Eyes are one of the main sensory organs in our body that are put to different kinds of strains in our everyday life. The movements that can be performed by our eyes are controlled by a group of muscles that care collectively referred to as ocular muscles.
As with any other muscle in the body the eye muscles also require regular exercise and adequate rest to function in a normal way for a prolonged period. The eye exercises described here increases your concentration, improves certain aspects of vision and relaxes the eye muscles. Each of these exercises may be performed individually or in combination.
For all these exercises you need to sit comfortably in a chair with proper support to your back. Most of these can also be performed while being seated in your chair at the workplace. The focus exercises helps you to focus faster, increases your ability to remain focussed and may also reduce the need for reading glasses in some cases.
1. After about every 20 minutes of continuous use of computer, stop viewing the computer screen and focus at some object that is about 15-20 feet away from you for about 15-20 seconds. Return back to work after repeating for about 2-3 times.
2. Hold a pencil or a pen in your hand in front of your eyes at an arm’s length. Now slowly move your hand towards your nose in a straight line. Your eyes should focus on the pencil/pen and follow it as it comes nearer. Repeat this for about 5-10 times. This exercise can be performed 2-3 times in a day.
3. Hold an object such as a pencil close to your eyes and focus at it for about 5 seconds. Then focus on any other object or the wall about 10 feet away in the same line as the pencil for the next 5 seconds. You will notice that the pencil becomes blurred while the object in the distance becomes clear. Refocus back on the pencil. Repeat the exercise for about 5 times.
4. Cover one of your eyes with the hand on the same side. Hold the other arm straight at the level of your nose with your fingers closed and the thumb up. Focus the open eye on the thumb and follow it as you move your arm upward, outward and down to a point at the level of the nose (as though you are tracing the quarter of a circle). Repeat this for about 4-5 times with the same eye and then repeat it with the other eye.
5. Hold a pencil about 10 inches away from the face. Now focus on the pencil with both the eyes and gradually move the pencil towards the centre of the nose and stop before the pencil appears double. You can repeat this exercise by holding the pencil at different angles and bringing it back near the nose.
These exercises are aimed at stretching the eye muscles which helps in keeping these muscles fit. These exercises also improve the coordination between the eye muscles.
1. Begin by looking up towards your eyebrows and slowly roll your eyes in a big circle in clockwise direction. Repeat this for about 2-3 times and then in counter-clockwise direction after every 2-3 hours. Remember to hold your head still and move only the eyeballs while doing this.
2. The eyeball stretch can also be done by trying to look at objects on your sides without moving your head. Try to look at an object on one side first with both your eyes for about 5 seconds and then repeat it on the other side. Similar stretching can be done in the upward and downward directions also.
As any other part of the body, the eyes also need to relax after continuous use. Try these exercises either sitting comfortably in your chair or lying down straight on your back. Relaxing the eyes is also beneficial in relaxing the mind which in turn may improve your concentration.
1. Rub your hands together to warm them a bit. Close both your eyes and hold the palms of your hands on the eyes. The eyes should be completed covered by the palms while care should be taken that the palms are not exerting any pressure on the eyes. Hold it for a few minutes while breathing slowly until your eyes see nothing other than blackness.
2. Close your eyes and massage the eyes lightly in circular movements with your fingers.
3. Close the eyes and move the eyeballs in clockwise and counter clockwise directions for about 4-5 times.
4. Cover the eyes completely with a cloth thick enough to prevent passage of light through it. Relax for about 3-5 minutes while breathing slowly and deeply.
Benefits of Eye Exercise
The eye exercises are mainly aimed at improving the performance of the eye muscles. A systematic review about the usefulness of eye exercises has concluded that these exercises may be beneficial in a wide variety of eye disorders. The eye disorders that may be benefited include conditions such as amblyopia ("lazy eye") and strabismus, double vision, nystagmus, loss of depth perception, poor binocular vision, tracking problems and many more.
In general, the eye exercises are quite helpful in improving the concentration, increasing the coordination of the eye muscles and relaxing the eyes. Practising the eye exercises in a regular manner may be beneficial in prevention of certain age related eye disorders that occur due to increased stress on the eyes. A general reduction in stress and related headaches may also be noticed with regular eye exercise. A proper balanced diet that supplies the required nutrition to the eyes is further more beneficial.
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However, the benefits of these exercises are not applicable in many other cases and a physician’s consultation has to be obtained before opting eye exercises as a cure for eye disorders. The ophthalmologist (eye physician) has to be consulted if pain, irritation, inflammation or any other symptoms in the eyes are noted.