Vision Therapy recommends more than 200 different eye exercises and often administers them with simple aids: multi-colored lenses, eye patches, bulls-eye targets and beaded spectacles. The following are simple vision therapy exercises that anyone can do at home.
1. Call the ball
Write letters or numbers of different sizes on softball, kickball or soccer ball. Hang it on the string from the ceiling and push it in any direction. As it swings, call out the letters or numbers you see. The Optometric Extension Program Foundation markets dozens of visual exercise items, ranging from day-care children’s low-tech flashcards to state-of-the-art computer systems for behavioral optometrists specializing in athletic eye / hand coordination. If you would like a more in-depth study of vision correction, contact the OEP for a list or refer to a behavioral optometrist near you.
2. Follow your thumb
Several times each day, hold your thumb at arm’s length and move it in slow circles, crosses, Xs and in and out. Follow it with your eyes, without moving your head. Focus on him – and the rest of the room – as much as possible.
This helps to relax tired eyes. Quickly rub your hands together for 15 seconds or more until they feel warm. Close your eyes and rub your warm palms on them. Make sure your palms are cut enough so that they do not touch your eyelids. Your fingers should overlap and rest on your forehead. Holding this position, take deep and regular breaths for a few minutes.
4. Bead and string
Draw three colored beads with a piece of wire or yarn about six feet long. Attach one end to the wall at eye height and hold the other at the tip of your nose. Slide one bead close to the wall, another about four feet from your nose and a third about a foot away from you. Look at the farthest bead. You should see two strings forming a V with a bead at its point. Focus forward on the middle bead. You should see two strings forming an X with beads at its cross point. Then look at the nearest bead. You should also look at X. If your eyes work as a team, as they should, you will always see two strings crossing when you focus on the beads. If not, you can see only one string, indicating that your brain is suppressing information from your weak eye. If you see only one wire, consult a behavioral optometrist.
5. Look away
If you do close-focus work – reading, sewing, wiring or computer work – lean the front page of the newspaper against a wall about eight feet away. Every ten minutes or more, take a short break from your work and look at it, scan large headline types, small subheads and nice prints. This helps maintain your ability to focus and reduces the blurred vision that many closely focused workers experience at the end of the day.