I’ve been looking into presbyopia recently. That’s the condition which requires most people over 40 or so to start needing reading glasses. According to popular wisdom, as you age, the flexibility within your eye deteriorates, and it’s inevitable that as a result, focusing on items very close to you becomes difficult and then impossible. I’m a big subscriber to the idea of use it or lose it, and I’ve been wondering whether eye exercises might maintain that flexibility for longer.
My brother, who is only eighteen months older than me, now uses reading glasses. And I’ve noticed that when I indulge in my habit of writing my journal while lying on my stomach, my page only inches from my nose, I now see in double. So… I got researching.
It turns out that there are eye exercises you can do to reduce presbyopia, but mostly they come in a reasonably expensive package and are purchased via those web pages that make me feel very suspicious because they are full of testimonials about how amazingly your life will change when you purchase their product. And then there are reviews that say it’s crap and doesn’t work, and other reviews that say sure, do eye exercises but you don’t need any expensive package to do them. I couldn’t find a free package so I started out with an exercise I learnt as a kid:
Hold your pointer finger up in front of your face, and slowly bring it in towards your nose, doing your best to keep the focus clear. Go in and out. slowly, maybe ten times.
I’ve been doing it for a few months but if there is improvement I haven’t noticed much.
Then I finally found a FREE package of exercises! You can find instructions and eye chart here and here. I printed the chart, laminated it and got to work. I just do the exercises for about five minutes most days – not very long. And at the start I found it kind of hard but after a couple of weeks I could do the exercises easily. And now, interestingly, when I write my journal up close on my stomach, the words are no longer double. There’s a slight, slight blur to them which I hope will disappear as I continue my eye exercises.
I can’t guarantee this will work for you, but if reading glasses annoy you and you want to get rid of them, apparently the exercises help most people even if they’ve been using glasses for years. And if, like me, you never want to need them to begin with, well, maybe it’s worth a try.
Happy reading.. (without glasses!)
PS if you try this, let me know how you go. I’m curious to know others’ experiences.