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What Are the Best Lazy Eye Exercises?

Eye drops can be used as part of lazy eye exercise.
Reading fine print, such as that in crossword puzzles, is a good lazy eye exercise.
People who stare at a computer screen all day may benefit from exercises to strengthen eyesight.
Identifying a child's lazy eye by age six will allow a greater chance of correcting it.
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  • Written By: Kaitlyn N. Watkins
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2014
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Ambloypia, or “lazy eye” is often confused with crossed or turned eyes, also known as strabismus. When a person suffers from a lazy eye, it means the eye is not transmitting images correctly to the brain. The image becomes blurred or is ignored by the brain and the correctly seeing eye. A turned eye can cause lazy eye because the muscles used to focus may become weaker. When prescribed by a doctor, eye exercises can be very effective in making a lazy eye stronger and can improve the communication between the brain and the eye. Some of the best lazy eye exercises include palming, tracking, focusing, reading small print, coloring and playing video games.

Palming is an exercise that actually helps the eyes relax and is best done as a warm up immediately before attempting other exercises for lazy eye. Both eyes should be covered with the palms of the hands, while the eyes are closed. The idea is that the hands will block out any penetrating light and help the eyes achieve complete relaxation. The eyes should remain closed and unfocused until most of the spots and flecks of color in the field of vision fade away, indicating that the eyes are relaxed.

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Another way to improve the strength of eye muscles is through tracking and focusing. These lazy eye exercises involve covering the strong eye with an eye patch, hand, corrective lens, or using eye drops to blur vision. An object is then moved up and down, diagonally, and from left to right in front of the field of vision, forcing the lazy eye to track it. Focusing involves bringing an object close to and then moving it away from the face, forcing the lazy eye to change focus as the object moves. Both of these exercises should be done regularly to maintain progress and in consultation with a doctor.

Other lazy eye exercises that are easy to incorporate into an everyday routine include reading fine print and coloring. Fine print can be found in books, newspapers, crossword puzzles, bills, catalogues and other mail. Coloring, especially within the lines of a design, can be an effective and relaxing exercise for adults and especially children suffering from ambloypia. Both of these lazy eye exercises should be performed while the healthy eye is covered or disabled, and the activities should last for an hour or as directed by a doctor.

A study originating in Tel Aviv in 2009 has found that video games can also be beneficial lazy eye exercises. It was found that adults who played a computer game for 20 hours experienced the same corrective benefits as patients who wore a corrective patch for 500 hours. While the study was performed on adults using a specially developed therapy game, doctors have suggested that patients may benefit from playing a commercial video game for up to an hour per day.

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SteamLouis
Post 3

I had never heard before that playing video games may help with lazy eye. If it's true, then that's great. I wore a corrective patch when I was young but it was not fun because everyone made fun of me in school. If we had video games back then, I would have preferred to play video games.

I guess the key part is playing video games for the right amount of time. Because I know that playing video games or watching TV excessively actually makes vision first. So a doctor should be advised before using video games for lazy eye.

fBoyle
Post 2

I don't know if doctors still use this method but when I was young, if a child had a lazy eye, the doctor would give an eye patch for the strong eye. So the lazy eye would be forced to work harder and the muscles and brain to eye coordination would naturally improve. Although it might seem old fashioned, this is probably one of the best ways to improve vision in those suffering from a lazy eye.

Of course other lazy eye exercises such as searching for a letter in the newspaper or moving the eye to the far up, down, right and left will help as well.

stoneMason
Post 1

In a way, I do palming all night because I wear a sleep mask when I go to bed. I also believe that all light must be blocked out in order for eyes to relax and rest. The quality of sleep I get without a sleep mask is not the same as the quality of sleep with an eye mask. And well rested eyes are important when there is lazy eye.

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