When patients see their eye doctor, one of the most commonly asked questions is how to improve vision. Most people aren’t too keen on having to wear glasses or contact lenses. Others simply want to keep their eyes healthy. Just how much power does a person have when it comes to their vision? Do eye exercises to improve vision really work?
Do Vision Therapy Exercises Really Work?
When most people think of how to improve vision, they think about nutritional changes (eating more carrots, for instance) and vision exercises. But do vision therapy exercises really improve vision?
According to Harvard Health Publications, vision exercises can indeed help prevent vision loss. To be successful, though, it is important to practice vision therapy exercises faithfully—at least daily, if not multiple times per day. Another recommendation that should be exercised multiple times each day: rest.
The eyes need a break, especially if you’re looking at a computer screen all day long. Every hour or so, take a break. This doesn’t mean you don’t keep working; simply focus on another aspect of your job that doesn’t require screen time.
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, a doctor of optometric medicine and contributor to DoctorOz.com agrees. According to one of his articles, vision therapy exercises can help correct minor vision problems, prevent worsening problems, and even prevent certain eye conditions, like floaters. He also emphasizes the importance of regularity. Exercises should be done daily for improvements to be seen.
How to Improve Vision: 4 Common Eye Exercises to Improve Your Vision
These vision exercises will help you strengthen your eyes and your vision, and can help prevent some damage, too.
1. Roll Your Eyes
No, we’re not talking about making sarcastic faces at your coworkers or friends. Exaggeratedly rolling your eyes can actually be good for your vision. Simply look up as high as you can and then roll your eyes in a clockwise direction ten times. Repeat in a counter-clockwise direction.
2. Focus Your Eyes
After looking at your computer screen for a while, take a break. Look at an object close up for a few seconds, and then focus your eyes on something far away. Focus as much as you can, getting as many of the details as possible. Repeat throughout the day.
3. Yoga for Your Eyes
ArtOfLiving.org has a number of eye exercises that incorporate the use of yoga. One of the main benefits of yoga is the calming effect it has on the brain. Vision therapy exercises utilize not only the eyes, but the brain as well. The goal is to exercise both to achieve better vision. ArtOfLiving.org recommends up and down eye exercises, as well as side to side viewing – all while striking some yoga poses. These exercises are a great way to start or end your day.
4. Conscious Blinking
Increased computer use has actually caused people to blink less. The result is dry, irritated eyes and blurry vision. Consciously blink several times in a row once per hour to lubricate the eyes, thereby improving vision.
You & Your Eye Doctor—Working Together to Improve Your Vision
While eye exercises can help to improve vision, it’s wise not to think of them as the end-all when it comes to your vision. For the majority of us, vision changes will happen as we age or if we experience an eye injury or disease. It is vital to long-term eye health to work in harmony with your eye doctor.
Eye doctors don’t simply want to get you into a pair of glasses; they want to help you keep your eyes healthy and strong. Talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your vision. They may very well tell you that the condition isn’t serious and that eye exercises to improve vision will be helpful. Or, they could diagnose a serious condition. If the latter happens, early diagnosis is important to your vision and overall eye health.
By getting regular eye exams, utilizing vision therapy exercises, and doing what you can to protect your eyes, you and your doctor can be powerful allies in the fight for healthy eyes.
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