Eye Yoga and Eye Exercises Can Help You Get Rid Of Your Spectacles
For decades, people have been looking for better vision without glasses. Many gurus have suggested that eye exercises remove the need for spectacles. These eye exercises were touted as the revolution in eye care as early as the 1920s. They have been promoted as such since then. These claims vary from “never need glasses again” to “grandma throw the spectacles out”, but scientific research has not proven their validity. Experts reiterate the need to have glasses removed surgically, but they also say that eye exercises are safe for the eyes if performed under supervision. The individual should test them with some skepticism to determine if they work.
These exercises are not part of a supervised program by an ophthalmologist to correct specific eye alignment problems (such as convergence insufficiency) or other binocular vision issues or improve dynamic visual skills. These exercises are claimed to correct refractive error, also known as nearsightedness and astigmatism. This results from an altered structure or eye anatomy that you were born with.
What are the causes of refractive errors?
- Farsightedness or myopia: If your eyeball is too large, light rays will focus at a point just before the retina. This means that your near vision will remain blurred compared to your distance vision. This condition is known as farsightedness and can be corrected with a combination of convex lenses or plus lenses.
- Nearsightedness or hypermetropia: If your eyeball is too small, it will not be able to focus on objects near you. This happens because of light rays entering the eye. Focus behind the retina, which is the light-sensitive part of the eye. Nearsightedness can be corrected with a system that uses concave and minus lenses.
- Astigmatism If the meridians of your cornea and lens, which both make up the major refractive powers of your eyes, do not focus at the same point, then the light entering your eye focuses at different points. This causes visual blurring and can be corrected using cylindrical lenses. Each lens is denoted with a plus/minus power and an angle ranging between 0 and 180 degrees.
- Presbyopia The eye’s natural lens has remarkable abilities to focus on distant and near objects by altering their shape or curvature. The lens becomes less flexible and unable to focus at different distances. This usually happens around the age of 40 years. This causes blurred vision in near vision. Near vision, glasses are usually required around age 40. Presbyopia is a condition known as hypermetropia. It can be treated with a system that includes plus lenses such as hypermetropia. However, the cause of the visual blur may differ for each of the refractive errors.
What are the remedies for refractive errors?
- Add lenses to increase the refractive power. With contact lenses, glasses, implantable contacts lenses, or even a refractive lens swap, you can do this. This ensures that light entering the eye is correctly focused onto the retina, which results in perfect vision. These modalities can temporarily correct vision, while the surgical modalities provide a permanent solution. These modalities will be discussed in detail in the respective categories.
- The refractive power of your cornea can be changed. Laser surgery (also known as LASIK) can alter the shape of the cornea with high precision. This ensures that light rays are correctly directed at the retina.
- You can alter the shape and length of the eyeball. In the 1970s, there were some attempts to shorten the eyeball. This was done mainly for myopia. These attempts no longer have clinical relevance in the modern era of refractive surgery.
Are eye exercises able to achieve the same results as surgery and lenses?
This question can be answered best by asking ancillary questions. Refractive errors can be corrected with eye exercises if the answer is yes. Eye exercises that do not address the structural and physiological reasons for glasses are unlikely to affect vision positively.
- Exercise your eyes to change the shape of your eyeball by changing its dimension or length (as required for astigmatism).
- Eye exercises can alter the shape and power of your cornea. Light is focused on the retina by focusing on it.
- Can the exercises be used to correct astigmatism? This will allow for precise focus of light onto the retina.
- Eye exercises can restore the elasticity of your natural lens, which has been affected by protein changes and help alleviate presbyopia.
Most people who promote these exercises and market them commercially usually include a disclaimer that absolves them from any responsibility. While they claim that these exercises can be used as a safe and healthy alternative to contacts, glasses and laser surgery, they also state that each person’s ability to see better and how much is affected by the program. These exercises may help improve vision, but they don’t address the optical and anatomical problems that cause poor vision.
However, it would be best to remember that the environment could cause refractive errors. This could include prolonged near effort, focusing on smartphones and computers, as well as excessive strain. Eye exercises can greatly improve this component of refractive errors. Patients who exercise regularly will find that they can rely less upon their glasses.
What’s the verdict on exercises?
Recognize that refractive errors can be hereditary due to changes in the shape and size of the eyeball, cornea, and lens. However, there could also be environmental causes such as stress from prolonged near work, reading, and working with computers. For obvious reasons, the first component of your refractive errors cannot be corrected by exercises. Eye exercises may be beneficial for environmental factors like fatigue and stress focusing.
Remember that eye exercises are not proven to reduce refractive errors, decrease dependence on glasses or contacts, or improve your eyesight. These techniques are not supported by solid scientific evidence. Optometrists and eye doctors will not recommend them for correction. Instead, they recommend that you use contact lenses or glasses.
What are the basics of eye exercises?
Many online exercise programs are available for purchase. Experts in the field often design these. Many of these programs are very similar and don’t guarantee results. Each one comes with the disclaimer that results can vary between people and that the optimal exercise time is unknown. These are the basic principles that all exercise programs must adhere to:
Blinking is a reflex, and although it is claimed to improve eyesight, there is not enough evidence to support this claim. Conscious blinking is an option in current ergonomic practices. Our blink rate drops significantly when we are in front of computers, televisions, or smartphones. Blinking distributes the tear film, makes the eyes lubricated and reduces fatigue.
