Eight Exercises to Improve Eyesight
Article by Ted Brumby
Many bemoan the fact that as we age our eyesight becomes poorer, but few relate this to the simple truth the eye is supported by muscles just like any other part of the body. If you do not keep them in shape they will become weaker; the muscles will lose their tone and become rigid, causing decreased elasticity in the eye which can lead to sight loss. Exercising your eyes regularly will keep them healthy and relieve eyestrain.
The increase in computer-related jobs and free time spent online has also added to many eye problems, which can be greatly aided by keeping your eyes refreshed and exercised. Eye exercises are physical therapy not just for the eye, but also the brain, due to the optic nerve which connects them both. Relieving eye tension will also ease up on your brain strain, in turn, relaxing your entire body.
The ciliary muscles of the eye tense up when we focus on nearby objects, and relax when we focus further away. Below are some exercises you can practice to not only keep your eyes healthy as you grow older, but may also improve poor vision for those already relying upon contacts or eyeglasses.
1. Sit in a chair, posture erect, spine straight, body relaxed. Keeping your body motionless while moving only your eyes, find a point you can focus on in front of you without straining and move your eyes from your lap, to this point, and back again. Repeat five times.
2. Close your eyes, placing your hands tightly over each eye so that no light gets in. The heels of your palms should rest upon your cheekbones. Breathe deeply. This relieves eye tension and strain and is very relaxing. Practice for three to five minutes.
3. Move eyes slowly upwards as far as you can, then downwards. Repeat five times. Blink rapidly to relax the eye muscles. Repeat this exercise, only now moving your eyes slowly from left to right and back again.
4. Gently squeeze eyes shut for three seconds, then open them and repeat five times. This is an excellent exercise to relieve computer strain on the eyes by stimulating the tear ducts.
5. Hold an object in front of you at arm’s length, waving it slowly back and forth in a figure eight while following it with your eyes. Do this for approximately 10-15 seconds. This helps stimulate the nutrient flow within the eye while improving eye coordination.
6. This exercise helps strengthen the iris and is best done at night, in front of a bright lamp. With no other lights on in the room, sit in a comfortable position facing the lamp with your eyes closed, switching the lamp on and off in time to your slow, relaxed breathing.
7. Focus on a small object at arm’s length, such as a pencil, inhale, then move it slowly in to touch the tip of your nose. Exhale, keeping your eyes on the pencil and move it slowly back out again. Repeat three times.
8. This is a fabulous method to relieve eye tension for those working in offices with access to windows. Focus on a distant object outside for eight seconds then slowly refocus your eyes on an object close at hand. Repeat three times, and often during the day, at least once per hour.
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Specsavers offer the very best in professional eyecare to all Australians.