For many millennia different cultures have promoted exercise and nutrition as a natural way to keep eyes safe. There’s actually not a lot of research-backed evidence that tells us that eye exercises can help, however, there is some evidence that eyestrain and the sense of the eyes feeling better is promoted by eye exercise.
If you’re looking to ameliorate a medical condition such as hyperopia, myopia or astigmatism you’re probably not going to benefit much from using eye exercises. You also won’t get a lot of benefits if you’ve got cataracts, glaucoma or any age-related degeneration, and progressive eye disease such as keratoconus will require treatment and care from a keratoconus doctor. Eye exercises won’t likely help your vision but they will help in many cases if you have eye irritation or discomfort.
So How Do You Exercise Your Eyes?
Below, you’ll find a few different exercises that may help with discomfort and irritation.
This is an exercise that can help the eye muscles and is something you can do anywhere. This is how it works.
Put your finger a few inches in front of your eyes. Focus on the finger and slowly move it away from your face whilst maintaining focus on a point on it. Refocus and look away to a distance and then refocus on the finger and slowly bring it back towards your eye. Then again, look away and focus somewhere else before returning your focus to your finger. Repeat this several times.
Figure of Eight
You should do this exercise whilst seated in an upright position.
Sit with your legs in front of you and your left hand resting on your knee. Hold your right hand above your knee in a fist. Have your thumb pointing upwards in a straight elbow. Maintain a still head position and focus both eyes on your thumb. Keep your elbows straight and draw the number eight with your thumb. Do this clockwise and anticlockwise several times and then repeat with the other side of your body and your left thumb. Maintain focus on your thumb throughout the exercise.
For this exercise, you’ll need a blank wall and a chair. This is an easy exercise to do and may possibly help with eye problems.
Get yourself comfortable and sit with eyes open. Blink quickly for around 15 times and then relax and close your eyes for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this about five times.
Warm your hands by rubbing them together vigorously and then gently place your hands on your eyes. The heat from your hands will conduct to your eyes and you’ll feel the muscles of your eyes relax and will feel the soothing effects of the darkness as well. Do this two or three times and you’ll have more relaxed I muscles.
This is another exercise that involves rotating your eyeballs. Start with a clockwise direction before taking a break and rolling your eyes in an anticlockwise motion. This will increase blood flow to the eyes and activate the muscles around the eyes.
What Foods Can Help My Eye Health?
You can get everything to help your eyes maintain health from natural foods. Consume produce that’s full of antioxidants but also choose foods with omega-3 fats, Alpha lipoic acid, vitamin E, selenium and vitamin C. It’s a great idea to put together a fishy salad and to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks.
Some of the foods that are highlighted by eye care professionals are fish, carrots, leafy green vegetables, Chia seeds, and blueberries.
Other Ways to Maintain and Promote Eye Health
It’s a common conception that eye health will naturally suffer with age. The truth is, though, that you can reduce the effects of age on your vision with a healthy lifestyle. You can also train your eyes by doing some exercises and may be able to have a maintenance effect through those exercises.
Here are some additional tips:
Seek out a dilated eye exam on a regular basis; perhaps every couple of years. Don’t wait until you start to feel issues to get a check-up as you won’t necessarily notice deterioration before it starts to become a problem.
Understand your risks and if you have diabetes or someone in your family history has eye-related conditions get extra checks and be aware of factors that can worsen the condition such as pregnancy.
Make sure you wear good sunglasses that actually provide UV protection. You need to be blocking out UVA and UVB light, so choose polarized sunglasses.
Don’t smoke, as smoking can be really bad for your eyes as well as your generalized health.
If you’ve been advised to wear contact lenses or glasses, then make them. Wearing prescribed eyewear will not make your eyes worse, it will help them to maintain their existing condition for longer.
The eyes are a classic case of ‘you don’t know what you got until you lose it’. Choose a healthy diet and get regular checks to ensure that you don’t have periods of rapid eye deterioration when you don’t know that there is a problem.
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