We go to the gym to exercise our bodies, and go to school to exercise our minds, but what can we do to exercise our eyes?
Eye exercises have long been thought to improve eye conditions like myopia, astigmatism, and even more serious conditions like AMD and cataracts. While there is little or no scientific proof that exercising your eyes can cure these conditions, they can still be beneficial to your eyes.
Eye exercises can help alleviate the strain that you might feel when working for too long, and can ultimately help you be more productive by not having to deal with the symptoms of digital eye strain. Symptoms like:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Neck soreness
- Irritation of the eyes
Here are several exercises you can put into practice wherever you are to help relieve these symptoms, help you be more productive, and bolster your eye health:
This exercise in particular helps relieve a lot of eye strain when working on a computer for long intervals.
To practice the 20-20-20 rule exercise, simply designate a time every 20 minutes while working on your computer to stare at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
This exercise works to ‘reset’ your eyes so they aren’t focused on the same object for too long, which is ultimately where eye strain comes from.
This exercise can relieve tension in your eye muscles and alleviate headaches.
Rub your hands together vigorously, creating friction and warming your hands up. Then simply place your hands over your eyes, letting the warmth of your hands warm your eyes up as well. This will force the muscles to relax, and the darkness will relieve the strain on your eyes.
Once your hands start to cool off remove them and rub them together again, repeating the process 2-3 more times, or until you feel comfortable.
Zoom In, Zoom Out
Exercising your eyes’ ability to focus on a single object can bolster the amount of time you can work them before becoming fatigued.
Perform this exercise right in your own chair with your arm outstretched and your thumb up. Then just bend your arm, moving your thumb closer to your body while focusing your eyes on your thumb the whole time.
Near and Far Focus
This is another focus exercise that uses your thumb.
Perform this exercise by holding your thumb roughly 10 inches away from you. Focus on your thumb for 15 seconds, then look away at an object 10 feet away for 15 more seconds. Finally, return the focus to your thumb and repeat this process 5 more times.
This will help train your eyes to focus on objects of different distances much easier.
This is a very easy exercise that you can do at any time to increase your ability to track an object.
From a seated position, hold your pointer finger out in front of you. Then trace a figure-eight shape in front of you, moving clockwise, while keeping your eyes focused on the tip of your finger for 30 seconds. Then trace the same shape counterclockwise for 30 seconds.
Finally, switch to your other hand and start the process over.
If you have any additional questions on the benefits of eye exercises, or if you are looking for additional exercises to do, talk to your doctor today.