Eye exercises: Myth or a real way to improve your eyesight?

Eye exercises

Are eye exercises really helpful in relieving eye pain?

For as long as we can remember propaganda existed.

It can be used in every area of our lives in order to convince us of something.

Evil events have happened when propaganda has succeeded.

Nowadays we read news on our smart phones or computers.

We rarely pay attention to where we are getting the information from.

Everyone can write whatever he wants on the Internet and some people will immediately believe it.

Unfortunately, unproven medical and scientific claims are also being made and sometimes they can do only harm, no good.

Back in the 1920s

Back in 1920s an ophthalmologist named William Bates created an eye-exercising program which became known as the Bates Method.

However, it has never been proven effective and in fact, some of the recommended exercises can be causing damage, rather than to cure it – like exposing the eyes to direct sunlight.

What is more shocking is that most modern programs for vision improvement are at least partially based on the Bates Method.

Some of them even include repeatedly telling yourself that you are seeing better every day and you can see without your glasses.

Ridiculous, right?

What is vision therapy and who is it for?

There is a difference between β€œeye exercises” and β€œvision therapy” which is often being neglected.

As we have stated in the previous paragraph, most of the time eye exercises are simply useless.

Sadly, there is no magical exercise that will help you β€œthrow away your glasses” like there is no magical weight loss pill.

On the other hand, vision therapy may have a positive impact on our eyes.

If you have any of the following common eye conditions though – myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or astigmatism, it is highly likely you won’t benefit from vision therapy.

People with age-related macular degeneration, cataracts or glaucoma won’t be able to change their condition with vision therapy as well.

Vision therapy is sometimes incorrectly referred to only as β€œeye exercises”.

The main goal of vision therapy can be to strengthen the eye muscles.

It can also help with eye tracking issues.

A doctor-prescribed vision therapy includes specific activities to help correct vision problems such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes).

Such conditions often affect children and sometimes adults.

Many of these therapies have been proven safe and effective by research.

How to exercise and relief your tired eyes?

Our eyes have muscles and like all the other muscles in our bodies, they can get sore when held in one position for too long.

Especially if we work on a computer all day, it is definitely a good idea to do some quick and easy eye-workouts from time to time.

The condition β€œdigital eye strain” is common amongst people who constantly work at a computer.

It can cause dry eyes, eye strain, blurred vision, headaches.

To prevent the discomfort you can try some of the following exercises and relief tips:

1. Comprehensive eye exam

If you have not visited an eye doctor in over a year, you should certainly schedule a visit.

Getting a comprehensive eye exam regularly is of great importance to prevent or treat computer vision problems.

During the exam you should tell the doctor how long you use a computer and any other devices not only at work, but also at home.

You can also measure how far your eyes are from the computer when you work on it and bring the measurements to the doctor.

This way he will test your eyes at this exact distance.

2. Blue light filter

By adjusting the settings of your display you will reduce the eye strain and fatigue.

If you are not completely sure how to do that or how to do it in the best way possible, you can download Iris and it will do the job for you!

The blue light emitted from the screens is short-wavelength visible light which is associated with more eye strain than longer wavelength hues, such as orange and red.

Iris will automatically reduce the color temperature of your display, depending on what time of the day it is as well.

Therefore you will be able to work on your computer for longer without tiring your eyes!

You can download Iris on our website.

3. 20-20-20 rule

As we have stated, human eyes (just like any other muscle in our bodies) are not supposed to be β€œglued” to a single point for extended periods of time.

So if you work on a computer all day, you can implement the so called 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

4. Blink more often

Blinking has the function to moisten your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.

Yet studies show that when staring at a screen, people tend to blink less frequently – only about β…“ as they would normally do.

This can cause dry eyes. If you want to reduce the risk of it, try the following exercise – every 20 minutes blink 10 times by closing your eyes as if you are about to fall asleep (very slowly).

The exercise will help rewet your eyes.

5. Take frequent breaks

As much work as you might have, it is advisable to take frequent screen breaks during your work day.

One 10-minute break every hour would be good.

You will be able to relax mentally and also to reduce your risk of computer vision syndrome, as well as of neck, back and shoulder pain.

Stand up, move about and stretch your whole body until you feel less tension and muscle fatigue.

Tips for healthy eyes

After we have given you some exercises and changes you can implement in your daily computer routine, here are some tips for healthy eyes too!

  • get a comprehensive eye scan if you have not in over a year (this is utterly important, therefore is mentioned twice)
  • many eye diseases are genetic so you can ask relatives if there are any prevalent eye diseases that run in your family
  • if you are at an increased risk for eye problems, visit your eye doctor every six months
  • wear sunglasses in order to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays
  • eat a healthy balanced diet – in one of our other articles you can find information about the 10 foods for healthy eyes and perfect vision (and yes, carrots are included)
  • wear your glasses or contact lenses if you have to
  • avoid smoking

Conclusion

If you have any of these eye conditions – myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or astigmatism, eye exercises or vision therapy won’t help you.

In these cases see your eye doctor and follow his professional advice!

But if you sit on a computer all day and experience eye strain, there is good news for you – some exercises and tips can serve you as a relief and enable you to do your job without feeling tired all the time!

Blue light filter, focus exercises and frequent breaks are one of the key steps to preventing the risk of eye disease.

Get a comprehensive eye scan to be sure that your eyes are healthy or to learn how to optimize your eye care!

Author: Ilina Stoyanova

Read more:

7 Tips for eye protection in front of the PC

Blue Light And Eye Strain

6 tips to reduce Right Eye Pain

Vision therapy: Eye exercises for keeping your eyes strong and healthy

 

Sources:
Eye Exercises – Do They Improve Vision?
Eye Exercises: Techniques, Tips, and More
Computer eye strain: 10 tips for relief

Images:
Google.com

 

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