9 Eye Exercises to Improve Vision & Eye Health
Do eye exercises to improve vision work?
Yes, they do!
Based on various studies in the United States of America over last couple of decades, eye exercises can work wonder in keeping your eyes healthy. The World Health Organization in its recent survey found out that around 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness and nearly half of these could have been avoided if proper care had been taken. Though there is no definite evidence that eye exercises improve vision drastically, they can surely help keep your eyes healthy. Let us discuss eye exercises to improve vision. (1)
Despite the fact that millions of people face vision impairment every year (5), people often choose to ignore and don’t take proper care of their eyes. Moreover, the increasing use of gadgets like cell phones, computers, etc puts additional pressure on eyes and gives rise to many problems like vision impairment, cataract, glaucoma, etc. If you are planning to improve your vision two things you should focus on first good food habits like nutritious food, leafy veggies, vitamin A-rich foods and second regular eye exercise.
One must be clear that eye exercises can not cure various eye problems like myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, cataract, glaucoma, etc. but they can help you maintain your normal vision when you are not suffering from any issue. They also reduce the chances of getting an eye infection, dry eye problem, etc.
How Do Eyes Work?
The functionality of your eye is much more complicated than it appears. The light reflected by an object, which is in your field of vision, enters the eye. The light first passes through a transparent layer called cornea which helps in focussing the light. The cornea is kept in its place by a clear liquid called aqueous humor.
The light then passes into the pupil (central opening in the iris) which controls the light intensity. Then comes the lens which focuses the light, after which it moves through the center of the eye called vitreous and finally reaches the retina (the back of your eye). That’s where the light hits the photoreceptor cells that send it to the brain as electrochemical signals to produce an image.
Can Exercise Improve Eye Vision?
The structure of your eyes is similar to the other organs in your body. It is also made up of cells, tissue, and muscles. Therefore, various eye exercises can strengthen the muscles in your eyes and improve its focusing capability. With the help of numerous eye movements, you actively engage it so as to improves the blood supply to its various parts. As a result, the cells in your eye tend to function efficiently which paves the path for your eyesight to improve (2).
Different eye exercises treat different eye problems. Eye strengthening exercises (for weak muscles) help with hyperopia, farsightedness, and presbyopia. Eye muscle stretching, relaxing, and palming helps with near-sightedness (to relax the tensed muscles). Whereas, out of balance eye muscles in amblyopia, and astigmatism are rebalanced by using their combination (3).
It is also worth mentioning that overdoing the eye exercises strains your eyes and can even cause harm to them. So follow the instructions correctly and also allow your eyes to relax (4).
9 Best Eye Exercises to Improve Vision
Eye exercises are helpful in maintaining your eye health. These exercises can be practiced as the best lazy eye exercises.
1. Quick Blinking
- Sit with your eyes open.
- Blink quickly for 10 times.
- Close your eyes for 20 seconds. Relax and focus only on your breathing.
- Repeat the process for 5 times.
Precautions with Quick Blinking
- Do not overdo this exercise.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of relaxation.
Palming is one of the easiest and effective eye exercises to improve vision (6). It is also one of the best eye exercises for double vision.
- First of all, sit comfortably. Close your eyes and take deep breaths to make yourself relaxed.
- Bring your hands together and rub them against each other to produce warmth. Now place your palms gently on both of your eyelids.
- Feel the heat from your palms transferring to your eye muscles and making them relaxed. Feel that soothing sensation in the darkness. Don’t touch your eyes.
- Stay this way until the warmth of your palms is completely absorbed into your eyes.
- Now by keeping your eyes closed, lower your hands.
- Rub your palms once again and repeat the process for 3 times.
Precautions with Palming
- Do not force your palms onto your eyes.
- Do this exercise only when you are in your good mood.
Here is an informative video from Art of Living
3. Practice Figure of 8
This training involves the physical movement of your eyes. This helps you to practice to control its smooth movement. Figure 8 is one of the best eye exercises for astigmatism.
- Sit or stand however you are comfortable.
- Look at the floor about 10 feet in front of you and imagine a giant eight figure.
- Now, track the sides of this figure eight in a clockwise direction using your eye movements.
- After a few minutes, track it in the anti-clockwise direction. (7)
- Do it only for few minutes until you don’t have to do it forcefully.
Precautions with Practicing the figure of 8
- Do not put excessive pressure on your eyes by keeping them open. Blink intermittently.
- Do not move your head at all as this exercise involves the movement of eyes only.
4. Thumb Eye Exercise
This exercise improves the focusing abilities of your eyes. It is one of the simplest and best eye exercises for vertigo.
