Improving Eyesight Through Exercising

People looking at alternative methods for improving their eyesight, might consider eye-exercises. Our eyes have muscles, too. So, exercising those muscles can mean you will end up with stronger and more flexible eyesight.

Eye health professionals speak of “accommodation” which refers to how the eye focuses. The eyeball lengthens into an egg-like shape for distance viewing and contracts into a spherical shape for near viewing. Distance vision is the relaxed state. Near vision is the contracted state. If our eyes cannot accommodate or adjust between near and far, then they have lost their flexibility. When that happens, most likely we will be prescribed glasses.

In the late 19th century an American opthalmologist, Dr. William Bates, noticed that some people, both near-sighted and far-sighted, had spontaneously improved eyesight. He also observed that those who wore glasses did not blink. Instead, they just stared. Why, Dr. Bates wondered, did doctors keep giving stronger prescriptions to their patients? Usually, when a patient is at his weakest point, his prescription medicine will be at its strongest dosage. If the medicine is doing what it is supposed to do and the patient grows stronger, his dosage will grow weaker until it is no longer needed.

Dr. Bates concluded that wearing eyeglasses created a dependency on them. Wearing glasses neither strengthened nor stabilized eyesight in patients. Those who did not wear glasses blinked more often. Those people who did wear glasses did not blink and consequently lost flexibility in the muscles of their eyes.

While it is beyond the scope of this article to provide the actual techniques, I do explain the reasoning behind three of the exercises used to improve vision. I thank Meir Schneider, Ph.D for these insights.


Blinking is completely natural and acts as a massage for the eyes. It both lubricates and maintains flexibility of the eyes. Blinking actually gives you a mini-rest because with each close of the eye, your pupils expand. With each opening of the eyelids, your pupils contract. Blinking aids in our ability to adjust changes in the light. The average person blinks anywhere from 22 to 23 times per minute. When you use a computer, you become so focused you forget to blink and the rate drops down to 6 to 7 times per minute. Ideally, you should take some time out several times a day to focus on blinking slowly and deliberately.


Absolutely never ever wear glasses or contact lenses when performing this exercise. Sunning is done with your eyes gently closed and slowly rotating your head or upper body in a 180 degree arc. You should perform this exercise before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Now the purpose of sunning is to stimulate the macula, the central part of the retina, which is sensitive to sunlight. When your eyes are closest to the sunlight, your pupils will contract and as you rotate through your arc, your pupils will dilate when you move away from the sun. This lends strength and flexibility to your pupils.

Also, sunning stimulates pigments in the melanin portion of the macula, which protects our eyes by darkening the appearance of sunlight in our eyes. This exercise helps our pupils to adjust to the varying degrees of light.


The purpose of palming is threefold: to rest your optic nerve, relax your nervous system and to restore circulation to your eyes. This exercise consists of sitting in a darkened room and cupping your hands over your eyes. The heel of each hand should be resting lightly on your cheekbones. It’s kind of like a meditative process in that you focus on your breathing and a total blackness or darkness. With palming you should be able to release tension.

Opthalmology is, of course, more complex than I have presented here. But, I wanted to give an overview of why some people feel that exercises for your eyes are so effective for regaining good eyesight.