Can eye exercises improve my vision?


We all know to exercise to improve our general health. But can eye exercises improve my vision too? The jury is still out on that one.

Can eye exercises improve my vision?

Most optometrist’s believe that exercises can be useful for patients with eye issues like strabismus (lazy eye). These exercises are effective because they concentrate on training the eye muscles to work better or work together. Unfortunately, these exercises don’t actually adjust one’s visual clarity.

But a new study recently found that doing a certain exercise, regularly, with both eyes could reduce one’s blind spot. This study found that when participants did the same exercise, with each eye, over the course of twenty sessions, the size of their blind spot was reduced by 10%.

The theory is that during each of the exercise sessions, all the extra light stimulated the light-sensitive cells around the blind spot. Your blind spot is the area in the back of your retina where the optic nerve passes through. At that tiny location, every person has a so-called “blind spot.” There is no “vision” there, because no light can be detected at that spot.

mom reading to sonOther Ways to Preserve Eyesight

If you are looking for some other exercise-related ways to keep your eyes healthy, the best thing to do may be to go for a walk or jog outside. Giving your eyes the opportunity to soak up the natural light and giving your near vision a chance to rest while your distance vision looks off onto the horizon may not improve your vision, but may help you preserve it.

Physical exercise also helps keep you healthy in general, warding off diseases like diabetes, which can affect your eyes in the long run.

One other type of exercise you can practice if you find yourself staring at a screen often during the day is the 20-20-20 exercise. In this exercise, you choose to look at least 20 yards away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This is really more of “break” for your eyes.

For those with babies or very young children, one exercise my optometrist recommends is taking a small toy and trying to get the child’s eyes to follow the movement of the toy. This can sometimes reveal whether or not there is an eye muscle coordination issue and if some type of medical intervention is necessary.

Talk to your America’s Best optometrist at your local store about other ways you may be able to exercise to keep your eyes healthy.

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