Simple Eye Exercises

Remember how grown-ups told you not to try to go cross-eyed, well some eyes will benefit from the repeated effort, but others will not!

Exercises can not replace glasses if the eyes are long-sighted, short-sight or presbyopic but sometimes spectacles are not the (only) solution. Eyes may benefit from doing exercises that train the ocular system to work more effectively, but please do not try out any of the exercises you can see demonstrated on U-TUBE (or other social media) unless you have checked with your Optometrist first.  Just as with any other exercise, eye exercises must be done regularly and over a period of time, but done incorrectly or if the exercises are not right for your eyes they can make tired, blurry eyes worse.

Young children whose eyes look straight when wearing their glasses may still have a 'lazy eye' ( i.e. there may not appear to be a squint/turn but the vision of one eye can not be corrected to give 6/6 vision);

– the advice maybe to 'patch the good eye' to encourage the 'lazy eye' to learn how to see. This used to mean wearing an elastoplast patch for most of the day, every day but fortunately research has found that 2 hours everyday is just as effective – but it must be everyday till the vision improves (and smart, fun patches can be bought online – just make sure your child doesn't cheat!).  Bribery is always good – star charts, video games and/or toys do have some uses.

Eyes, especially young ones that are learning to read,;

– may benefit from some  simple eye exercises (NPC) that train the two eyes to work together as a team.

– or playing the Cord and Beads Game

– or using a letter cross or a letter grid to improve their tracking skills

Older children who struggle to copy words between the board and desk or screen and desk

– may find the Brock String Exercise helps. if the child's problem is copying text between the computer sceen and desk a shorter string is used, if it is the board a longer string is used

Older children with more confident reading skills but who have one eye that is 'a little lazy',

           – may find  bar reading helpful. A lollipop stick is held mid-way between the page to be read and the eyes. It effectively occludes some words from one eye, but different words from the other; when both eyes are used together the whole page can be read.;




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