Your eyes are amazing things. As a newborn you don’t produce tears, with them only flowing from 4-13 weeks of age. They heal fast, blink fast, and are ready to use 24/7. Seeing is essential and uses huge parts of the brain.
With millions of people wearing glasses or contacts due to vision impairment, and millions more anticipated to need them due to excessive computer and phone use is there anything you can do to exercise them you ask? Yes there is.
Out of all the muscles in your body, the muscles that control your eyes are the most active, with around 80% of vision problems worldwide being avoidable or even curable.
Contrary to popular belief, your vision doesn’t have to decline over time. With regular exercise of the muscles that control your eye movements and visual acuity, you can reduce eyestrain and maintain or even improve your vision. There are even a few pressure points you can use to help your vision by encouraging healthy blood flow to your eyes.
There are six muscles that control your eye movements are as follows:
Lateral rectus - Primarily moves your eye outward, away from your nose.
Medial rectus - Primarily moves your eye inward, toward your nose.
Superior rectus - Primarily moves your eye upward.
Inferior rectus - Primarily moves your eye downward.
Superior oblique - Primarily rotates the top of your eye toward your nose.
Inferior oblique – Primarily rotates the top of your eye away from your nose.
Many of these muscles are not used properly as you are sitting looking at your phone or your computer. Your eye muscles need to be active and move regularly to encourage blood flow and nerve tone to your eyes and the 6 muscles that control them.
Some simple free eye exercises to help you include;
1. Look as far to your right as possible for 3-5 seconds, then as far to your left as possible for 3-5 seconds. Rest for a few seconds, then repeat this sequence several times.
2. Look as far up as possible for 3-5 seconds, then look as far down as possible for 3-5 seconds. Rest for a few seconds, then repeat this sequence several times.
3. Slowly roll your eyes in a circle, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Rest for a few seconds, then repeat this sequence several times. Be sure to roll slowly – it should take at least 3 seconds for you to roll your eyes in a full circle.
4. Hold a pen in front of you, about an arm’s length away. Focus your vision on the tip of your pen for 3-5 seconds, then shift the focus of your vision to an object that is farther away for 3-5 seconds. The greater the distance between your pen and the distant object, the better. If you are indoors, look out a window to find a distant object to focus your vision on. Repeat this sequence of going back and forth between your pen and a distant object several times.
This same exercise is used by athletes to promote hand-eye coordination.
Ensure you only use your eyes not your head or neck. Don’t cheat.
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Disclaimer: The content of this blog is informative only and is my opinion. It does not constitute medical advice. Always consult your GP or medical specialist before changing or coming off any medication.