- Either sit with an erect spine or stand straight.
- Outstretch your right arm about 10 inches with thumb up.
- Move your right arm in a circular motion to make circles.
- Do it for 10-15 seconds and keep your elbow straight.
- Closely focus on your thumb by keeping your head still.
- Bring your right arm down and repeat the entire process with the left thumb. (8)
- Do it in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction, each for 5-6 times.
- Close your eyes, and relax.
Precautions with Thumb eye exercise
- Do it alternatively with both the thumbs without pressurizing your hands and eyes.
5. Concentrating on Thumb
Concentrating on the thumb is one of the easiest and effective yoga eye exercises to improve eyesight.
- Sit comfortably in a cross-legged pose.
- Place your palms on your knees and relax your shoulders. (9)
- Breathe normally and keep your gaze straight.
- Outstretch your arm straight in front of your nose with thumb up.
- Concentrate on the thumb for a few seconds.
- Bring your arm down.
- Close your eyes and allow them to relax for 15-20 seconds.
- Repeat the process for 3 times.
Precautions with Concentrating on thumb
- You can also sit on a chair if sitting cross-legged is uncomfortable for you.
- Start with a few seconds and later gradually increase your concentration time.
6. Gaze the Nose Tip
It is an excellent focusing exercise that involves adjusting your eye concentration on your thumb from different distances. It is one of the best eye exercises to improve vision. Yoga exercises for eyes are the best natural way to improve your eyesight.
- Sit comfortably in a meditative pose (cross-legged).
- Outstretch either of your arms with thumb up.
- Focus on your thumb and simultaneously bring it closer to the tip of the nose.
- Remain in this position for a few seconds with your eyes focused on the thumb.
- Move your thumb back away until your arm is fully stretched.
- Do this exercise for five times, once a week.
Precautions for Gaze the nose tip
- Keep your eyes firmly focused on your thumb to gain maximum benefit.
- Do not overdo yourself and stop doing the exercise when you can’t focus anymore.
7. Near and Distant Viewing
Near and Distant Viewing is one of the best eye exercises to improve eyesight.
- Stand or sit comfortably at a place with an unobstructed view of outside environment.
- Raise the thumb to bring it in front of your eyes, about 10 inches away from your face.
- Focus on the thumb for 10-15 seconds.
- Now shift your focus to an object which is 10-15 feet away from you.
- Do not move your head while focusing or shifting your focus.
- After 10-15 seconds, repeat with the thumb.
- Practice 5 rounds of this exercise.
Precautions with Near and Distant Viewing
- Do not do this exercise daily as it may excessively strain your eyes. Do it on alternate days.
8. Sideways Viewing
- Sit comfortably with your legs spread out in front of you.
- Lift both of your arms, keep your fists closed and thumbs up.
- Look straight into the middle space of both of the thumbs.
- Focus on left thumb> center of your eyebrows> right thumb> center of your eyebrows> left thumb…
- Repeat the process for 10-20 times.
- Then close your eyes, rest and allow your eyes to relax.
Precautions with Sideways Viewing
- Synchronize your inhalation and exhalation rhythms with the exercise. Inhale while focusing on the center of your eyebrows and exhale while you focus on either thumb.
9. Up Down Viewing
- Sit comfortably. Stretch out your legs in front of you.
- Place both the fists on your knees with their thumbs up.
- By keeping the arm straight, raise the right thumb.
- Carefully follow the upward motion of the thumb with your eyes.
- After reaching its maximum height, hold, and then bring it down to its original position.
- Repeat the same process with the left thumb.
- Do this eye exercise with both thumbs for 5 times each.
Cautions with Up-Down Viewing
- Keep your head straight and spine erect throughout the exercise.
- Close your eyes and relax after you are done doing the up-down viewing.
Tips to Improve Vision
- Eat foods rich in nutrients such as lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin C, and vitamin E.
- Quit smoking to reduce your risk of diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Give rest your eyes at regular intervals (every 20 minutes) if you work on a computer.
- Take a comprehensive eye exam if you experience any change in your eyesight.
- Wear protective glasses if your job includes working on airborne or hazardous materials.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.
- Splash wash your eyes with cold water to help them relax and cope with excessive straining.
You cannot afford to take your eyes for granted. As they have a complicated functioning, by ignoring them with their necessary care you only invite problems such as vision loss, and other eye diseases. Doing these exercises regularly along with yoga helps your eyes to retain their healthy eyesight. Moreover, it is also necessary that your eyes be relaxed and blinked normally to keep them in their optimum health.