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What are Eye Exercises?

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Eyes & Vision related image Photo: Getty Images

Maybe you have heard about eye exercises to help reduce eye strain. Or maybe you have seen a commercial for eye exercises that can help postpone the need for glasses.

So what are eye exercises and can they really help your vision?

Eye exercises work on strengthening the muscles involved with the eye. As a treatment, it may help with some conditions such as diplopia (double vision) or lazy eye (amblyopia).

For example, in the treatment of diplopia, patients may do eye exercises, have their eyes surgical straightened, or do both interventions.

The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center noted that the purpose of these treatments is to “[re-align] the misaligned eye where possible without surgery and [re-stimulate] the part of the visual pathway to the brain which is not working correctly.”

But what about eye conditions in which the usual treatment involves corrective lenses? The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide stated that eye exercises will not correct your vision if you have eye conditions such as nearsightedness, astigmatism or farsightedness.

The publication added that eye exercises will also not help if you suffer from macular degeneration or glaucoma. Go Ask Alice from Columbia Health echoed this, adding that for eye conditions such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, the only established treatments are surgery and corrective lenses.

Practicing eye exercises may be helpful if you suffer from eye strain, which can occur when staring at a computer screen or doing close-up work. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide noted that you do not need to buy specific programs to practice eye exercises.

For example, you can give your eyes a break from the computer by focusing on an object that is at a longer distance, such as a photograph hanging on a wall on the other side of the room.

If you feel that you want to perform more structured eye exercises, some exercises are available online.

For example, ]]>Handford Occupational Health Services has a Flash-run eye exercise program]]>.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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