If you are a person that wears glasses or contact lenses, you are not alone. According to the vision Council of America, about 75% of the adult population wears some kind of vision correction device; either glasses or contact lenses. That’s a lot of people and it seems to be a trend that seems to be going up not down.
While there are methods out there that propose to help you get rid of those glasses, in this article I want to focus more on eyestrain. You will find though that if you use some of the information herein and perform some of the exercises that are mentioned, you might find that your vision gets much stronger over time and while I do not make any promises about you being able to ditch your glasses doing them, you might indeed be quite surprised at how much better your vision gets overtime.
Most people tend to work out. You see joggers, walkers, people that do aerobics or Pilates, and it seems that yoga is everywhere. Unfortunately people seldom consider their eyes when they think of working out and this is a pity because just like any other muscle in the body, these optic muscles need to be exercised as well. It is quite possible to transform weak body muscles into strong ones and in this way you can improve your vision and reduce eyestrain.
Our vision tends to weaken with age but there are things that you can do to slow down or completely stop any degenerative condition that might happen through age. Even the nerve connections between your eyes and your brain can be exercised and better developed. You can also do simple exercises that will allow you to increase the blood flow to your eyes which has a healing benefit.
Here is an exercise routine that you can do anywhere whenever you have time. These exercises were developed to exercise the muscles that hold your eyeballs, the ones that are responsible for moving your eyes up and down, side to side, and in circular motions:
1. In a quiet place and at a time when you can close your eyes for a while, take a comfortable sitting position and try and relax your body completely. Now with your eyes closed try to look up as far as you can, try to give yourself a good stretch but don’t go beyond a point where it seems uncomfortable or painful. As you look up try to take a deep breath in and hold that breath as you hold that ocular pose. Now breathe out and as you do so try to look down as far as you can in comfort. Try to hold that ocular pose again for a count of three and then relax your eyes. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times
2. Next with your eyes closed again try to look to the left as far as you can, without moving your neck. Breathe in as you doing so and hold for a count of five just as I had mentioned above. Now as you breathe out try to look to the right as far as it is comfortable for you and hold it there for a count of five as you exhale. Try to do this exercise 3 to 5 times.
3. With your eyes open look at some long straight line in the room that you might find yourself in. Usually the best way to do this is to look at the ceiling and pick one corner of the ceiling; now try to look from that one corner of the ceiling to the other. You’ll find that as you do so your eyes will tend to want to wander off the line that is created where the ceiling and the wall meet, or they will have a hard time staying within that straight line. Without moving your neck, gaze from one corner of the ceiling to the other, trying to keep your eyes focused on that straight line. When you reach the corner at the other end of the wall, follow that line back so you’re looking back and forth as if you were watching a tennis match. Do 3 to 5 complete cycles as slowly as it is possible for you.
4. Now find the top or the bottom corner of the wall and follow the straight vertical line that is usually created there where two adjacent walls meet. While keeping your eyes open and not moving your neck, try to look from one corner all the way to the bottom corner in the straight line. When you get there try to follow that straight line back up until you find the top corner. Do 3 to 5 complete cycles as slowly as you can.
5. While you’re sitting at your desk or when you have been reading for a while make sure that you take a break and practice refocusing your eyes. Take your eyes away from your monitor or whatever you are doing and try to focus on something that is far away from you. If you want to do a regular exercise what you can do this outstretch your hand and focus your eyes on your hand then try to focus on something that’s farther away, perhaps at the other end of the room that you might be in. Try to do this 3 to 5 times again and make sure to take a break. The key to exercising your eyes is not to stress them but just to allow them to do what they do naturally on a more regular basis.
You can do these exercises as often as you want during the day just remember to not strain yourself.
When you are finished, rub your palms together until you warm them up and then placed your warm palms over your eyes. Do not press down on your eyes but lightly cup your warm palms over your eyes and allow yourself to relax completely. Take a deep breath and hold it for a count of five and then breathe out slowly, and as you do so try to relax. Feel the warmth from your hands and allow your eyes to relax as much as possible.
Much of eyestrain comes from our inability to learn to allow our ocular muscles to relax. We are not used to thinking of them as something that we should control or exercise and therefore have no idea how to take care of them. Make sure that after you do the exercises mentioned above, that you take the time to relax your eyes as much as possible because this is possibly one of the best ways that you can reduce eye strain and allow your eyes to heal from whatever stresses they might have experienced during the day.
If you can, make sure that you bat your eyelashes anytime that you’re feeling a bit of eyestrain. Since most of us spend so much time staring at a computer screen, we tend to focus so intently that we forget to blink. This can dry out your eyes and cause them to get sore and itchy. If this is the case make sure that you take a break and just open and close your eyes, bat your eyelashes for a good 10 seconds if you can do it.
You should also try to reduce the amount of stress that you are inflicting on your eyes. One great way to do this, if you spend a lot of time in front of your computer, is to make sure that you reduce the distance between the things that you are looking at. What this will do is that it will allow your eyes to take in data without having to refocus constantly; while it is a good idea to train your eyes to refocus so that you train your muscles and keep them well-adjusted, it is not a good idea to do it over and over and over again for many hours because this can stress your eyes and can cause damage if it is something that you’re doing on a regular basis.
Also remember to take supplements for your eyes:
– Like your mom used to tell you, always make sure that you eat your carrots. If you don’t like carrots then make sure that you take vitamin A as a supplement. Vitamin E is also a good supplement for the eyes.
– Make sure that you eat bilberries. Bilberries are a European variety of blueberries, and they have been proven to sharpen vision and help increase night vision. During World War II the British pilots were all given bilberry jam on a regular basis in order to make sure that their eyes were in top shape. Try to look for this supplements because this is a wonderful, natural supplement for your eyes.
– Try to get yourself some Astaxanthin. You can now get this wonderful antioxidant in pill form and by taking 200 mg a day, you can definitely help your eyes increase in potency and effectiveness. Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants that you can find, it protects cell membranes and it is said to be 550 times more potent than vitamin E in this role. Studies have also shown that it is effective for maintenance of ocular health.
Remember that your eyes are muscles. Exercise these muscles and stretch them out, but not to the point of straining them. Just like you might go for a long walk, make sure that you also take time to exercise your eyes. If you do so you will greatly increase the power of your eyes so that they can handle the strains that they must face every day.