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ESH #66 | Eye Strengthening Exercises


In this podcast we will be discussing eye strengthening exercises. By this we mean the muscular strength of the eye rather than the overall strength of the visual system. People forget that we have muscles in the eye which can be strengthened like any other muscle in the body. For those looking to improve eyesight it is much easier to do the eye exercises if we understand how they can help strengthen the eye and thus improve our vision.

We have divided the eye strengthening exercises in relation to the different parts of the eye. The three parts of the eye that use muscles for functioning are:

  1. Extra ocular muscles

  2. Ciliary muscles

  3. Pupil

Eye Strengthening Exercises: Extra Ocular Muscles

There are 6 muscles attached to each eye which are responsible for eye movements. Like any other muscles in the body, if we overuse particular muscles they become stiff and tight. The underused muscles become weak. A muscle is at its strongest when it is rested, flexible and has strong muscle fibers.

Of course we do not need to lift weights with our eyes in order to strengthen our eyes. By performing the eye rotations eye exercises you are stretching and strengthening the muscles around the eye. In doing so you are also resting the nasal extra ocular muscle which are being overused due to extensive hours of near work .

UnderstandingEye Strengthening Exercises: Ciliary Muscles

These muscles are inside the eye and are responsible for rounding the lens when looking at near objects. Due to many hours of near work these muscles quickly become overworked and weak. So by performing the near and far eye exercise we are fully contracting and fully relaxing the muscles in the eye. Similar to a push up, continuous relaxing and contracting strengthens the muscles making accommodation easier and stronger. This leads to improved eyesight.

Another eye strengthening exercise for the ciliary muscle is the convergence eye exercise. By crossing the eye we are also fully contracting the ciliary muscle. This is the same as using weights to fully contract the bicep in a bicep curl. We are recruiting as many muscles fibers as possible, bringing more strength.

However, in order to do this, it is also very important to have relaxed eyes in the first place. Please see the palming eye exercise and the distance looking eye exercises for tips on how to relax the eyes before trying the convergence exercise.

Eye Strengthening Exercises: Pupil

Technically the pupil is not a muscle but rather it is a hole created by the iris. However, we have found the majority of people find it easier to understand how to strengthen this part of the eye by referring to it as strengthening the pupil. The pupil has a simple but very important job of constricting in bright light in order to protect the eye and make images sharper. Its other equally important job is to dilate so we can see better in the dark and in our periphery.

Few people are exposed to these two extremes so these muscles becomes weak. By performing the eye strengthening exercise “sunning” we fully constrict the pupil and allow it to slightly dilate and relax as we turn our heads to the side. This ability to fully constrict the pupil will help improve eyesight by making images sharper.

The second eye strengthening exercise for the pupil is the peripheral vision exercise. When performing this eye exercise you are dilating the pupil to receive more information form the world around you. Doing this eye exercise in the dark will cause your pupils to dilate even further.

Question of the Week

In the question of the week this week we discuss why someone with farsightedness would improve their condition by looking into the distance.

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