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What Are Astigmatism Exercises?

A normal eye and one with astigmatism.
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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2014
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Astigmatism exercises are techniques designed to help alleviate astigmatism. The general goal is to lessen the need for eyeglasses, and many experts even claim that patients eventually do away with glasses altogether. Some of the exercises are focused on the eye muscles, while others are designed to correct other things like posture, which proponents of the exercises see as contributing factors. There is a great deal of skepticism in the medical community regarding astigmatism exercises because of an overall lack of research.

Many people suffer from astigmatism around the world, and it is considered to be one of the most common eye disorders along with near- and farsightedness. It causes people to have trouble with refraction in their lenses. What this basically means is that images become slightly warped or proportioned incorrectly. Most cases of astigmatism produce relatively slight visual distortion, but it can potentially be more severe. The warping also makes it difficult for the eye to focus, so people with astigmatism usually have some level of blur in their vision as well.

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Astigmatism exercises fall into two basic categories. First, there are exercises designed directly for the eyes. These may involve focusing on points in the distance or tracking moving objects. Secondly, there are astigmatism exercises designed to correct someone's posture or the way people hold their necks. Some astigmatism exercise advocates think a person's tendency to hold the head tilted, or walk with a lean in one direction or the other, may cause astigmatism by distorting the eye shape over time.

There are many experts who are very skeptical of astigmatism exercises. This is mostly because the people who favor this method of treatment haven't done very much clinical research to support it. It also generally goes against most theories regarding astigmatism causes, which are mostly thought to be genetic. There is some evidence for eye exercises that can help certain vision problems, like perceptual issues or crossed vision, but astigmatism is usually related to physical abnormalities.

The most recommended course of treatment for astigmatism is for people to use corrective lenses. These can be in the form of contact lenses or eyeglasses, and the type chosen may be dependent on the person's tolerances or the degree of her problem. Some people may choose to use both to varying degrees. There is also corrective surgery that may be appropriate in some cases.

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