Monday, April 13, 2009

Exercise: Eye Exercise

Home Therapy Effectively Treats Common Eye Problem

© Deborah Mitchell
Apr 13, 2009
Eye therapy, Publicdomainpictures
A simple eye exercise known as "pencil push-up therapy" can greatly improve an eye muscle coordination disorder that affects 5 to 20 percent of people.

If your eye doctor told you that a simple eye exercise you could do at home would improve your vision and your performance at work and school, would you do it? Apparently many patients don’t even though the exercise takes only moments per day to do.
How the Eye Exercise Works

The eye exercise, which can be done at home or in the doctor’s office, involves having patients visually follow a small letter on a pencil as they move the pencil closer to their nose. The goal is to keep the letter clear and single—no double vision—until the pencil touches the nose. This simple exercise should be done daily multiple times during the day or as directed by an optometrist.

Although the exercise is simple, a National Eye Institute study, published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in October 2008, found that nearly 75 percent of children who were given vision therapy in the office along with at-home reinforcement achieved normal vision or had significantly fewer symptoms. In comparison, only 43 percent of patients who completed home-based therapy alone reached similar results. Therefore, the researchers recommend that people who need treatment for convergence insufficiency use both office-based and home-based vision therapy.
What the Eye Exercise Treats

The exercise is designed to treat an eye condition known as convergence insufficiency, which means an inability to cross the eyes. Being able to cross your eyes is important, especially when you need to look at objects up close. This requires that your two eyes turn in so they are both pointing at the item you want to see.

Therefore, people who have convergence insufficiency typically have trouble reading. Thus convergence insufficiency is a significant problem among young children who are learning to read. Symptoms of this condition include losing place and concentration while reading, blurry and double vision, reading slowly, eyestrain, and headaches.