Eye Exercises For Strabismus
Squint eyes is a vision disorder in which the eyes look in different directions. It can be hereditary, but in children it’s linked with short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism Adults can develop it from stroke, Down syndrome, and eye or brain injuries. To help your eyes focus, do pencil push-ups and use barrel cards. A Brock string can also be used to improve eye coordination. Other ways to treat squint is to wear glasses, patches, or eye muscle surgery.
Squint eyes, or strabismus, is a vision disorder. Both eyes don’t work as a team, failing to look in the same direction. One eye can look straight ahead, but the other looks up, down, in, or out. It can happen at any age, but it’s most common in kids.1
People can be born with squint eyes from an unknown cause. The condition is sometimes hereditary, so it could even run in the families. Other times, squint eye develops in children from short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism. The eyes try to overcome these vision issues, but end up losing muscle control.2 Stroke, Down syndrome, and injuries to the eye and brain can cause squint in adults. It may also develop from childhood eye problems that were never treated.3
3 Exercises To Fix Squint Eyes
1. Pencil Push-Ups
Pencil push-ups are easy workouts that treat convergence insufficiency. This condition means that the eyes can’t converge – or move toward each other – to focus on the same thing. Aside from squint eyes, it can also cause headaches, blurry vision, and eye strain.
To do a pencil push-up, all you need is a pencil. Hold it at arm’s length in between your eyes. Move the pencil toward your nose, but try to keep looking at it. Focus on seeing the pencil as a single image. Once you see double, move the pencil away.
Studies have shown that two sets of 20 push-ups daily have awesome benefits. If this seems too much, do one set of 10 pencil push-ups each day.4
2. Brock String Workout
A tool called a Brock string can boost eye coordination. It costs about 10 dollars, but you can make one. A Brock string is usually a 10-foot cord with 3 or 5 wooden beads of different colors.
To use a Brock string, tie one end to a stationary object like a chair. Move the beads into equal intervals and hold the string up to your nose, pulling it taut. Focus on the bead that’s closest to your face. You should start seeing two strings that cross at the bead, creating an X. Aim to see an X at all the beads, except the farthest one. Here, the strings will look like a V.
This form of vision therapy can be done daily. Exercises to fix squint eyes for children can also include the Brock string since it’s like a game. The aspect of color recognition will add a fun twist.
3. Barrel Cards
Using a Barrel card is another easy way to improve convergence. Making one is simple. Draw three circles across an index card, each one a little bigger than the last. Repeat on the other side, in the same order – but in green.
To do this exercise, hold it up to your nose in a horizontal position. The smallest circles should be closest to you. Focus on both of the larger circles until you see a single red-green circle. Hold for five seconds. Repeat with the middle circle, and again with the smallest one.
Do this workout once a day. While Barrel cards are good exercises to fix squint eyes for adults, children can also benefit. You can even make several cards with different shapes and colors.
Check with your doctor before doing these exercises. He might have you do them in his office first. This way, he can give you feedback and make sure you know how to do them right.
Do these exercises in a quiet room, free of distractions (this include pets, kids, and other people in your home). It will let you focus on the workouts – literally!
Other Ways to Fix Squint Eyes
- Patch: Wearing a patch over the better eye can force the weaker one to work harder. Eventually, its muscle and vision will get stronger. Be sure to wear the patch for as long as you’re told.
- Glasses: Both children and adults can benefit from glasses. Again, use them as directed.
- Eye Muscle Surgery: Eye muscles can be strengthened by shortening them. The outcome is great, and you can typically go home that same day. It’s mostly done in children but adults can get it as well.5
Early detection is key for proper treatment. Both kids and adults should regularly visit the eye doctor, even if they don’t wear glasses. It’s the best way to help both eyes stay in good shape.
References [ + ]
|1, 2.||↑||Squint. National Health Services|
|3.||↑||Strabismus (Crossed Eyes). American Optometric Association|
|4.||↑||Kim, Kyung Min, and Bo Young Chun. “Effectiveness of home-based pencil push-ups (HBPP) for patients with symptomatic convergence insufficiency.” Korean Journal of Ophthalmology 25, no. 3 (2011): 185-188.|
|5.||↑||Eye muscle repair. MedlinePlus|