Computer users with dry eyes and computer vision syndrome should use the think and blink method as a foundation. It is important to do this exercise several times throughout the day.
- Slow blink- You must blink every 30 seconds for 2 minutes. This will make it impossible to close your eyes.
- Quick blink- To get maximum benefit, blink your eyes 4 times per second for 2 minutes.
It should be done several times per day to get the best results.
Palming is a technique that involves covering your eyes gently with your hands. Palming helps relax the eyes, redistribute tears, and lubricate the eye surface. Experts suggest taking a deep, relaxing breath and then closing your eyes. Close your eyes by making sure your elbows and forearms are supported. For about one minute, gently cup your eyes in the hollows of your palms and breathe normally. Experts recommend repeating this exercise several times per day to get the best results.
The Figure of Eight, or circular eye movements
Imagine a large figure called “8” standing in front of your face, approximately six feet away. It would be best to turn your head clockwise to trace the shape slowly. Repeat this process for three to five more minutes. Simultaneously, trace the “8” shape in the opposite clockwise direction.
It would be best to do this in multiple sets and several times throughout the day for the best results.
Zooming and convergence
Convergence exercises improve your near vision and delay presbyopia by working the muscles responsible for the accommodation. Concentrate on a pencil tip that is held at arm’s reach. To relax your eyes, focus on something far away. This cycle can be repeated for two minutes.
Slowly move the pencil tip closer to your face until it is approximately 3 inches from your face. If the tip becomes blurred, Keep your eyes on the pencil tip. Focus on it until it becomes clear again. With your arm extended as far as you can, move the pencil back into its original position. This should be repeated at least ten times per day.
Side to side movement
It is believed that the eyes can be relaxed by moving the eyes together, side-to-side. After settling into a comfortable position, shift your gaze to the right and look at something approximately six to eight feet in front of you. After focusing your gaze in the right direction, you can move your eyes to the opposite extreme of the distance for a few seconds. This should be done for 3 to 5 minutes. Next, reverse the order of your gaze. Start with the left for three to five more minutes and move to the right. You should do this in multiple sets for the best results and repeat it daily.
What about eye yoga?
Eye yoga is the same as eye exercises in terms of scientific basis to address refractive errors. However, it has been given a more closely associated with holistic or organic healing. Many yoga gurus recommend using eye exercises in conjunction with relaxation or breathing techniques. Although it is hard to deny the benefits of yoga relaxation techniques, scientists have confirmed that yoga can correct refraction errors.
Most gurus recommend personal affirmations and visualization of improved eyesight to aid in these techniques. You can tell yourself repeatedly throughout the day that you don’t need glasses and your vision is perfect without them. To help you “train your brain to accept a positive outcome”, you will also be asked to visualize how clear your vision is without glasses or contact lenses.
Your doctor won’t tell you to stop practicing “eye yoga”, but if you speak with your teacher, they will advise you not to throw your glasses away. It would be best to discuss your yoga routine with your eye doctor before you begin your training.
What are the main techniques for eye yoga?
Eye yoga techniques are similar to eye exercises. These techniques have the following key features:
- Eye exercises: Blinking and palming
- The eye movements described earlier in this article have one important difference. When looking up, one must exhale and slowly exhale. When looking away from “self”, one should take a deep inhale and exhale when looking toward the nose or converging.
- Yoga emphasizes relaxation techniques that allow the mind to rule over matter. It encourages you to pay attention to your bodily functions, such as breathing while exercising. To help relax your muscles, you can lie down in the dead-pose or shave-asan after exercises.
- Many gurus recommend that you exhale consciousness to the sound Om. This will help harness the positive energy of all things.
- For best results, yoga should be taught by a qualified guru.
- Some yoga poses, such as shisha or upside down, are not recommended for patients with glaucoma. Patients should discuss their exercise plan with their eye doctor before beginning a rigorous exercise regimen.
What happens if I don’t see any improvement?
Many well-designed clinical trials have shown that eye exercises do not improve vision. However, they can help with binocular sight, errors of fusional reserve such as convergence insufficiency, and other eye disorders. These conditions require a program that is tailored to each patient’s needs. There is no standard.
There are many temporary and permanent surgical solutions options if you don’t want to wear glasses. These options include:
- Contact lenses to improve vision without glasses
- Orthokeratology is the science of wearing special contact lenses to mold the cornea, which helps in reducing or eliminating the refractive error over time.
- There are many surgical options available for the removal of spectacles: These include LASIK, all variants, Implantable Collamer Lenses (Illegible Collamer Lenses), Refractive Lens Exchange, Clear Lens Extraction, and Cataract Surgery. Depending on the patient’s visual needs, eye structure, and refractive error, these can be used together or separately.
Can you see better without glasses?
This question has an unambiguous answer: YES. Today, better vision is possible without glasses. Your doctor might not respond enthusiastically if you ask about better vision with only eye exercises.
Technology has made it possible to live a completely spectacle-free life without major ocular diseases or refractive errors.
A comprehensive eye exam by an experienced eye care professional is necessary to determine the best treatment for each patient. Before recommending the best solution for you, your ophthalmologist will conduct specific tests.
Each option has been explained in detail to make it easier for you to have an informed discussion with your eye doctor.