Many people are asking whether eye exercises work. Well, the answer to that question depends upon what exactly you expect to get out of these optical workouts. Can you reduce your dependency on glasses or contacts by giving your eyes a workout? No. But, eye exercises are an important part of eye health, we explain why below along with a fun video by two odd guys.
What these simple acts can do is reduce eye strain, fatigue, dry eyes, and headaches. If you go into a regimen with realistic goals for your eye health, you will be quite happy with the results. Just don’t expect a miracle that offers the same results as LASIK. Keep in mind that for decades people have been making claims that you can train your eyes not to need glasses, yet here we are still wearing them.
The main lesson here is this: if you already have vision problems, such as myopia or astigmatism, exercises will probably not reverse those issues. But, taking care of your eyes can help to prevent strain-related ocular problems. The exercises below reduce the stress you put on your peepers when you read, watch TV, and stare at computer and mobile device screens.
Preventive Eye Exercises
So, what are good eye exercises? Like any other part of your body, your eyes need a combination of rest and exercise to remain healthy. For that reason, the exercises listed here include techniques for stretching your eye muscles, as well as relaxing them. You know how stiff your joints and muscles feel after sitting in the same position for an hour or two? Your eyes have the same reaction after staring at a screen for that long!
- Resting Your Eyes - This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do to prevent eye strain. If you are on a computer or other device for long periods of time, remember to take a break and close your eyes for a few minutes. You don’t expect your muscles to perform constantly, so don’t expect it from your weary eyes!
- Relaxing Heat - What else would you do for tired muscles aside from giving them a rest? Applying heat usually soothes them, and it’s a treat for your eyes, too. Simply rub your palms together to warm them, and place your hands over your eyes for a few seconds. Repeat it a few times until your eyes feel more relaxed.
- Massage Your Pressure Points - Certain points on your body, when pressed, can relieve tension and promote the health of various body systems. It’s the same concept at work in acupuncture. To relieve the stress on your eyes, take a few minutes to rub your temples, the point between your eyebrows, and the area below your eyes that is beside the bridge of your nose.
- Look Around - Here’s an exercise to stretch out those eye muscles and help with lubrication. A few times throughout the day, especially if you have been focusing on a book, screen, or close work (such as sewing), roll your eyes in a clockwise circle about ten times. Then, roll them counterclockwise ten times. Next, look up and down ten times; side to side ten times; and diagonal.
- Change Your Focus - There are two ways to do this. You can simply look back and forth from an object that is farther away and one that is close to you. Or, you can hold a pencil out in front of you and slowly draw it in towards your nose, keeping your focus on it. Do this about ten times. Anything that gets you to stop focusing on one distance for a long period works.
- Blink with Purpose - Tightly close your eyes, and hold them closed for three seconds. Then, keep them open for three seconds. Do this ten times to regain eye lubrication.
- Write on the Wall - This one’s kind of fun! Look across the room at the wall opposite to you. Imagine you are writing words on the wall with your eyes. You can vary the size of the words, or even try drawing a picture with your eyes. Be careful not to move your head while you do this.
- Check the Time - Pretend that you are looking at a clock in front of your face. Start by looking at a spot in the center of the clock face. Then, move your eyes up to twelve o’clock. Go back to the center. Look at one o’clock and back to center. Continue to move around the clock, always looking back at the center before proceeding, until you get back to the twelve o’clock position.
Here is a comedic look at eye exercises (Just for fun!).
Vision Health Benefits
Performing these routines regularly will provide you with several benefits. In order to get the most of them, try to do at least one of the tips listed above every day, and more often on days when your eyes feel particularly strained. The biggest advantages of these ocular calisthenics are:
- Relief for Pain - Putting stress on your optical organs can lead to dry eyes and headaches. Both of these conditions are painful and can become unbearable when experienced chronically. All of the suggestions in this article will help retain moisture in the eye and provide relaxation for your tired visual processors.
- Reduced Effects of Eye Strain - Eye strain occurs when you put too much stress on the eyes, usually by staring at one thing for too long. Repeatedly straining your eyes can lead to vision problems, like blurry vision, trouble focusing on distant objects, and changes in the appearance of colors.
To keep your eyes functioning the best they can, take the time to give them a short workout each day. It may not solve all your eye ailments, but it will prevent the onset of stress-related problems. Take care of your eyes - after all, you never know what you'll see!