Are you considering eye surgery to fix your astigmatism? Before you make that decision, there are some things you need to know. Of the 700,000 surgeries performed in 2017 to fix refractive errors like astigmatism, nearly half suffered from dry eyes and other symptoms post-surgery long-term. You don’t want to trade one vision problem for another. Luckily, more and more people are learning how to treat astigmatism with natural remedies like eye exercises, and you can too.
What Is Astigmatism?
Normally, the front of your cornea curves to fit the surface of your eye. Astigmatism is when one area is flatter than the other. As light tries to pass through the cornea to the retina, the uneven surface of your cornea misdirects it. This causes blurry vision.
The most common symptom of astigmatism is blurry vision. It can be very distracting and debilitating to deal with. Simple tasks like reading a book or being on the computer are a struggle with astigmatism. You may also notice other symptoms like eyestrain, headaches, and eye irritation.
If you’ve had a checkup with your eye doctor, they likely gave you three options for treating astigmatism: prescription glasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery. What they didn’t tell you was that there are natural ways you can treat your astigmatism that won’t cost a penny. Eye exercises and taking vision-boosting vitamins can improve your vision.
Do Vision Training Exercises Really Work?
Believe it or not, eye exercises can help you with your astigmatism. Eye muscles are like any other muscle in the body; if you don’t use them, you lose them. You may think you’re using your eye muscles every day that you open your eyes, but you’re not. Many of us use our eyes to stare straight ahead at the computer screen or at the road ahead. Our eye muscles are capable of so much more and most of us aren’t using them to their full potential.
It’s crucial that you exercise your eye muscles every day. Besides only looking straight-ahead, you need to use your muscles to look all around. Remember that treating a health issue naturally won’t fix the problem overnight. You need to give your body a chance to build strength and heal.
Below are three exercises you can do at home to work on your astigmatism.
Exercise One: Varying Focus Exercise
The first exercise to strengthen your eyes is to read. OK… it’s a tad bit more complex than just picking up a good thriller and settling in for the evening. You need to read from varying distances to train different eye muscles. Here’s what to do:
- Start in a safe, seated position without wearing any corrective lenses. Pick out your favorite book.
- Read one page of text in your book (or read through an eye chart if you happen to have one). Next, avert your gaze to a different object that is a couple of feet away. It could be a plant, the couch, or art on the wall.
- Switch back to the book you were reading and read another page of text.
- Again, switch to the other object that is farther away and focus for 30 seconds before coming back to the text.
- Continue focusing on near and far objects like this for a few minutes or until your eyes feel tired.
It’s important not to squint or strain your eyes while doing this exercise. If your eyes become sore and tired take a break from the exercise and come back later in the day. Over time, you should find that you can continue for longer periods of time before your eyes become tired. This is proof that your eye muscles are getting stronger and your vision is improving.
Exercise Two: Check Your Head
People with astigmatism tend to tilt their heads in one direction or another to see. The cornea’s unevenness creates an inaccurate perception of what looking straight ahead is. One natural way to treat astigmatism is to be aware of your head tilting. If you’re tilting to one side, try tilting your head in the opposite direction of what feels most comfortable. It will feel uncomfortable at first. Your muscles are used to doing the wrong thing and need retraining.
It takes some time to get used to paying attention to the tilting. Our body wants to automatically compensate for astigmatism and tilting becomes a habit. It’s normal not to notice it at all. Consider asking a friend or your family to point out when they notice you tilting your head to see. If you correct it each time you notice, you can retrain your body. Your eye muscles will learn to see straight-ahead without tilting. It just takes a bit of time and patience.
Exercise Three: Fun with Paper
Who says exercising can’t be fun? If you want to try something a bit different, here’s a good one for you! This exercise is will strengthen your peripheral vision.
Get a piece of paper that is long and wide enough to cover both of your eyes. The paper should be long enough to cover your eyes but not block your side vision. You may want to use thick paper for this exercise so that you can’t see through it. Like all eye exercises, make sure you feel safe and comfortable. Follow these steps:
- Start without wearing any corrective lenses.
- Using a piece of tape, attach the paper to your forehead just above the bridge of your nose. You want the paper to block your forward vision while allowing you to see from the corners of your eyes.
- Next, raise one hand up to the side of your eye where the paper ends.
- Without moving your head, try to see each finger in your peripheral vision.
- Now, move on to the other side and do the same.
- Continue to do this for a couple of minutes or until your eyes get tired.
This exercise will strengthen the eye muscles that aid your peripheral vision. People who work on the computer and have astigmatism may have difficulty with it. Keep practicing and it’ll become easier.
By doing eye exercises every day, you can improve poor vision due to astigmatism. You don’t need to resort to eye surgery or surrender to a lifetime of eyeglasses. There are natural and easy ways to repair your vision yourself. Practice these eye exercises and a few more, and take a daily eye vitamin. With a little time and effort, your vision will improve.