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Eye Exercises

Last week, when I visited my optometrist in a panic because my eyesight had been failing rapidly, she gave me some eye exercises.  Until we know why my eyes are deteriorating, we won’t know whether or not they will work, but she says they’re worth the effort.

“Even for my kids?”  I asked, thinking of all the glasses in our family and the cost of changing the lenses each year.

“Yes, for anyone whose eyesight is not perfect,” she responded, and explained how these exercises strengthen the muscles around the eye.

So I thought I’d share them with you:

  1. Rotation: Imagine a huge clock right in front of you, and slowly move your eyes from 12 to 1 to 2 and all the way around 5 times.  Focus at each stop.  Then do it 5 times in the opposite direction.  Repeat 3 times a day.
  2. Alternating focus: Focus your eyes on something quite close, and then on something about 6 m (20 ft) away. Continue alternating your focus from close to far for about 5 minutes, and do this 3 or 4 times a day.
  3. Pencil pushups:  Hold your finger or a pencil up at arm’s length and focus on it while slowly moving it to your nose. When the image doubles, move your finger back a bit and focus on it for a few seconds.  You should do 10 repetitions 3 times a day until you can bring your finger to the tip of your nose without it appearing double.
  4. Relaxation: Rest your eyes regularly if you’re reading, working at the computer, or doing other close work.  This means that every thirty minutes, you should take at least 30 seconds to focus on something distant.  (A friend’s son was ordered to take a five-minute break every 20 minutes to save his eyesight.  Same principle, I suppose.)
  5. Bonus tip:  For eye health, you need to get adequate sleep at night if you do a lot of computer work.

Note that I was unable to do the full number of these exercises immediately. 

We’re trying to develop the habit of doing them at each meal.  I’m also trying to enforce the eye relaxation breaks every thirty minutes, but have not yet figured out a way to be consistent about it. 

Do you have any suggestions?

For more great tips, see Works for Me Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Frugal Friday.


  1. JoAnn says:

    Interesting. I’ve never heard of eye exercises before. You’ll have to let me know if they work for you.


    1. Annie Kate says:

      I think it will be a while before I know if they work, since it’s taking a long time to build up enough strength in those muscles to do all the recommended repetitions. (Obviously the optometrist was right is assuming those muscles needed strengthening.)

      I know where the muscles are, though; they ache all around the sides of my eyeballs!

      Annie Kate

  2. Jen says:

    Those are some great eye exercises. We just found out that my husband has to have eye surgery. He has Cataracts caused from some medication he had for a leg infection. I will be praying about your eye sight.


    1. Annie Kate says:

      Oh, Jen, I’ll be praying that your husband’s surgery will be successful. That is nerve-wracking.

      Thank you for your prayers. The optometrist wasn’t nearly as worried about my eyes as I was, and now that I have something to DO about them, I’m too busy (and sore, see comment above) to worry about them. LOL

      Annie Kate

  3. Carol Lucas says:

    Found your site through researching GAPS diet, and when you mentioned eye exercises, I had to see the latest! You see, I did eye exercises 40 years ago. First I played around with them. When I stepped on my glasses and could not afford to replace them, I got serious. They work. I have not worn glasses (or contacts) since, except now at age 65, I sometimes wear the lowest (#1) glasses from the drug store for reading. I know herbs and supplements that can really shorten this process. Makes the exercise routine work easier. Do not know policy of this site about mentioning products, which as an Herb Specialist, I sell; or book names? Will share if you want.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, Carol, I’m interested in this information. Thanks for contacting me. I will email you personally.

      1. Deanne says:

        If possible I would like the herbal information too. I recently asked my Dr. about eye exercises, and they told me it would make my eyes worse. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        1. Annie Kate says:

          Deanne, I’ve contacted Carol again. Hopefully we can get the information from her.

          I would get a second opinion about the eye exercises. They are not standard practice, and many optometrists don’t understand them enough to recommend them.

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