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Friday, October 27, 2017

If you need glasses to read this, chances are you have hypermetropia. Whether you are an avid reader or need spectacles, if you want to reduce the strain on your eyes, practise these simple eye exercises, says Trisha Ghoroi

For some, wearing glasses or lenses is just a fashion statement; for others it’s a necessity. People who wear glasses will tell you how difficult it is to watch a 3D film with spectacles on. Also, they can’t wear sunglasses on a sunny day. Of the eye conditions, the most common are myopia, which is a difficulty focusing on faraway objects, and hypermetropia, which is a difficulty focusing on nearby objects. Whatever the condition, you can work to strengthen your eye muscles with a few simple exercises. Here’s what you should do.

MYOPIA
One of the most common eye defects, myopia (or short-sightedness) first shows up before the age of 20. This condition makes it difficult for sufferers to focus on faraway objects, like the black board in a classroom or road signs.

Stretching oblique muscles

  • Hold a pencil close to your body near your stomach. Focus on the tip with both your eyes.
  • Now, bring the pencil higher towards your nose, following it with your eyes.
  • After you’ve brought it to your nose, move it left towards your left ear while following it with your eyes. Don’t move your head.
  • When moving the pencil horizontally, you can keep it at some distance away from your body.
  • Repeat this action, moving the pencil towards your right ear.
  • Practise this 2-4 times a day for 2 minutes.

HYPERMETROPIA
The opposite of myopia, hypermetropia is far-sightedness where far off objects are seen clearly, but those that are close are blurred. This makes it difficult to read or work at a computer screen.

Reading text in different sizes

  • On a standard page, print a paragraph four times in four different font sizes, each one with a font size smaller than the next.
  • Now hold the page at such a distance that the largest print is slightly blurred but still just about readable.
  • Read the text in this font size carefully, letter by letter and blink frequently while reading it.
  • Move to the next paragraph, which is one size smaller. You might find it difficult to read this paragraph.
  • Try and focus on each letter while forming a sharper outline of each letter. However, make sure not to strain your eyes too much.
  • After successfully reading the second paragraph, move on to the third and repeat the previous step.
  • After you’ve read the third paragraph, read the first one again. You’ll find that it is much easier to read than when you started the exercise.
  • Repeat this exercise once or twice a day for 3-5 minutes.

DIPLOPIA
This is more commonly referred to as double vision and is caused by improper functioning of extraocular muscles (the muscles of the eye), where both eyes function properly, but they are unable to target a desired object.

Swinging

  • To perform this exercise, stand up and look towards a neutral background.
  • Stretch your right hand out straight in front of you and put out your index finger pointing upwards.
  • Focus on your finger and twist your upper body to the left. Your outstretched hand moves across the background (and you must follow it with your eyes).
  • Twist back and to the right.
  • Make sure to twist your body all the way through in both directions so that you achieve almost a 360-degree twist.
  • Blink your eyes while performing the exercise.
  • Do this for 3 to 5 minutes once or twice a day.

AMBLYOPIA
This is another name for lazy eye, a condition in which you can see clearly with one eye but you have decreased vision in the other. The key here is to force the weaker eye to work hard without the help of the good eye.

Eye-patch games

  • Put an eye patch on your good eye.
  • Use a colouring book and make sure to colour within the lines by judging them correctly.
  • It has also been found that playing video games boosts eye function in those with lazy eye, as it requires you to focus on the screen.
  • Wear the eye patch for a few hours at stretch, but remove it if you begin to feel a strain in your eye.

OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE EYESIGHT

  • Eating fish can benefit your eyesight, so add salmon, tuna and other oily fish to your diet.
  • Smoking can increase your chances of developing cataracts and other eye issues. It also damages the optic nerve and muscles, so quitting the death stick is a smart move.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays by wearing appropriate sunglasses when outdoors. This can help prevent cataracts from developing. Choose polarised glasses to protect from the glare of the sun.
  • If you use a computer or your phone for long hours, take a break every 20 minutes and look at something least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
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