Most of us at least fancy hitting a gym to keep our bodies fit or doing things like jogging and swimming. Have you ever thought that you can exercise your eyes and improve your eye health?
Though these steps are not meant to improve your vision, it helps maintain your best eyesight level during the day and prevent significant further vision deterioration.
There are a number of eye exercises that have proven to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of presbyopia (vision loss due to old age). These exercises consist of flexing and relaxing routines, which stimulate the eye muscles, thus overcoming laziness of the eyes. This helps them to perform more efficiently, leading to improved vision.
Blinking is an often overlooked yet simple way to keep your eyes fresh and being able to focus longer. Computer users and television watchers tend to blink less, especially when they are intently focused on something. Try it just now as a simple exercise. For the next two minutes blink every 3 – 4 seconds. After you have done this for two minutes, mentally take note of how your eyes feel, are they strained, relaxed, tired. Now try and not blink for 30 seconds at a time for two minutes.
Whenever you blink, your eyes are going into a brief period of darkness which helps to keep your eyes fresh and discharges previous information ready for new information, this helps to reduce eye strain.
This is done to relieve stress around the eyes and as a way to relax your eyes whilst taking a computer break.
Take a few deep breathes before you begin. Make yourself comfortable whilst leaning forward on a desk or with your elbows resting on your knees. Close your eyes. Place your two hands over your eyes with the cup of your palm covering your eyes, your fingers on your forehead and the heel of your hand will rest on your cheekbone. Make sure you can blink freely and you are not putting too much pressure on your eyes.
Palming gives you the opportunity to rest your mind and your eyes for a few minutes at a time. It may not sound much of an exercise but it can make a big difference in your working day if you stop for a few minutes and do this exercise.
Figure of eight
This is to exercise your eye muscles and increase their flexibility. Imagine a giant figure of eight in front of you. Now turn the 8 on its side. Now trace the figure of eight with your eyes, slowly. Do it one way for a few minutes and then do it the other way for a few minutes. It may seem very alien at first but it’s worth persevering with it.
Near and far focusing
Sit in a comfortable position, or stand, this will only take 2-3 minutes at a time. Put your thumb about 10 inches in front of you and focus on it. Now focus on something else about 10 – 20 feet in front of you. On each deep breath switch between focusing on your thumb and the 10-20 feet object in front of you. This will strengthen the muscles in your eyes over time and improve your vision overall.
Sit in a comfortable position. Stretch out your arm with your thumb in the hitchhike position. Focus on your thumb as your arm is outstretched. Now bring your thumb closer to you, focusing all the time, until your thumb is about 3 inches in front of your face. Now move your thumb away again until your arm is fully outstretched. Do this for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. This exercise will strengthen your focusing skills and your eye muscles in general.
Rotation of the eyeballs
This exercise loosens your ocular eye muscles and helps to improve blood flow in surrounding areas of the eye, increasing the level of oxygen, thus improving vision. Close your eyes and rotate your eyeballs in a clockwise and then an anti-clockwise direction. Repeat this 10 to 15 times. Up, down and from side to side.
Imagine a clock face in front of you. Now move your eyes from 12 to 6 o'clock, 20 times. Move your eyes from 3 to 9 o'clock for another 20 times. Next, rotate the eye around the clock in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. After doing this, close your eyes and rest for a while.
Massage your eyes
Hot and Cold Compress: Soak one towel in hot water, and the other in cold. Take one and lightly press it to your face, focusing on your eyebrows, closed eyelids, and cheeks. Alternate between the two as desired, making sure to end with a cold compress.
Eyelid Massage: Close your eyes and massage them with circular movements of your fingers for 1-2 minutes. Make sure you press very lightly and have washed your hands to avoid damaging your eyes.
Lightly press three fingers of each hand against your upper eyelids. Hold them there for 1-2 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times.
Hold a pencil in front of you at arm's length. Move your arm slowly to your nose. Follow the pencil with your eyes until you can't keep it in focus. Repeat 10 times.
- Do not apply pressure on your eyes.
- Doing these exercises when you wear contacts may cause them to suction to your eyeball. They might also move around and possibly become folded and/or dislodged, which can be extremely uncomfortable as well.
- Wash your hands before doing these exercises to avoid getting irritants in your eye.
- Consult your optometrist (eye doctor) before doing any of these exercises. The last thing you want to do is add further strain to your eyes, or damage them permanently.