The number of persons who wear contacts and eyeglasses has increased dramatically during the past 10-15 years, primarily due to the steady increase in both personal and professional computer operations, as well as an increase in television viewing. While opticians everywhere may consider this good news, those of us with vision problems don't see it that way at all!

Most of us assume that our vision will begin to deteriorate due to the natural aging process, and sooner or later we will all need eye glasses or contact lenses to correct our vision problems. This is a fallacy! In fact, the opposite case is true - once we begin to rely on eyeglasses or contacts to correct vision problems, our vision will continue to weaken. The eyes are complex organs which detect light and convert it into images sent to our brains for interpretation. They are made up of a network of nerves and muscles, which like other neural muscular networks in our bodies, require exercise to remain healthy.

Most people, upon hearing this news, doubt the validity of such claims. After all, opticians are well educated regarding the normal vision process, well equipped to detect vision problems, and well trained to provide corrective options such as eye glasses and contact lenses. But, if we all practiced regular eye exercises on a daily basis, up to ninety percent of all opticians would be out of a job!

There will always be exceptions to every rule, and some people may still need to wear eyeglasses or contacts due to congenital defects or traumatic injury to the eyes. However, I believe that most people who wear glasses do not need them now, or did not need them to begin with. I work an average of 9 hours a day, and use the computer regularly at home. I do not wear glasses. I have resisted the advice of opticians who told me I needed glasses, opting instead to exercise my eyes. After a few weeks, my vision returned to normal.

I'm sure to receive some negative feedback regarding the advice I am about to give, but I am prepared to stand by what I'm telling you now. I discovered these five exercises on the public domain, in an article written by Marc Grossman a few years ago. If you currently wear glasses or contacts to correct your vision, why don't you give these exercises a try, then report your results to me? All you have to lose is a little time, and possibly your vision problems!


1. Blinking

An often overlooked eye function, blinking is a simple way to keep your eyes properly moisturized and feeling fresh, which will improve your ability to focus for long periods of time. People tend to blink less frequently while intently focusing on a computer monitor or television set. Blink intentionally every 3 - 4 seconds for a period of two minutes, and make a mental note of how your eyes feel after doing this.

Attempt to refrain from blinking for 30 seconds at a time, for another two minutes. What differences do you notice? The brief period of darkness that occurs while blinking allows your eyes to discharge previous information and prepare for new information. Blinking also reduces eye strain. Blinking can also be a form of communication. An intent glare without blinking is often interpreted as a threat. Blinking at a rate of 3 to 4 times per second indicates a relaxed and friendly listener.

Take note of blink rates the next time you engage in conversation with another person. More information on eye contact and communications will be available later in this article.

2. Palming

To relax your eyes and relieve eye strain whilst taking a break from the computer, try this exercise, called palming. First, take a few breaths, and make yourself comfortable whilst leaning forward with your elbows resting on your knees or at your desk.

Cup the palms of your hands and cover your eyes with your fingertips on your forehead and the heel of your hands resting on your cheekbones. You should still be able to blink freely, and there should be no pressure on your eyes.

Remain in this position for a few minutes. Palming is a small way to give your eyes and your mind a big break from the stress and strain of a busy work day.


Figure of Eight This is a simple yet effective exercise designed to increase the strength and flexibility of your eye muscles.

Imagine a giant figure of eight approximately ten feet in front of you. Then, turn it onto its side.

Slowly trace the figure with your eyes for several minutes in one direction, then repeat in the opposite direction. This might feel a bit alien at first, but perseverance will pay off!


Near and Far This exercise is a personal favorite that can be accomplished almost anywhere, although I can't imagine doing it on the underground without gathering a few odd looks from others. This exercise will take only a few minutes to complete.

Sit or stand in a comfortable position to start. Hold out your thumb approximately 10 inches in front of you. Focus on an object 10 to 20 feet in front of you, beyond your thumb, Take deep breaths whilst switching your focus back and forth between your thumb and the object in the distance. This exercise will strengthen your eye muscles over time and improve your overall vision.

5. Zooming

Another favourite exercise called zooming is very simple and takes but a few moments to do. Whist sitting comfortably, stick your thumb in the hitch-hiker' position and stretch your arm out in front of you.

Whilst focusing on your thumb, bring it closer to within 3 inches of your face. Reverse this action until your arm is again fully extended. Repeat for several minutes throughout the day. This exercise will improve your ability to focus whilst strengthening your eye muscles as well.

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10 eye exercises improve eyesight. Learn the secrets to natural vision and discover how to improve vision
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