Eye Exercises for Eye Strain

How to Do Them

In alternative medicine, proponents sometimes recommend eye exercises to relieve or prevent eye strain. Here are several exercises that are often suggested.

Exercise 1:

  1. ​Sit at the edge of your chair with your back straight. Close your eyes and place the palm of each hand over an eye, so you feel your palms warming your eyes.
  2. Remove your hands, keeping your eyes closed. Inhale deeply through your nose. Exhale and let your head drop forward then rotate it from side to side. Shrug your shoulders, making circles with them forward and backward.
  1. Close your eyes tightly and lift and tighten your shoulders as much as you can. Hold for a few seconds and then exhale, suddenly releasing your shoulders and opening your eyes. Repeat this several times.
  2. Blink repeatedly, fluttering your eyelids until your eyes become moist. Repeat this several times.
  3. Breathing naturally, focus on an object far away from you for about half a minute. Try to maintain your focus, then blink rapidly several times. Then focus on a nearby object for about 15 seconds. Try to maintain your focus, then blink rapidly several times.

Exercise 2: To help counteract the tendency to squint.

  1. With your eyes half-open, look up while exhaling.

Exercise 3: To exercise the extrinsic muscles that move the eyes.

  1. Try to keep your head straight and in line with your spine.
  2. Roll your eyes into all of the directions below while exhaling:

    To the right
    To the left
    Up to the right at 45 degrees
    Up to the left at 45 degrees
    Down at 45 degrees to the right
    Down at 45 degrees to the left

    Hold each of the above positions for a few seconds and then return your eyes to the center while you inhale.

  1. Again trying to keep your head straight, look straight ahead at an object. Exhale and look from side to side without turning your head.

  2. Now try to exhale and turn your head from side to side several times letting your eyes follow the head movement. Then turn your upper body from side to side and let your eyes follow.
  1. Place your palms over your eyes to warm them. When you are ready, remove them and open your eyes.

Using Eye Exercises for Eyestrain

There is currently a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of eye exercise as a standard treatment for eyestrain. While taking a break and looking away from the computer may help, eye exercises should not be used as a substitute for standard treatment. Self-treating and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Continue Reading