Can Eye Excercises Improve or Preserve Vision?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Few of us would deny the importance of good vision. Most of our daily tasks would be considerably harder without being able to see what we are doing. It is now thought that we can help our vision by doing particular exercises that have been shown to preserve or even improve vision.

Here are some of the most popular eye exercises to help strengthen your eye muscles.

  • Move your eyes horizontally. Look to the left, then to the right, then back to the left. Repeat a few times, like you would with any muscle exercise.

  • Move your eyes up and down repeatedly.

  • Move your eyes on the diagonal by looking from the left lower corner to the right upper corner. After repeating this a few times, switch sides and move your eyes from the right lower corner to the left upper corner.

  • Move your eyes in a circular motion, first clockwise, then counter-clockwise.

  • Focus on a close object and then switch to a far object. Alternate between the two a few times.

However, without adequate scientific research, these exercises have not been substantially proven to improve or even preserve vision.

The reasons for thinking that eye exercises cannot improve vision are the following:

Poor vision is typically caused by one of four conditions:

  • Astigmatism results when either the cornea or the lens has an irregular shape, near-sightedness results from having an elongated eyeball.

  • Far-sightedness is caused by a shorter eyeball and presbyopia is an age-related condition in which ones lens loses its elasticity and struggles to focus at different distances.

  • In order to work, these eye exercises will, thus, have to smooth out the irregularities of the cornea or the lens, shorten or lengthen the eyeball and restore the lens to its youthful elasticity. Optometrists simply do not believe that the exercising of eye muscles can change the basic shape of one’s eyes.

  • The movements made by our eye muscles change our sight only temporarily. Squinting, for example, cannot damage our sight permanently, even though it involves closing our eyes. The moment we open them, we can see again. The same holds for hours of close focusing on computer screens. It does not make any permanent changes by ruing our ability to focus on distant objects. These examples suggest that the temporary changes to vision that result from eye muscle exercises will not last either.

  • Eye exercises cannot change our vision, but it can help us use the vision we have better. A person with macular degeneration, for example, may benefit from practicing to look through other parts of their eyes, since this disorder often destroys cells in specific areas.

So, the long and short of this, if you feel doing eye exercises may help you, then do them. It has been scientifically proven to not work, so it just may!