Quick tips to look after your eyes and make their health your top priority.Dr. Keiki Mehta

Do you spend your day staring at a computer screen? If you do, you probably know how draining and tiring it is, not just for your eyes but also your body.

Even if you’re lucky to have perfect 20/20 vision, taking care of your eyes is important. Exercising the eyes is as important as exercising your body.

The eye is designed to work best in a position of depressed convergence. This means at 25° angle below eye level in a downward direction. As long as this angle is maintained, whether reading a book while sitting down or lying on your stomach, it doesn’t affect vision. However, the effort to maintain a fixed gaze at a rapidly moving object tires the eye’s internal mechanism leading to strain. Similarly, reading in dim light leads to strain. This is because your pupils dilate in order to allow more light to enter the eyes. Straining can lead to persistent headaches, fatigue, blurry vision and loss of the ability to focus.

A common cause of eye fatigue is staring for long periods at digital devices such as computer screens, smart phones or video games. This is known as computer vision syndrome. Any activity that causes one to focus intensely for extended periods may result in decreased blinking, which leads to dry eyes.

Eye exercises help in two important ways. Mechanically, they improve the eye’s mechanical stability by coordinating and strengthening the eye muscles. They increase the ability to focus. Optically, they improve the optical image co-ordination between the two eyes. This allows the eyes to relay a three-dimensional accurate image to the brain, which then sends a signal allowing us to see the image.

Eye exercises also help increase the eye’s range of movement, especially by exercising a weak muscle. They also permit eye movement, especially in persons who wear spectacles or have their eyes fixed at a particular position for long periods, like typesetters and painters. In case of a squint, exercising a particular group of muscles can cure or radically reduce the squint. Even if an eye is operated upon, exercises can build up the capacity of the eye to virtually normal limits. They also improve the ability to maintain focus in depressed position (the eye turns in and bends down during reading).

However, there are some things eye exercises cannot do like reduce/increase spectacle number, remove your dependence on spectacles, help avoid spectacles, cure cataract, glaucoma or any organic disability, change the basic shape of your eyeball, or shape of your cornea, or reverse aging process either.

But their benefits are many. Your eyes are just like any other part of your body; they need rest and recuperation after a day’s work to repair and strengthen themselves. Exercising your eyes regularly will help you make sure you don’t feel fatigued or tired at the end of the day and ensure that you have dewy fresh eyes always.

Email: keiki_mehta@yahoo.com