Exercise is proven to help us live long, healthy lives. It can increase our strength, train us to be more disciplined, and help us maintain a healthy weight. So when it comes to our vision, do eye exercises really work? Can you improve your vision using physical movements to a point where you won’t have to wear glasses?
While physical exertion can alter a person’s anatomy, the physicality of the eye cannot be altered through the use of exercises. This is because individuals cannot change the way their eyes are shaped, which has a direct effect on how you see. The human eye needs to allow light rays in to focus, and the shape of the eyeball alters how much light, or refraction, can be focused by the retina. If you have a common vision problem, it is due to the shape of your eye.
Shapes of Eyes
- Short Eyeballs
Individuals who are farsighted can blame their vision issues on having shorter eyeballs. Short eyeballs accept light in such a way that the focus happens beyond the retina. This is why objects that are near are harder to see.
- Long Eyeballs
Individuals who are nearsighted, have longer shaped eyeballs. When an individual is nearsighted, light to the retina falls short. Focus on objects far away becomes difficult.
- Cone-shaped Eyeballs
Corneas with a cone shape or irregular shape cause astigmatism. These asymmetries cause incoming light to split off into different directions, making focusing difficult, resulting in blurry vision that can only be remedied by special glasses or special contacts like Acuvue Oasys for astigmatism or Air Optix toric.
- Aging Eyeballs
Beginning around age 40, the eye’s natural lenses start to break down and lose their elasticity. This condition is known as presbyopia. The result is a prevention of adequate light being let through the retina. Aging individuals commonly begin to experience near-blurry vision or an inability to see things in the dark.
Eye strengthening exercises cannot reshape the eye or, for that matter, restore an aging eye’s elasticity. Despite this, many do-it-yourself eye workouts have debuted on the Internet, the most well-known of which may have been the See Clearly Vision Program. This package charged a fee, offered some video tapes, and claimed their routines helped with almost all vision issues; there was no real established science behind the program and consumer complaints prompted the Attorney General of Iowa to charge the See Clearly Method’s parent company, Improvement Technologies, with misleading advertising. The Iowa court ordered the company to rebate back $200,000 in compensation to consumers who paid $350 for the program. The program reinvented itself under the new name the Power Vision Program and is still available over the Internet today.
Most respected research does not support the theory that eye exercises are of much benefit. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has issued statements against such programs that claim to improve myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. When considering attempting vision-correcting activities, we recommend you first consult your own eye doctor.