More and more people over the last 10 -15 years have started wearing glasses and contact lenses. Many people have also noticed increased eye strain due to the increase in the amount of time people stare at computer screens and personal computer monitors. Many people also spend hours watching TV or playing games. The number of hours that young people spend watching TV has declined, but only because they watch movies and games on their computer screens. Although you cannot wear out your eyes, you can strain them, and your eyesight can deteriorate if you don't look after your eyes. Most people neglect their eyes which need regular exercise in order to keep them healthy and diet is also important as many dietary deficiencies can cause eye problems.
The need for looking after your eyes and getting the right exercises is even more important for people who wear glasses and contacts as your eyes can get lazy and lose their ability to focus on a range of distances.
Many people have found that their eyesight has gradually got worse over time. Some of this is due to the natural deterioration of eyesight with age, but some is also due to eye strain and people not looking after their eyes properly.
Below are twenty eye exercises you can to use to strengthen your eye muscles, relieve strain and improve your vision.
1. Blinking - Blinking is simple way to relieve strain and help with focusing issues. Computer users often blink less frequently, especially when focusing intently. As an exercise try deliberately blinking every 3 to 4 seconds over about two minutes. Each time you blink your eyes go through a brief period of darkness and it helps clean and lubricate the surface of the eye.
2. Palming - This is designed to give your eyes a break for few minutes and to rest your mind by switching off input from the eyes. Rub your hands together to warm them, or warm them in warm water. Position the palms of your hands so that they cover your eyes. The heel of your hands should will resting on your cheekbones and your fingers should be resting on your forehead. The idea is to exclude all light so that when you open your eyes and blink you see only blackness. Just opening your eyes and looking into the dark will relax your eyes. Repeat this twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Sunning - Try this at least once a day. While your eyes are closed look straight at the sun or a bright lamp. Move your head from side to side. This put light onto the peripheral vision and the head movement improved blood flow to the neck region.
4. Swinging - Stand and look out a window and focus on a distant object such as a tree, or do this outside if possible. Swing your upper body to the right and right, letting the heels of your feet come up off the floor. This exercise is good for your eyes as you are focusing in the distance rather than close-up and it also exercises your back.
5. Vision shifting to focus on near to far objects - Working at a computer strains the muscles in your eyes because you maintain a fixed focus for long periods of time. Every 5 to 10 minutes relax your eyes by focusing on things ate a range of distance away, from your hands. to arm's length away, a to thing in the middle distance and far away out of the window. Remember to setup your computer up so that you can easily focus on something in the distance and not face a blank wall. This relieves tension in the muscles used for focusing.
6. Closing Your Eyes - This is very simple and easy to do. Close your eyes for about 2-5 seconds, open them for about the same time and repeat 7-10 times every hour of so.
7. Scanning - While sitting or stand at the end of a room scan with your eyes around the various objects in the room, such as a desk, monitor, television, chairs and tables, door. etc. The aim is to move your eyes continuously while shifting focus on the range of objects at various distances. Continue these scans for 2-4 minutes and repeat two or three times.
8. Massage Your Eyes - Do this once or twice a day. Wash your hands and gently massage around your closed eyes using circular motions. Continue massaging gently for 2-3 minutes and repeat after a five minute break.
9. Hydrotherapy - this involves gently bathing your eyes, alternating with cloths soaked in hot and cold water. Place the squeezed hot cloth onto your closed eyes for about 30 seconds. Then repeat with the cloth soaked in cold water and squeezed. Continue to alternate between the cold and hot clothes for 2-3 minutes.
10. Rolling Your Eyes - While sitting down and relaxing, roll your eyes counterclockwise, and then clockwise, several times. Blink and repeat about 6-10 times.
11. Head Rolls - This exercise will mainly relax your head, neck and face muscles, which add to the symptoms of eye strain. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. While exhaling, slowly drop your chin to your chest slowly while relaxing your neck and shoulders. Inhale deeply while slowly rolling your head to the left, and then back again. Keep your shoulders relaxed and still while doing this. As you exhale, gently roll your head towards the other side and down towards your chest again. Repeat this several times.
12. Fingers On The Eyes - Gently press two or three fingers onto your upper eyelids. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then release. Repeat this 6-8 times.
13. Rotate your Eyes around an imaginary clock face - Imagine you are positioned in front of a huge clock. Start at the centre of the clock. Move out along one of the hands to the perimeter. Then look back towards the centre. Look out along a different hour position towards the perimeter. Repeat this all around the clock face for the 12 positions.
14. Zooming in and out, Cross-eyes - Hold a pencil arms length in front of you. Move your arm slowly towards your nose. Follow the tip of the pencil with your eyes until you can no longer keep it in focus. Repeat 5-10 times.
15. Up Down Eye Movements - Face forwards and without moving your head focus your eyes as high as they can go. Then slowly move your eye line down to as low as they can go, without moving your head. Repeat this above 6-10 times. Repeat the exercise with side to side movement of the eyes without moving your head..
16. Figure of eight - The aim of this simple exercise is to relieve stress in your eye muscles and increase flexibility. Imagine there is a giant figure of eight placed in front of you about 3 m ( 12 ft) away. Imagine that its flipped over on it’s side. Now slowly trace the shape of the figure of 8 with your eyes. Continue this for a few minutes and then repeat in the other direction for several minutes. It may seem hard to do at first but persevere as it id a good exercise.
17. Get Plenty of Sleep and Relax Your Eyes - You need plenty of rest, time out doors and a good nights sleep for healthy eyes
18. Setting up Your Computer Screen to Support Good Vision - Place your monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye-level when you are in your normal sitting position. This means that you will to look slightly downwards when working on the computer. This is the ideal position for long hours in front of the screen. Place the monitor at about an arm's length away. LCD screens are better because there is no annoying flicker, which is better for the eyes. Try to organise your work space so that you can look out the window or to the other side of the room to allow you to change your focus regularly. Always avoid glare and reflections from lights shining in your eyes or onto the screen.
19. Take regular breaks - When doing tight-focus work or computer work for long periods always allow time for take regular breaks. The closer and more intense the focus the more breaks you should take. Every 2-5 minutes shift your gaze and look into the distance for a few seconds. Every 30 minutes or so, get up, walk around, stretch and loosen your head and neck muscles. If you can try to boost your heart rate.
20. Food and Vitamins for Health Eyes - Strange as it may seem, you should think of colors when looking for eye and vision foods because the colorful foods are generally good for your eyes - reds, oranges, dark greens and browns. Colorful vegetables and fruits are full of antioxidants. Drinking plenty of pure, clear water is essential for the whole body to function well. In the eye it is specifically relevant for the production of tears and in maintaining a healthy vitreous.
Carrots; Oily fish species (cod, sardines, mackerel, tuna.); Spinach, kale and green leafy vegetables; Garlic; Eggs; Onions, shallots and capers; Fruits and vegetables; Soy products; Blueberries; Grapes and Wine; Nuts and berries; Goji berries.
Vitamin A and Beta-carotene; Vitamin C; B Complex vitamins; Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lutein and other carotenoids; Dicosahexaenoic acid (DHA); Magnesium, Chromium, Selenium and Zinc; Gingko Biloba - widely used for eye and central nervous system problems, and is claimed to increase circulation to the back of the eye.
There are also some foods that are poor for eyes and vision. Caffeine may make it harder focusing on things very close to your eyes. Alcohol effect the nervous system, making it harder to coordinate the eyes. Alcohol and caffeine are both dehydrators. Both black and green teas are good sources for antioxidants and can make good substitutes for coffee.