Eye Exercise Myths
It is time to clear up some things about eye exercises. Eye exercises can be good for you in many ways. However, there is no scientific evidence that eye exercises alone will improve your vision. This does not mean that you should avoid them; in fact it is important to do some limbering exercises intermittently if you spend a lot of time at the computer or doing close work, to avoid eye strain and computer vision syndrome. What it does mean is that you should not use them as an alternative for professional vision care from your ophthalmologist, and you should be leery of expensive self-guided eye exercise programs.
The difference between self-guided eye exercises and vision therapy
Vision therapy often incorporates individually tailored eye exercises as part of a complete therapy program. During vision therapy a specially trained vision therapist monitors your progress and adjusts the program as needed. Ophthalmologists disagree as to whether vision therapy is an effective way to improve eyesight. It is important to understand that while vision therapy may achieve some improvement in refractive error, it is most useful in treating vision problems that lie in the brain, rather than problems of the eye itself.
Self-guided eye exercise programs do not offer the monitoring, testing, and customization which vision therapists employ.
Eye exercises no substitute for vision care
If you are experiencing vision problems, it is important to see an ophthalmologist and rule out conditions of the eye which may rob you of your vision if left untreated. Your ophthalmologist can also prescribe corrective lenses or offer corrective surgery to free you from your lenses. If you want to try eye exercises to improve your vision, go ahead, but in the meantime, be safe and see clearly!
Expensive eye exercise program may be a rip-off
In 2006, an Iowa District Court has stopped the sales of See Clearly Method vision improvement kits and ordered Vision Improvement Technologies, Inc., the company which sold the kits, to pay $200,000 in restitution. In this fraud lawsuit the company was accused of making "dramatic claims for its product that could not be substantiated." The court agreed. The kits were sold for about $350 each.
When eye exercises are appropriate
There are many basic eye exercises you can perform, without spending money for a program. These exercises can help you avoid eye strain and will help keep your eyes in the best condition possible. For some people this will prevent or delay the development of vision problems cause by stiff or weak eye muscles.
If you sit at a computer for long periods of time, you need to give your eyes a break on a regular basis. This can prevent dry eye, eye strain, and headaches. It is not a cure-all for existing refractive error.