All of us at some point in our lives have been able to experience fatigue in our eyes. Visual fatigue is a compendium of annoying symptoms, a product of the continuous work to which we expose our eyes, the result of reading effort by spending a long time in activities of intense visual attention.
To prevent or eliminate visual fatigue, methods have been designed, the most widespread is Ocular Gymnastics.
The picture of visual fatigue presents with symptoms such as redness or burning of the eyes, blurred vision, neck pain or headache.
We can then realize that the eyes are one of the most demanded organs, not only due to long hours of work, but because we have extended that demand to leisure or entertainment times, taking into account that, at present, after the daily workday, we usually distract ourselves with cell phones and tablets, thus increasing the visual effort.
Eyes to Fitness
The eyes require a good physical state where, as for the whole organism, good nutrition, physical exercise and alternation with adequate rest periods are required.
The eyes are organs made up of a number of muscles and like all body muscles, they need to be exercised to maintain their proper functioning; eye gymnastics will help maintain this condition. Eye gymnastics is one of the answers to keep our eyes healthy.
What is Ocular Gymnastics?
We call it Ocular Gymnastics, a series of simple exercises aimed at making the eye muscles more flexible and progressing in terms of visual coordination and speed of movement. In this way we will achieve an efficient and higher quality vision, positively impacting the reading act.
Ocular gymnastics has been known since the middle of the 19th century, with the creation of the Bates Method, the forerunner of that one. It is believed that this training stimulates the circulation of blood in the eyeball in all its components.
A basic eye gym routine
Within this practice and following the Action - relaxation exercise scheme, a basic routine to follow is:
Accommodative Active Gymnastics:
We take a text and read it. Then we slowly bring the text closer to the eyes as much as possible and then we zoom out as far as possible without stopping reading. Repeat the exercise.
• Follow-up: With an outstretched arm we take a pencil and slowly move it, following it with our eyes and without moving our head. Make vertical and horizontal movements, diagonally and circularly in a clockwise direction and vice versa. This is how we exercise all the eye muscles.
• From far - close: With the pencil and the arm outstretched, we fix our gaze slowly approaching it to the maximum and then we move it away.
• Alternatives: We hold a pencil in each hand, at vision level and apart. We fix our gaze on one of the pencils and then on the other repeatedly.
• Looking out the window: We stand in front of a window, at our height we make a mark on the glass, we fix our vision on the mark for a few seconds and then we look at a distant point. Repeat several times.
• Writing: First with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed, imagining slowly writing a word or drawing the number 8. Repeat several times.
• Massage with the tips of the fingers and the eyes closed; progressively massage the eyeball, around the eyes, temples and nose with circular and very gentle movements.
• Blinking: It is about blinking quickly for a few seconds since this reflex action decreases its frequency while we remain absorbed in the screens of electronic devices.
The eyes are a part of the body that is most punished in modern life, prevention is the most important; exercise, not only focused on the eyes, but in general, will always be beneficial to health. For example, we must consciously blink when we look at the computer.
Favoring the effect in the Ocular Gymnastics routine
With the mobile:
• Adapt the font size. A larger font tends to be less eye strain. In the action of bringing the mobile closer to the face, it happens that the eye muscles work harder when refocusing. This action is intensified when trying to focus small print.
• Keep the reading of the mobile, below eye level. As with the computer screen, the cell phone must be observed below our line of sight.
In front of the computer:
• The ideal minimum distance between our eyes and the computer screen should be the length of our arm.
• The top of the screen must be at eye level, leaving the monitor at the same height as the line of our gaze.
• Avoid reflections from other lights on the screen.
• Lower the tone of the screen backlight.
• Every 20 minutes, pause for 20 seconds.
It is necessary to warn about the importance of attending the ophthalmologist periodically, eye gymnastics does not correct any type of visual refraction.
Finally, we must make our daily work, study or leisure habits aware of visual effort. That is the first premise to maintain the health of our eyes.
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