The practice of exercising the eyes to overcome and even avoid certain visual disorders. Visual training or therapy is used to improve vision skills such as eye movement control and eye coordination. Programs usually involve eye exercises and the use of lenses, prisms, filters, specialized instruments, and computer programs.
Visual training is used to treat disorders related to the eyes. There is no age limit and visual training can be applied to help infants, adults and the elderly. Visual training today is very common, and the therapy is used and suggested by ophthalmologists. The branch of ophthalmology that includes the practice of visual training and eye-exercises is known as Orthoptic. Visual training can help improve vison and is also used to relieve the stress associated with extended periods of focused vision.
Following are some of the conditions where visual training and eye-exercise have been found effective
1.1 Convergence Disorder/Strabismus:
In cases of Strabismus, visual training is effective among both adults and children. Pencil push up therapy is used to help with this disorder. In this regimen, a pencil is held at arm’s length in front of the eye. The pencil is held perpendicular to the floor and then slowly drawn towards the nose. The objective is to focus on the moving pencil. When a double image is seen, the pencil must be drawn away from the nose. This process is repeated several times in each session. This exercise conditions and strengthens the eye muscles.
1.2 Amblyopia or lazy eyes: When one eye is more dominant than the other the condition is called amblyopia. The visual training for amblyopia requires the patching of the dominant eye to strengthen the lazy-eye. Research has shown that placing a patch on the dominant eye for six hours a day improves the vision of the amblyopic eye. The brain is compelled to use the weaker or effected eye and eventually gets conditioned to accept the image from the eye and gradually the problem is significantly improved.
1.3 Optic or Brain nerve injury: Under the guidance of an ophthalmologist, some of the common visual training and eye exercises include lens fixation and prism fixation. This entails a series of lenses and prisms being arranged in some specific orientations designed to train the eyes to adjust in different visual fields.
Visual training and eye exercises can reduce temporary eye-irritations induced by strain caused by focused vision. Computer users are prone to developing visual disorders due to long durations of focusing on computer screens. This problem is also being noticed in younger populous due to long hours of playing video games.
2.1 Eye movement: Intended to help maintain a full range of vision. Visual exercises are performed as follows: Sit in an upright position while looking forward; without moving your head, look up and down. This exercise can be repeated several times a day or whenever you feel strain on the eyes.
2.2 Visual rest: Resting the eyes by periodically focusing on distant objects which are located at-least at a distance of three meters (12’).
2.3 20/20/20 rule: This is an effective and fun method of resting the eyes. After every 20 minutes of computer use, take a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
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