• Healthy eyes

Eye Training: 10 Eye Exercises and How Useful They Are

  • 5 Minutes reading time
  • Created on 30 January 2024

Our eyes do a lot every day - especially when working in front of a screen for long periods of time - so eye exercises may alleviate some of the pressure on them. If you are affected by a visual impairment like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, staring at a screen can put a strain on your eyes. Eye exercises are also useful for people without any ametropia. Through this guide, we'll show you how eye training can help, and provide a few eye exercises you can try.

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Can You Use Eye Exercises to Improve Vision

So far, it has not been scientifically proven that eye training can improve vision or correct visual impairments. Nevertheless, eye exercises cause the muscles around the eye to relax, which makes it possible to delay presbyopia. However, whether certain eye exercises can prevent ametropia such as nearsightedness or farsightedness has not yet been determined. The American ophthalmologist William Bates published the first eye exercises in 1920. He was convinced that with these exercises you could do without visual aids for the rest of your life. In his opinion, an eye only needs sunlight and warmth, should not be overstrained, and needs to be trained. However, his theory has not yet been proven.

Are There Any Benefits to Eye Training?

You may be wondering why you should do eye exercises to improve vision if their effects have not been scientifically proven. However, with targeted muscle training, eye movements can become more dynamic and controlled. Therefore, regular eye training will not do any harm, provided you continue to use the visual aids prescribed by your ophthalmologist or optician.

Staring at a screen for hours, whether it’s a computer or television, is extremely damaging to the eyes. Exposure to artificial light and the fact that you blink less while looking at screens can potentially cause myopia, also known as short-sightedness.

Staring at a screen for hours, whether it’s a computer or television, is extremely damaging to the eyes. Exposure to artificial light and the fact that you blink less while looking at screens can potentially cause myopia, also known as short-sightedness.4

If you spend several hours in front of a screen every day, you are probably familiar with the typical effects of tired and strained eyes:

  • Burning and dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness and/or headache
  • Shoulder/neck pain
  • Difficulty concentrating

Our eyes - like the rest of our body - need regular exercise. The right eye training can help to train your muscles, thereby preventing the symptoms mentioned above.

How Can I Train My Eyes? 10 Eye Exercises

Now that we have explored the benefits of exercises for eyes, we’ve put together some exercises that you can try in the comfort of your home, or at work.

Eye Exercises for Relaxation

The following eye exercises will help to relax your eyes.

  • Palming: Rub your hands together until they become warm. Next, close your eyes and place your fingers on your eyelids for about 20 - 30 seconds, making sure no light gets through. You can repeat this exercise several times a day to help relax your muscles.
  • Eye massage: Place your index finger between your eyebrows and grasp the bridge of your nose with your thumb and middle finger of the same hand. Now massage this area with your three fingers using circular movements and light pressure for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise several times a day.
  • Close your eyes: This is probably the simplest exercise, but it still has a big effect. Sit back and close your eyes for a few seconds, taking deep breaths. This helps to relax the muscles.
  • Focusing your eyesight near and far: Try to look into the distance and then up close at least once an hour to relax the eye muscles - especially if you’re working behind a screen for a prolonged period of time.

Eye Exercises to Strengthen and Loosen the Muscles

The eye exercises below can help with loosening and strengthening your eye muscles:

  • Follow fingers: Cover one eye with your hand and hold the index finger of your other hand about 20 centimetres away from your open eye. Now use your fingers to draw patterns, letters, or numbers in the air and follow the movements with your eye, gradually increasing the pace. After about 30 seconds, switch to the other eye.
  • Accommodate: Accommodation involves adjusting the refractive power of the eye lens so that we can focus on things at different distances. To do this exercise, first cover one eye with one hand. Now stretch your other hand out in front of your open eye. Slowly move your hand towards and away from the eye, while focusing on your palm. Repeat this exercise with both eyes.
  • Eyeball in motion: Close your eyes and alternately move your eyes left, right, up and down. Repeat each direction about ten times to train your eye muscles. Repeat the exercise with your eyes open.
  • Blinking: In general, try to blink more often during the day. The cornea of ​​the eye is moistened with tear fluid and thus protects it from drying out. Blink several times a day for about 30 seconds at a time to strengthen the muscles.

Alternative Eye Exercises

Last but not least, we have a few more alternative eye exercises to help you and your eyes feel better when strained.

  • Eyewash: Give your eyes a well-deserved shower before you go to sleep. First, run cold water into your hands and scoop it onto your closed eyelids. Repeat this process about 10 times. Then repeat with lukewarm water. When you get up in the morning, do the whole thing in reverse: first with lukewarm water and then with cold water. Trust us - it feels really good!
  • Fill up on vitamin D: Pause for a moment outside, close your eyes and look into the sun. Feel the soothing warmth on your eyelids. It's best not to do this exercise around midday when the sun is strongest, but rather in the morning or afternoon when the sunlight is not as strong. Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can help to protect the eyes from diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eye Training

Are there alternatives to eye training?

If you are affected by ametropia and rely on visual aids such as glasses or contact lenses, your eyes become overstrained more quickly than healthy eyes. Eye exercises can help you relax, but they do not correct vision problems. As an alternative, there is the option of having your eyes lasered. There are various methods available that have few complications and are considered safe. This permanently corrects ametropia, allowing you to live without visual aids.

What types of eye exercises are there?

There are many different standard eye exercises that you can easily do at home or on the go, which we have listed above. There is also the option of visiting a vision specialist who can teach you individual eye exercises. Additionally, there are now online courses for eye yoga and aids such as pinhole glasses to train your eyes. Just try out a few options and see what works best for you.

Can glasses make vision problems worse?

A visual aid that is checked regularly and adjusted to your vision will not worsen your ametropia. On the contrary - if you don't wear glasses, your eyes will probably get worse. Your eyes don't get used to your visual impairment, but you adapt through habits such as squinting or tilting your head. This often causes side effects such as headaches or neck pain. Glasses, on the other hand, relieve the strain on your eyes and also on you.

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