What is eye yoga?
Eye yoga is one of the latest wellness trends to sweep Ireland. But what exactly is eye yoga? It involves a series of exercises which are said to benefit eye health. However, there is still no research to confirm, or disprove, these health claims. Eye yoga exercises are also unlikely to cause any harm or damage to your eyes.
As eye yoga is still a new phenomenon, there isn’t enough proof to say whether these exercises work, but it’s also too early to label them as another fad. If anything, eye yoga exercises are a good excuse to take a break from staring at screens all day, to give your eyes and mind a rest.
Allow Vision Express to discuss what is being said about eye yoga, as well as some other exercises proven to benefit your eyes.
What is being said about eye yoga?
Eye yoga involves a series of exercises which are said to improve eye health. These exercises include eye rolling, palming, blinking, zooming and focus shifting. Some claim these exercises can improve your eyes’ focus, reduce eye strain, improve vision and even treat certain eye conditions, such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. However, there is no research to support, or disprove, these claims.
Eye yoga is also said to reduce eye strain. Eye strain is a common eye condition which can occur when your eyes become tired from overuse, like when you overuse digital devices, read or even drive for too long. Eye yoga exercises are said to stimulate the muscles which move your eyes. This is said to strengthen the muscles to reduce the symptoms of eye strain.
Dry eyes are another common eye condition which eye yoga is said to relieve. There are a few potential causes of dry eye, including ageing and digital eye strain. Screens aren’t necessarily harmful to your eyes, however, when you stare at screens constantly, you tend to blink less often. Blinking lubricates our eyes, so blinking less often can lead to dry eyes.
The blinking involved in eye yoga exercise is said to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes, such as irritation and redness. There is however no research to support or discredit these claims.
Like any form of yoga, eye yoga is thought to help relieve stress, which can cause or aggravate eye strain or blurred vision. It is claimed the short focussing movements performed in eye yoga exercises work as positive stress exercises, which benefit your body and mind. These movements claim to treat hypertension and reduce headaches and anxiety, all of which can contribute to eye strain and aggravate other eye conditions. Again, there is no evidence to support or disprove these claims.
Eye exercises which work
Although it is too early to say whether eye yoga can benefit eye health, there are exercises you can do at home which can help your eyes.
Whether you’re working or relaxing, you tend to spend much of your time looking at screens, which can cause digital eye strain.
Looking at screens generally isn’t too harmful to your eyes. However, when you stare at a screen, or anything for too long, you tend to blink less often. Whether you’re reading, watching or gaming, not blinking frequently enough can lead to your eyes becoming dry and irritated.
One effective way to reduce eye strain, or digital eye strain, is by reducing how much time you spend staring at a screen. This doesn’t require you to stop completely. Regular screen breaks can work.
The 20:20:20 rule is a useful exercise which can help to reduce eye strain. For every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something which is 20 feet away. This doesn’t need to be exactly 20 feet away. A tree across the road or another building will work. 20 seconds is an ideal time, as it can take your eyes this long to completely relax.
If you struggle to remember to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes to relax your eyes, a useful tip is setting a reminder or alarm for every 20 minutes to take a break.
Unlike eye yoga exercises, the 20:20:20 rule has been scientifically proven to reduce eye strain and other symptoms, such as dry eye. Usually, we blink around 15 times a minute. However, when we stare at screens, this reduces to around 5-7 times per minute, which can cause your eyes to become dry, irritated and tired.
As well as taking regular breaks from staring at screens, using lubricating eye drops can also help to relieve symptoms of eye strain and dry eye. Taking your eyes off your screen and relaxing for a few seconds can help to refresh your mind and reduce stress, which is often a cause or aggravator of eye strain.
Because of the lack of research, it’s too early to suggest eye yoga can improve your vision or cure eye conditions. However, it is also too early to dismiss the claims as another wellness fad. However, there is no harm in trying these exercises for yourself.
If you are concerned about how healthy your eyes are or any eye conditions, you can book an eye test with Vision Express or talk to us in store.