Eye exercise for lazy eye
What is lazy eye?
Lazy eye or Amblyopia begins in childhood itself and often goes unnoticed till later age. Simply put, it is lack of coordination between the eye and the brain. Anything that hinders clear vision in one eye leads the brain to favor the good eye. Problems like cataracts, poor vision due to shortsightedness or farsightedness, droopy eyelids, among others, can be contributing factors for lazy eye. Lazy eye poses problems in depth perception and 3D images.
Various treatment options
Treatment begins with finding the underlying cause for poor vision in one eye. If it is a cataract, then surgery is the only option. Glasses may be prescribed to correct farsightedness or shortsightedness. Once the root cause has been identified and dealt with, the main work with the lazy eye begins. The only way to cure a lazy eye is to compel it to work.
The different methods that are used for this is:
- Patching of the good eye or eye drops in the good eye to blur the vision
- Exercises for the affected eye.
Eye exercises for lazy eye
Once the child is not able to use his good eye, exercises that demand focus are used to force the lazy eye. Eventually, this training helps to improve vision in the affected eye. The exercises are chalked out depending on the age as well as the cause of the lazy eye. Normally, these are selected to make the muscles of the eye stronger and improve focusing. The aim is to encourage the brain to process inputs from the lazy eye. Once this pattern has been established, steady improvement can be observed. Some of the exercises are:
In this the child is asked to focus on a distant object and then a close object alternately. Another way would be to focus on an object and follow it with your eye as it is moved far and near. Yet another focusing exercise involves staring at a given object for some time.
This involves moving the eyes in a clockwise direction and then in an anti-clockwise direction. This is especially good for eye muscles.
In this the child traces large imaginary figures in the air continuously. These may be a circle or a rectangle in shape. Alternately, you can have an actual object in front of you which is moved continuously as you track or follow it with your eye.
Reading or drawing
Reading or drawing small objects when the good eye is covered makes the lazy eye focus closely. Solving crossword puzzles is also a fun way to exercise the lazy eye. This in turn improves its functioning.
Computer and video games have also been developed to help train the lazy eye and have shown noticeable impact on activating the eye to brain link. These work by ensuring that both eyes work in coordination. These are said to be effective even for adults for whom little treatment has been offered up till now.
Generally, eye exercises for lazy eye show remarkable improvement. However, for the exercises to be effective, it is important that they are started at a young age. After the age of twelve, the exercises offer only limited benefit. The best time is thought to be before the age of eight.
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Written by: Nandita tripati
Date last updated: January 10, 2015