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Can Eye Exercises Correct Astigmatism?

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See what our kids eye care professional has to say

While astigmatism is pretty common, it can also be an annoying vision condition. That’s because astigmatism may complicate many simple, daily tasks – such as reading a book.

When you have astigmatism, it means the cornea of your eye is shaped irregularly. As a result, light reflects unevenly on your retina, leading to blurred vision. Also, the muscles around your eyes can place extra stress on your cornea, leading to double vision, eye irritation, headaches, and eyestrain. Typically, prescription eyewear is used to correct astigmatism. However, there are also some natural ways to improve astigmatism, such as eye exercises.

Our eye doctor in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and The Solution Center, Ohio, offers comprehensive pediatric eye exams as a part of our kids eye care services. We’ll test your child’s vision thoroughly to recommend the most helpful treatments.

Astigmatism comes in two types

The kind of astigmatism you’re likely familiar with is regular astigmatism. This refers to a football-shaped eye, and the condition is usually genetic. The other kind of astigmatism is irregular astigmatism, generally caused by damage to the eye. Surgery or contacts are often needed to correct this type of astigmatism.

What these two types of astigmatism have in common is that ocular stress can exacerbate both of these conditions!

Causes of ocular stress

A number of behaviors that are common among children with astigmatism can worsen ocular stress, such as:

  • Extended computer use
  • Reading books and digital devices
  • Doing fine detailed work, such as sewing or accounting
  • Watching TV or working in dim light
  • Not drinking enough and/or lack of nutrients

Eye exercises can relieve ocular stress

We regularly provide kids eye care to our young patients with astigmatism who complain about headaches, eye fatigue, and other symptoms of ocular stress. In response, we often recommend eye exercises to strengthen the eye muscles. Eye exercises can help reduce stress and relax eye muscles. Typically, they’ll help improve vision gradually or in as little as 2-4 weeks.

When reading, working at a computer, or doing any kind of detailed work, we encourage kids to take regular vision breaks. These breaks are the perfect time to do eye exercises, such as:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. Gaze out a nearby window and focus on the scenery outside, or look into another room and focus on the artwork or shelving.
  • Blinking is another effective eye exercise that can relieve some of the ocular stress
  • Rectus muscle relaxation – place the thumb above the nose and move it clockwise around the nose, breathing deeply the whole time.
  • Eye massage – place two fingers on each eyelid and apply gentle pressure, moving slowly in a circular motion; repeat 10 -15 times, 2 – 4 times a day
  • Reading – open a book and place an object on the side. After reading a paragraph from the book, the kid should focus on the side object and keep doing that until their eyes start to get tired.
  • Head tilting – pay attention to whether your child usually tilts his or her head to one side; they should spend time each day trying to tilt their head in the opposite direction.
  • Eye yoga – while maintaining a straight posture (sitting or standing), close your eyes and concentrate on your eye muscles. Breathe deeply while moving your eyeballs slowly, side to side. Your child should do this eye exercise several times a day to help strengthen the eye muscles and improve focus.

Learn how eye exercises can help your child!

Visit our specially trained kids eye care professionals for a full evaluation of your child’s vision condition. If astigmatism is diagnosed, we’ll recommend the most effective eye exercises. We offer gentle, precise pediatric eye exams in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and The Solution Center, Ohio.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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