29 Sep Do eye exercises help improve vision?
There are work outs to tone the legs, arms and other muscles of the body, but did you know that there are also exercises specifically for the eyes?
Eye exercises aren’t exactly new. All About Vision notes that self-help programs for improving vision have been around since the 1920s, and some of them have even been banned for making false claims about its effectiveness.
What happens when we “exercise” our eyes?
Just like a regular exercise regimen, we move our eye muscles to create up-down, side-to-side or circular motions.
The more important question, however, is do these movements actually help improve vision? Can it help against myopia, astigmatism or age-related presbyopia?
This, however, does not mean that eye exercises are completely pointless. Citing results from a study in Current Biology, an article published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) noted that “some exercises can improve vision around the edges of the eye’s blind spot.”
The research, which was conducted at the University of Queensland, Australia, resulted in the blind spots of 10 participants to reduce by 10 percent after 20 sessions. The researchers theorize that the eye exercises helped the light-sensitive cells around the edge of the blind spot become more sensitive to light. This improvement is not “transferable” so each eye has to be trained separately.
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It is important to note that this self-help eye exercise programs are different from supervised vision therapy sessions. Vision therapy is normally supervised by eye specialists, usually optometrists, and the goal is to correct certain eye alignment issues or enhance dynamic visual skills. Studies also suggest that vision therapy can help children who are suffering from vision problems which interfere with proper reading, reduce eye strain and ease the effects of computer vision syndrome.
Do you have experience with eye exercises? We’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation here!
Dr. Page’s own vision struggles helped propel him into the optometry field. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of South Dakota and a Doctor of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry in Boston, he launched his career in Phoenix.