10 Exercises to Improve Your Eyesight
Eyeglasses are nothing more than a crutch with a yearly modification. I may be over-exaggerating a bit, but you could limit your dependence on glasses and improve your vision with simple exercises. Obviously, this will not work for everyone. If you suffer from an eye disease such as macular degeneration, this routine may not improve your condition.
Please take into consideration that I am not a doctor, nor am I a medical professional. I'm simply someone who discovered a very beneficial solution to my own vision issues. Everyone is different, so results may vary. If at any time you experience adverse side-effects, please limit the number of reps or stop all-together.
How Can Eye Exercises Improve Eyesight?
Your eyeballs become misshapen when focusing on a similar distance for a prolonged amount of time. This happens because your eyes are only using particular muscles to focus, and the strain causes them to squeeze the eye. The other muscles become weaker, and because of the deformity, your vision will be blurred when focusing at the lesser viewed distance. Not conditioning every eye muscle is akin to skipping leg day at the gym. The good news is that is can be corrected with a little effort.
Think of children who spend all day at school, they are always staring at assignments that are inches away from their eyes. When they return home, they then have to complete homework and probably relax by playing on a device or watching TV. Again requiring their eyes to focus at a short distance. This constant strain causes the muscles to squeeze the eyes and misshapen them. This leads to nearsightedness.
Exercising all of the eye muscles will help to correct these conditions. However, it is more profitable for your eye doctor to prescribe new corrective lenses every year. This goes with my opening analogy of a new and improved yearly designer crutch. The glasses help your eyes to relax but also make your muscles weaker.
10 Simple Eye Muscle Exercises
The following exercises are designed to strengthen the six muscles that control eye movement. They are a collection of what I found to be effective, feel free to modify them if you wish. The primary goal is to condition all of the muscles that support the eye.
- Superior Rectus: Upward movement
- Medial Rectus: Inward movement
- Inferior Rectus: Downward movement
- Lateral Rectus: Outward movement
- Superior Oblique: Downward & outward movement
- Inferior Oblique: Upward & outward movement
Inbetween each routine, please give your eyes a chance to rest. This can be done by keeping your eye closed, blinking, or massaging them for a few seconds.
Exercise #1 - Up and Down
Keeping your head still, look up and then down pausing for a 1-second interval. It often helps to find a point to focus on but isn't necessary. Count the up and down cycle as a single repetition (rep). Start off with 5 reps and gradually increase the amount on subsequent sessions.
Exercise #2 - Side-to-Side
Switch to moving your eyes left to right. Again, keeping the head still and find focal points if that helps. A rep is a full left to right cycle.
Exercise #3 - Diagonals
Without moving your head, look to the upper left corner of your vision. Then move your gaze to the bottom right. Each cycle is a rep. Once you reach your rep count, switch to the upper right to the bottom left corners.
Exercise #4 - The Box
Start off with your eye positioned in the upper left corner of your vision. Move your gaze to the top right, then bottom right, then to bottom left, and finally back to the starting position. This cycle is considered a single rep. After completing the routine, change directions for another set.
Exercise #5 - Zig-Zag (horizontal)
Position your eye in the lower-left corner of your vision. Now, look up while slightly moving your eye to the right. Then look down and slightly to the right. Keep going until you reach the upper-right corner. From there, switch directions until you reach your starting positions. Getting this pattern down can be tricky at first, so take your time. It can help to imagine watching a ball bounce. Only cycle through this a few times when starting out and rest your eyes after.
Exercise #6 - Zig-Zag (vertical)
Begin with your eyes positioned in the upper left corner of your vision. Moving your gaze slightly down and to the right. Then slightly down and to the left. Continue this pattern until you reach the bottom right. Once completed, switch directions and move back to the starting position. This exercise is like watching a ping-pong match without moving your head.
Exercise #7 - Circles
Rotating your eyes in a circular-clockwise pattern. Each rotation equals a rep. Once you hit your rep count, reverse the motion to a counter-clockwise pattern. Start off slow as this could make you dizzy.
EExercise #8 - Figure-Eights
Move your eyes in a figure-eight pattern. Once completed, do another set in the opposite direction. This one might be difficult at first, so take it slow. To get used to the motion, taking up an entire piece of paper, try drawing a number eight. Then hold it sideways and follow the lines as if it were a race track for your eyes.
Exercise #9 - Focus (near to far)
This is often referred to as the thumb exercise. Stare at something that is about an arms reach away from you (like your thumb) for about 5-10 seconds. Then shift your focus on an object farther a way for 5-10 seconds. Doing as many reps as you feel comfortable with.
I like to focus on things with sharp edges like text. It forces your eyes to focus more. You'll also be able to measure your progress as the blurriness subsides.
Exercise #10 - Blink Focus
Using the same objects from the previous exercise. Start off focusing on the closer item with your left eye closed. Once in focus, switch to the other eye. Cycle back and forth a few times until you can barely notice the initial blurriness. Finally, repeat this process with the object that is farther away.
Where and When to Exercise Your Eyes
It is really your preference when to exercise your eyes. However, I would avoid conducting them before work or prolong strain. I found great success in doing them as a warm-up before meditating. At night is another ideal time because your eyes will have a proper rest while you sleep.
Obviously, do not exercise your eyes while driving or operating heavy machinery. Public transportation would be a very convenient time, but you may receive a few odd looks. However, who am I to judge? Let your freak-flag fly my friend.
Ongoing Eye Health
Resting Your Eyes
It is essential to rest your eyes after straining them. This can be done by keeping them closes and massaging them. Blinking repeatedly helps to clean and hydrate the eye. Another technique to improve blood flow and drain fluids is to massage your temples in a circular motion.
Nutrition for the Eyes
Oxidation can harm your eyes, so you should monitor your sugar intake and try to increase antioxidants. You'll also want to make sure you are not deficient in any of these vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B (1,2,3)
- Vitamin D
- Caroteniods (Lutein, Zeaxanthin)
Dr. Berg speaks of the vital nutrition needed for your eyes in the video below:
This is very important if you work on a computer. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Practicing this will significantly help your eyes from over-staining.
Have regular eye exams to ensure that you are not suffering from any severe eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or cataracts.
Eye Exercises may not work for everyone, but they have certainly worked for me. I haven't worn my glasses in over a month. My eye pain has reduced, and my vision has noticeably improved.
I really hope these exercises help to improve your life.
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- Woman Doing Goggles Hand Gesture by Gratisography
- Cartoon vector created by Freepik
- Human eye anatomy diagram vector created by Macrovector