Our eye health is crucial for our overall well-being and living with diminished eyesight can have an impact on quality of life. Eye conditions though are quite common and according to WHO, those who live long enough are likely to experience at least one eye condition in their lifetime. From diabetes, age-related degeneration, cataract, several infectious diseases of the cornea and trachoma could lead to reduced eyesight. (Also read: Eye health in work-from-home era: Easy tips to reduce strain on eyes and vision)
Eye problems are especially on rise in pandemic times considering most of our time is spent glued to screen. Many children also reported rise in vision-related problems with increase in screen time due to online classes and leisure screen watching.
Eye exercises are quite helpful to ease tiredness and fatigue due to eye strain. These exercises are also good for improving focus and alertness.
Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder – Yoganama suggests three exercises to improve eyesight.
1. Palming technique
Vigorously rub your palms together till you create some warmth and then gently cup your eyes creating a hollow dark space around them. Ensure minimum light seeps in through the palms and gaps in fingers, and stay here with eyes closed for a few breaths, enjoying the sensations that you experience.
Once the warmth of your hands has faded away, you can lower the hands down but continue to keep your eyes closed. Repeat this two more times and after the last attempt gently open the eyes with a few gentle blinks.
This is immensely relaxing for the eyes and is a useful technique that can be practiced easily at work. So, if you have been staring at your computer screen for a while, take a quick palming break and notice the difference in your vision, alertness, and stress levels.
2. Sideways rolling
These are traditional, simple but highly effective exercises for eye health. To do them you hold a pen or a pencil or your index finger out in front of you at eye level. Bring your focus to the tip of the finger or the pen and take a few breaths.
Now we begin sideways movement, as you move your hand, maintain your focus at the same point throughout. Slowly move the hand sideways, right and left as you continue to follow your object of focus with your eyes, without moving the neck. Do this 5-10 times and rest.
The rolling exercises can be done in a full circular motion as well, to do that simply roll your eyes as if you are tracing a large circle in front of you. After 5-10 rounds, rest and repeat in the other direction.
3. Distant gazing
This is very good for the eyes which often spend a lot of time focussing minutely on small screens or objects in front of us. So, give them a little variety by looking far into the distance, not focussing on anything in particular.
Maybe step outside or by a window and see as far as the eyes allow you to see. This can also be done while walking, allowing the eyes to drift naturally, without focussing on anything in particular. This is not only good for the eyes, but also for our brain, and our learning capabilities.