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Lazy Eye Exercises

Children with normal vision learn to use both eyes together in the first few months after their birth. Their brains develop the ability to focus on images with the help of both their left and right eyes and merge the two images into a single image. This is how they form a normal two-eyed vision. However, at times children find it difficult to learn the use of both their eyes simultaneously. Their brain blocks the incoming image from one eye. This means that the otherwise normal eye leaves the child with a blurred vision owing to a neurological deficiency. This condition is known as lazy eye or amblyopia which is the most common cause of vision loss for people under forty. It affects approximately 2-3 percent of all children in the USA and UK. At times, however rarely, it is also manifested in both the eyes. Symptoms of amblyopia include blurred or double vision, poor depth perception and squinting etc. There are some corrective exercises for amblyopia which can be done with your ophthalmologist’s knowledge and consent to have a normal vision. Read on to know more on exercises for lazy eye.

Exercises For Lazy Eye

Eye Patching

Patching of the eye is the most common form of treatment used by eye specialists to treat lazy eye. The patient is made to wear an eye patch on the healthy eye for a certain period while the amblyopic eye is used for regular vision. They are asked to wear the patch for two to three hours a day for a span of three months to a year. During this period the patients also have to follow some eye exercises. By disabling the stronger eye with an eye patch, the lazy eye is forced to work harder and increase its communication with the brain. This corrective method of treating amblyopia is safe, inexpensive and effective. It also helps balance the vision ability of both the eyes by restoring proper two eyed vision while strengthening the eye muscles. The patient must wear the patch until the lazy eye no longer depends on the stronger eye.

Training The Vision

Once the stronger eye is covered or disabled with the patch, you can start training the other eye. This way the lazy eye’s muscles are put to work with the help of exercises, the duration and frequency of which will be prescribed by your doctor. Following are three most important exercises to train the vision and strengthen the muscles:

  • Rolling – Rolling the weaker eye in a clock-wise circular motion and then anti clock-wise circular motion helps improve the strength of the eye muscles.
  • Focusing – Focusing not only strengthens the muscles but it also promotes the vision ability to connect to the brain. This lazy eye exercise requires the person to concentrate on an object held in front of the eye. Then the object is moved back and forth to change the distance from time to time. Doing this slowly, several times a day, helps the lazy eye to gradually focus better on the object.
  • Tracking – Tracking is very similar to focusing except that instead of a change in distance, here the position of the object is changed. In this case, the person must focus the lazy eye on an object held in front of it. While keeping the object at the same distance, it is moved slowly from side to side, up and down and diagonally from both sides and the amblyopic eye is required to  track the movement. This exercise helps speeding up the lazy eye’s ability of sending positional change signals to the brain.
Hope you find the above mentioned information on lazy eye exercises useful. It is important to have an early eye check if there is a family history of crossed eyes, childhood cataracts or other eye conditions so that the lazy eye gets diagnosed in time.