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How to Exercise Your Eyes


Eye exercises are designed to strengthen your eye muscles, help you focus, ease eye movements, and stimulate your brain's vision center. Several things, including your age and your eye condition determine which exercises are best. As you practice them and move on to new ones, you’ll learn how to control your eye muscles and see the way you should. Eye exercises can help if you have:

  • Trouble focusing your eyes to read
  • One eye that drifts outward or inward (convergence insufficiency)
  • Had surgery and need to improve muscle control
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)
  • Double vision
  • Trouble with depth perception (poor 3D vision)

Eye exercises can help conditions involving how your  work together. These conditions can cause problems such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Increased light sensitivity

The 20-20-20 rule. When you’re focused on a task, pause every 20 minutes to focus on something that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Blink break. You blink less when you’re focused on a TV or computer screen. If you start to notice dry eyes or the beginnings of a headache, stop and try to blink at a normal rate.

Palms for relaxation. Gently cup your palms over your closed eyes until all the afterimages fade to black, about 30 seconds. Make sure not to put any pressure on your eyes.

Figure eight. Imagine a big number 8 turned on its side about 10 feet in front of you. Slowly sketch it with your eyes several times. Then go the other direction.

Roll your eyes. Look right and left several times without moving your head. Then look up and down several times.

Near and far. This is good for people who wear glasses. Take them off and hold your thumbs in the air, one near your face and one farther away. For 2 seconds each, focus on the near thumb, then the far one, something across the room, and something even farther away, like across the street.

Vision Therapy

Eye exercises can be part of vision therapy. Think of it like physical therapy for your eyes. A vision therapy plan can improve your visual skill, make you more comfortable, and change how your brain interprets what you see. The program might also include special lenses, prisms, patches, electronic targets, or balance boards.

Anyone interested in vision therapy should call our office at 774-283-4005 and set up an evaluation.