Low vision is a major health challenge for many people. About 12 million Americans who
are over 39 years have a vision impairment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Of these, 1 million people are blind. William Horatio Bates, MD, developed the
first eye exercise program in 1920. But, scientific evidence hasn’t proved the efficiency of the
Bates Method in treating complete vision impairment. Here are six eye exercises that will
improve your eyesight.
Zooming is appropriate for people with partial vision impairment. It involves zooming an
object to change the focus of your vision. Outstretch your arms and point your thumb
upwards while sitting on a chair. Bend one arm slowly as you bring it close to your eye and
zoom the thumb.
Rotate or move your eyeballs to different directions. Face the right corner and gradually shift
your focus to the left corner. Shifting activates small eye muscles and keeps them healthy by
improving blood circulation inside the eyes.
Palming is one of the top eye health tips that many opticians give patients. It entails rubbing
your palms vigorously until they are warm. Gently place your palms above your eyelids and
hold them still for a while for them to warm up your eyes. This exercise relaxes your eye
muscles and offers the same relief they get in darkness. Repeat the exercise two more times
for the eyes to absorb more heat.
4. Figure of Eight
Sit upright on a chair and straighten your legs forward. Place your left hand on your left knee
and the right fist on your right knee. Straighten the elbow of your right hand and lift the
thumb upwards. Focus your vision on the right thumb without turning your neck. Use the
right thumb to make a figure of eight without bending the elbow. Repeat drawing the figures
five teams in an anticlockwise and clockwise direction. Repeat the exercise with your left thumb
after some time.
5. Pencil Pushups
Pencil pushups suit people who have insufficient convergence. Doctors recommend it in
vision therapy. The exercise involves holding a pencil between your eyes and at arm's length.
Focus your eyes on it and maintain a single image as you slowly move the pencil towards
your nose. Shift the pencil until the single image gets blurred. Position it at the closest
position at which your eyes form on image. Repeat the process 20 times.
6. Brock String
Brock string improves eye coordination. You need a long string with colored beads. Secure
one of its ends on a static object and hold the other end below your nose. Place a bead on the
stream and focus both eyes on it. The two strings and bead will form an X shape if you have
good eyesight. But if you have poor eye coordination, you will see two strings and two beads.
Opticians recommend practicing certain eye exercises frequently to avoid wearing contacts
and glasses. But, you don't have to buy a unique program for these exercises. Visual breaks
are important if you work with a computer. Normally, eye muscles get sore if you hold a
particular position for long. Regular exercises such as zooming, shifting, palming, figure of
eight, pencil pushups and brock string ease headaches and increase productivity.