7 techniques for strong eyes
Following the emergence of screens and therefore the omnipresence of blue light through our phones, televisions, computers, uva and uvb, etc, our eyes are increasingly exposed to various eye health problems (like eye infections).
In order to prevent these problems, many very effective solutions have been put forward. Among these solutions we find blue light blocking glasses, but also a plethora of very simple eye exercises, which can help to improve your vision or to avoid vision problems with a natural eye care.
They can be particularly useful for people who suffer from digital eye strain, related to prolonged computer use.
In particular, eye exercises can be very helpful if you suffer from any of these problems:
- Visual field anomalies
- Asthenopia (eye strain)
- Motion sickness
- Vergence problems
- Visual field deficits after a brain injury
- Ocular motility disorder
- Convergence insufficiency
- Accommodative insufficiency
- Learning difficulties
Here is a list of 7 techniques to strengthen your eyes and therefore have a better eye condition:
The 20-20-20 rule
For people who stay focused on a computer screen all day while working, some form of digital eye strain can occur.
The 20-20-20 rule helps to alleviate digital eye strain.
The rule has the advantage of being very simple, here is the goal: a person must look at a fixed object at a distance of 20 feet (6 meters) for 20 seconds every 20 minutes while working on a computer.
We suggest you set an alarm every 20 minutes when you are working, to remind you to take a break.
If you wish, you can look out through the window during the 20-second breaks, for example. It can be difficult to judge a distance of 20 feet indoors, but focusing on a tree or streetlight across the street should work well.
Another solution is to close your eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Also, remembering to blink can prevent dry eyes by encouraging tear production.
Note that anyone who sits all day should periodically get up and walk around to avoid back and neck pain.
This exercise, done on a recurring basis, keeps our eyes active and thus fights eye fatigue.
The accommodation reflex exercise can also help to fight against digital eye strain. It consists of 6 steps, to be repeated 3 times, and should be performed in a sitting position.
- Hold a finger a few centimeters away from one eye.
- Focus your eyes on the finger.
- Slowly move the finger away from your face.
- Focus on a more distant object, then back on the finger.
- Bring the finger closer to the eye.
- Focus on an even more distant object.
Repeat three times.
This well known technique consists of making our eyes move in a geometrical way when our eyelids are closed.
Here is a simple explanation of how to apply this technique:
- Close your eyes.
- Slowly move your eyes up and then down.
Repeat this exercise three times.
- Slowly move your eyes to the left, then to the right.
Repeat three times.
This exercise, a little less reputed but really effective for keeping your eyes healthy, is intended to relieve our eyes by moving them to form an 8. Here is the exercise to perform:
- Focus on an area on the floor about 8 feet away.
- Move your eyes in the shape of a figure 8.
- Trace the imaginary figure 8 for 30 seconds, then change direction.
Pencil pumps, a rather imaginative name, is a technique that can help people suffering from convergence deficiency.
A doctor may recommend this exercise as a real medical advice, as part of vision therapy.
- Hold a pencil at arm's length between your eyes.
- Look at the pencil and try to keep a single image while slowly moving it toward the nose.
- Move the pencil toward the nose until the pencil is no longer a single image.
- Position the pencil at the closest point where it is still a single image.
Repeat 20 times.
Brock's string exercise helps to improve eye coordination.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing and requires two objects: a long string and some colored beads.
- Attach one end of the string to a stationary object, or another person can hold it.
- Hold the other end of the string just below the nose.
- Place a bead on the string.
- Look at the bead with both eyes open.
If your eyes are working properly, you should see the bead and the two strings in an X shape.
If one eye is closed, one of the two ends of the string will not be visible.
The barrel card technique is a good exercise for exotropia, which is a type of strabismus.
- Draw three red barrels of increasing size (smallest to largest) on one side of the card.
- Repeat in green on the other side of the card.
- Hold the card up to your nose so that the largest barrel is farthest away.
- Stare at the farthest barrel until it becomes a single image with both colors and the other two images have doubled.
- Hold the gaze for about 5 seconds.
Repeat the exercise with the middle and smallest image.
Presently, reliable proofs suggesting that eye exercises that actually improve eyes and vision aren’t numerous.
Nevertheless, a study by the NLM/NIH found that eye exercises can help with convergence problems. Another study, conducted by the same institute, found that eye exercises improve visual field deficits and stereoscopic skills after a brain injury.
A new experiment, conducted in 2013, demonstrated that participants who performed eye exercises were more accurate in a rapid serial visual presentation exercise than the control group.
These findings suggest that eye exercises can improve cognitive performance in tasks that involve attention and memory.
The pencil pumps exercise, as previously mentioned, appears to be an effective therapy for symptomatic convergence insufficiency.
In summary, researchers and eye doctors have not proven that eye exercises are an effective treatment for other types of visual or intellectual disorders, like age related macular degeneration and cataracts, vision loss and a lot of other eye diseases, despite the large number of people who have had positive effects on their eyes as a result of these exercises.
If you are not tempted by these different techniques and wish to protect your eyes in a different way, it is also possible to easily improve eyesight by adapting your diet (especially thanks to lutein and zeaxanthin or omega-3 fatty acids)!