Unfortunately, if you are searching for ways to improve your vision and ditch those glasses you’ve been wearing since 4th grade, you are not going to find any. At least not without surgery, that is. Vision, and your need for corrective lenses is based on the shape of your eye, the size of your pupil, and the ability to shift focus, not necessarily how strong your eyes are. However, looking after your eyes and keeping your optic muscles strong as well as protecting your eyes from strain are critical components to eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration. Here are a few of our favorite exercises you can do wherever you are to achieve healthier eyes.
This eye strain relief technique is incredibly easy to remember and is especially important for those who spend a lot of time looking at the computer. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This could mean looking out a window or across the office. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to give your eyes a break. You can also take this opportunity to stand up, walk around, and take a drink of water.
Just like arm circles can prove a deceptively challenging exercise on arm day, eye circles seem simple but are actually incredibly beneficial for toning your optic muscles. Simply roll your eyes clockwise in a full circle 20 times. Trace as wide of a circle as you can, and once you have completed 20 rotations, rest for 10 seconds. Repeat going in the opposite direction. Do this three times each day.
Yes, you do it all the time and usually without even thinking about it. But intentionally blinking a few times in rapid succession can keep your eyes moistened and able to focus longer on a certain point. It has been shown that when you are working on the computer or watching television, you tend to blink less, which can dry out your eyes and lead to strain. Whenever you feel yourself not blinking as much, do it intentionally to recalibrate your vision.
While sitting or standing, move your eyes in a clockwise direction 20 times, making the circle as wide as you can. Relax for 10 seconds, then repeat in the opposite direction. Doing this three times daily will help to stretch your eye muscles.
Similar to eye circles, the figure-eight works to stretch and tone the muscles in your eye using intentional eye movements. Sit down, pick a spot on the floor about 10 feet in front of you that you can focus on. Then trace an imaginary figure eight around this spot. Keep doing this for about 30 seconds, then switch directions. Though it may feel slightly silly, it can be incredibly beneficial for protecting and strengthening your eyes.
Rub your hands together vigorously for about 30 seconds until they are warmed. Then simply place your palms gently over your closed eyes and focus on your breathing for 20 seconds. Letting your eyes rest in the total darkness can be a welcome relief and could even help reduce headaches from eye strain. Repeat as often as needed.
This exercise a great way to improve overall eye health and keep your vision sharp. Hold your pointer finger a few inches from your eyes and focus on your finger. Slowly move your finger away from your face as you continue to focus on it. Glance up and away into the distance to rest your eyes, then refocus on your stretched out finger and bring it back towards your face. Look into the distance again and repeat this process three times.
Other ways to improve eye health
Don’t skip your eye exam
Yearly eye examinations not only help determine your glasses prescription, but they can also help screen for any potential eye health issues and diseases.
Eat a healthy diet
Fill your diet with great sources of omega 3-fatty acids such as salmon, and vitamin-rich vegetables like kale and spinach.
Excessive exposure to damaging UV rays can hamper your eye health and weaken your vision. Wear polarized sunglasses whenever you plan to be outside for an extended period.