Can I Improve my Vision with Eyesight Exercises?

Brandon May

In an effort to improve vision and provide a clearer view of the world, many people turn to natural approaches such as eyesight exercises for improvement in the visual ocular system. There are no scientific studies proving that eye exercises aid in vision correction or even vision improvement, yet claims of the proposed benefits are still maintained by the various people who practice such techniques. Many of these techniques include palming, sun gazing and relaxation exercises, and those who follow these methods claim to experience minor improvement in eyesight. Eyesight exercises may provide relief from eye strain and tension, but there is only experiential proof that it improves eyesight.

Eye exercises can be used to help relieve eye strain.
Eye exercises can be used to help relieve eye strain.

The most popular of eyesight exercises for improving vision involves the Bates method, and incorporates various techniques to exercise the muscles of the eyes. Many other methods stem from the Bates method, yet the exact exercises which are promoted remain relatively the same. It is theorized that the techniques help relax the muscles of the eyes to reverse eye strain, which is a possible cause for eyesight problems. As the eye can change shape based on the tension and pressure exerted on it, certain followers believe that practicing this exercise may help change the shape of the eye and improve vision through strengthening the outer and inner muscles.

Poor vision can be caused by overstressed eye muscles.
Poor vision can be caused by overstressed eye muscles.

Common eyesight exercises include palming, or placing the palms of the hands on top of the eyes to improve blood flow circulation and to release eye tension and strain. This relaxation exercise for the eye supposedly aids in the improvement of vision through simple relaxation and stimulation, yet there are no studies to conclude this to be true. Another exercise includes sun gazing, as it is proposed that natural light is needed to help heal vision and the eye. Many medical professionals disagree with this, however, as gazing directly into the sun without protection can seriously damage and deteriorate vision.

Even though there is debate over whether eyesight exercises do improve eyesight, many doctors and eye specialists take a preventive approach toward eye health. Most medical professionals regard eyesight exercises as beneficial for eye muscle relaxation and to relieve eyestrain, but not necessarily for improving eyesight. A common stance around eyesight health is to avoid direct contact of the eyes to ultraviolet light from the sun and to eat a varied diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins which have been shown to prevent eyesight degeneration. The vitamin most recommended to ensure adequate intake is vitamin A, present in many fresh, colorful vegetables, as this vitamin has been clinically shown to be preventive in many vision-related disorders.

People who stare at a computer screen all day may benefit from exercises to strengthen eyesight.
People who stare at a computer screen all day may benefit from exercises to strengthen eyesight.

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