While they don’t do any heavy lifting, the muscles in your eyes work all the time to focus your vision. Over time, especially when most of your day consists of looking at a computer screen or TV, the muscles in your eyes can become stiff and weak.
For some people, eye exercises can eliminate the need for glasses. Not everyone experiences such dramatic results, but you can improve your vision and minimize the deterioration of vision that most people experience with age.
With age, most people develop presbyopia, causing them to need reading glasses or bifocals. Sometimes people confuse presbyopia with farsightedness (hyperopia), but they are distinctly different problems.
Nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness are refractive errors caused by misshapen corneas. Presbyopia is the loss of accommodation – the ability of the lens of your eye to fine tune focus.
Keeping the muscles of your eye in good shape and the lens supple can delay the need for bifocals or monovision.
Eye strain can cause headaches, irritability, and fatigue. It lowers productivity at work and can impair progress in school. Exercising your eyes can relieve or prevent eye strain.
Think of your face as a clock face, with 12:00 at the top of your forehead and 6:00 at the bottom of your chin. Try to look at 12:00 (obviously you won’t actually be able to see the top of your forehead). Hold your eyes in that position for about two seconds, then, look straight ahead. Repeat for 1:00, 2:00, etc, all the way around, clockwise, looking straight in between each hour. Repeat the process going counterclockwise.
Visualizing the clock face again, look up to 12:00. Roll your eyes slowly and smoothly to 1:00, then 2:00, and all the way around to 12:00. Repeat going counterclockwise.
Go to a window, if possible, and spot the farthest thing away that you can focus on clearly. Facing the object, hold your finger up to your nose and level with your eyes. Looking at your finger, move it out away from your face until you can focus on it clearly. Focus on your finger for a few seconds, then, switch your focus to the far away object until it becomes clear. Switch back to your finger until it becomes clear again. Repeat this 10 times.
Your eyes need good blood flow to get proper oxygen and nutrients. Neck and shoulder tension will increase the tension and stiffness in your eyes. In addition to eye exercises, be sure to do some neck and shoulder stretches throughout the day.
Talk to your ophthalmologist about eye exercises and other ways you can protect and improve your vision today.