proper nutrition — a balanced diet is essential for eye health. It’s also important to stay hydrated throughout the day, as dry eyes can quickly become painful and blurry. Sufficient sleep can do wonders for tired eyes, so make sure you’re getting between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
Above all, you need to check in with your optician regularly. Most adults should receive eye tests once every two years. Children, seniors, and people at risk of degenerative eye conditions should be seen every year or more regularly. Discuss any changes in vision with a healthcare professional.
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