Over the past few decades, there has been a marked increase worldwide in the number of people requiring glasses and contact lenses. There are a number of different reasons why this could be, from the ever-increasing use of digital screens in our daily lives to not enough of us exercising or resting our eyes properly.
Based on this fact, it would seem that the majority of people, unless told specifically by an ophthalmologist, are unaware of any type of exercise they can do with their eyes to help strengthen eye muscles and treat conditions such as convergence insufficiency.
Weakness in the muscles can cause issues with eye-coordination at a close range.
In this article, we’ll be looking at several eye exercises you can do at home that could help strengthen your eyes and ward off unwanted eye conditions later in life.
However, before we start, we’ll need to take a look at what we should be doing before we even start exercising our eyes, so let’s jump straight in.
The first thing you need to take into consideration before attempting any of the following eye exercises is whether your eyes are prepared.
If you’ve just got home from a nine-hour shift working behind a computer screen for the majority of it, now is probably not the best time to start your eye workout.
Like the rest of your body, your eyes need time to recover after being used for extended periods of time, so make sure they’re well rested and ready to exercise before you start.
Taking a trip to your local optometrist is recommended as they’ll be able to assess whether these exercises, if any, will help improve the condition of your eyes.
Regular eye check ups are also highly recommended as you’ll have a better idea of what condition your eyes are in if you visit a specialist every 6-12 months.
Now that you know you and your eyes are ready to go, the first exercise is an easy one and revolves around focusing your eyes on chosen targets at specific distances.
The exercise is as follows: Sit in a quiet room and place your thumb in front of your face at eye level, roughly ten inches away from your nose, and focus on it alone for around 10-15 seconds.
Once that’s done, move on to an object that is roughly 10 feet away from your and again focus for 10-15 seconds.
After completing this step the third and final part of this exercise is to focus on an object that is roughly 25-30 feet away for 10-15 seconds.
Once you’ve completed each part of the exercise, start again from your thumb and go through the steps again.
It’s often recommended that you go through the steps to this exercise four or five times.
The idea of this exercise is to improve your ability to focus on objects at certain distances and strengthen your eye muscles in order to maintain a decent level of vision.
Next up we have zooming. Again, this is another simple way of improving your eye’s ability to focus on objects at various distances and call also be used as an exercise for correcting double vision as caused by convergence insufficiency.
To start with, hold a pencil at eye level, roughly an arms length away from you. Focus on the pencil for a few seconds then slowly begin to bring it towards you while maintaining focus on it.
Keep moving it towards you until the pencil is roughly three inches away from your face. Once the pen is at its closest position to your face, hold your focus on it for a few seconds then slowly begin to move it away from your face until your arm is completely outstretched.
Repeat this exercise another three times and you’re done.
It has been suggested that following the steps to this exercise once a week can help improve your eyes ability to focus at varying distances as well helping correct convergence insufficiency.
If you have do convergence insufficiency and begin to see two pens (double vision) while bringing the pen towards or away from your face, stop moving and hold your focus on the pen.
Try to drag the two images together to form a single image of the pen you’re holding and, once you’re comfortable again, carry on with the exercise.
Pattern following is another easy exercise to perform as, as long as you have a pattern to follow, you can do it anywhere.
The premise is simple, trace a pattern or shape with your eyes for a few minutes then reverse the direction and go the other way for another few minutes.
Sounds easy, right? Well, that’s because it is!
The most common shape for this exercise is a figure of eight as it is infinite and can be followed indefinitely until you decide to switch directions.
Just imagine the number eight on the floor a few feet in front of you and trace its shape with your eyes.
This exercise could be used to improve your control over the physical movement of your eyes as well as exercise their muscles.
Remember, while these exercises are easy to do and can be done basically anywhere, it’s important to take in to account how your eyes are when you decide to do any exercises with them.
On the train home from work is probably not the best place to exercise your eyes as you’ll have been using them all day, that scenario is probably best suited to resting your hard-working little peepers.
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As has been previously mentioned above, it is always highly recommended that you consult an ophthalmologist before undertaking any kind of exercises for your eyes.
These professionals will be able to advise on whether these types of activities, or any like them, will be able to improve your sight or overall eye health in any shape or form and, if so, will recommend which ones in particular you should be doing.
So, will you start exercising your eyes after reading this article? Are there any exercises we’ve missed out that you feel should be included? Sound off in the comments section below and let us know!
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