April 28, 2012
How to relax the eyes (including eyeball muscles)
This blog post contains my notes from the internet. The final list of exercises that I do use, has been mentioned in the main blog post, above.
This turns out to be an important field of knowledge for those who work extensively on computers and read a lot of books (e.g. a person like me). This blog post will compile all relevant information I find on the internet on this topic, with the aim of summarising key insights in due course (after testing them).
I bought exercises for $10 from here: http://www.instant-sitting-pain-relief.com/computer-eye-strain-headaches/computer-eye-strain-headaches-migraine-jaw-pain.html
and these are quite good.
This hypnosis idea is a good one, for it does relax the upper eyelid muscle, and hence, through that process, the rest of the eye muscles.
This is an important article: http://realtaiji.com/5-taiji-eye-exercises-to-help-you-see/
EYE MUSCLE STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
Probably the best I've come across so far: http://www.edurite.com/kbase/how-to-relax-eye-muscles
(need to read and understand it more carefully)
THIS IS GOOD!
Tromboning – You need to hold a small object, starting at arm's length. Then you have to breathe in and move the object slowly closer to your face, until it touches your nose. You are then required to breathe out, looking at the object as you again move it away from your face. [Source] (I find that taking the finger "sausage" from arms length to nose/ and back is very relaxing for eye muscles).
Don’t focus or stare; just gaze softly into the visual field. Whenever sight collapses down to a particular object, relax and gently let your peripheral vision widen again to include the whole visual field. [Source]
Do not stare at an object, sketch it as if your nose was an invisible pencil. [Source]
Shuttling the O [SOURCE]
The technique is called "Shuttling the O", and has been found to relieve pain, increase blood flow circulation to the eye, and clearing the eye of debris. here is how the technique is done:
Close your eyes, and visualize a big black round O.
On the left side of the curve, put a black dot; on the right curve put another black dot.
Point your nose from one dot to another, from side to side, until the "O" seems to shuttle out of the way as you go from one dot to another.
GAZE AT A FLAME
. Keep the flame on a reasonable height in the front of the eyes. It should be at a distance of about three feet. In the first, stage gaze at the flame without winking for sometimes. Then close the eyes gently. Open the eyes again and try to gaze at the fame for a longer period now. Finally close the eyes and stay at rest with closed eyes. Continue this practice for one week daily for five to seven minutes. In second stage gaze at the flame as long as the eyes are not filled with water. Then close the eyes gently. Open the eyes and gaze at the flame as before. Continue this practice for the second week for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Don't push it too far. If you need to blink your eyes a little, do so. I did it lots of time and I still have 20/20 vision. Once your body starts to present 'pleasantness' in some form, then either switch to noting or your vipassana practice, OR if jhana territory is the aim, then shift your attention to the pleasantness within the body and make it fullbodied by expanding that awareness panoramically filling up the whole mind/body with such pleasantness. Don't worry about the afterimage. I hardly ever focused on it and it always disappeared after a few minutes. I shifted all focus to 'pleasantness' manifesting in the body due to concentrating the mind. Experiment! [Source]
Generally similar eye exercise hints
http://www.visionworksusa.com/computereyestrain.htm THIS IS GOOD.
This is well done: http://www.totemdog.com/eyesite/index.html
Close your eyes and concentrate completely on the muscles around your eyes. Tell yourself that you are in full charge of your eye muscles.
Imagine that your eye muscles are so relaxed and heavy, you can't open them. As you practice increasing your focus and you enter a state of self hypnosis, you'll actually find it difficult to open your eyes.
Practice relaxing your eye muscles for a few minutes, and then allow your eyes to slowly open. Continue to breathe deeply as you continue to relax the other muscle groups of your body. [Source]
Much less useful
http://www.eyecollege.com/productpurchase.asp (this is too expensive, and not sure it works)
This (above) video is not bad. In particular it asserts (correctly) that eye muscles are controlled BY THE NECK. That is a key point.
Let your mind think about pleasant things such as people, places, or things that bring you joy. Thinking pleasant thoughts helps relax the eyes which make them softer. The softer the eyes are the more easily they fit into their sockets. When the eyes are relaxed, they don’t stare or strain. [Source]
The above are not exercises but acupressure things and I DON'T THINK THEY WORK. THEY HAVE NO DIRECT EFFECT ON EYE MUSCLES.
General relaxation (not related much to the eyes)
Not particularly useful:
This is great. I am trying this after years of computer overuse – been through vision therapy over the past year and am now done with it – this is very helpful and I am beginning to do these exercises. Thanks so much for the links and tips, and please let us know how these exercises are working out for you.
These exercises are definitely helping. I’m amazed at how badly tight my eyeball muscles had become. It is now three months after I started the exercise regime, and while 80 per cent of the symptoms (actute pain/ jarring and scratchy sensations/ light sensitivity, etc.) have disappeared, there are clearly many tight muscles still inside. I find myself doing these exercises about 100 times a day, at every possible moment when I have spare time (e.g. on waking from bed/ walking/ sitting/ etc.).
The good news is that the situation is largely tolerable, although after any focused activity (such as meeting someone, or long computer work), soreness increases significantly, even some burning.
I know that this is the right path to the solution, so I’ll keep plugging away.
Great to hear that it's getting better! I have been doing your posted exercises wherever I go – got the posts printed out and videos saved – these exercises are great! Keep up the good work. 🙂
Sorry, looks like you are looking at the wrong blog post. This is merely a compilation. The real solution is here: https://eyestrain.sabhlokcity.com/2012/04/the-remedy-or-cure-for-to-terrible-eye-pain-and-eye-strain-from-excessive-computer-use/
I noticed I commented in the wrong section – I was referring to the other post though, thankfully! I have a question about the air massages: do you straighten your fingers so that you are staring at a hand (darkness – like palming, except 1 cm away) and imagining that you are gazing through the fingers? By straightening, I mean a position such as this: http://cast.thirdage.com/files/styles/slideshow/public/originals/arthritis-ex-fingers-straight.jpg
Or, do you relax your fingers so you can actually see through your finger's peepholes (the space between the fingers). I've found that either way produces somewhat of a sensation. If you could help with this, I'd appreciate it!
Hope you're having a good weekend,
Just move them around. In the initial days (when the muscles were extremely tight) any atypical movement of the eyeballs would help release the muscles a little bit. Now that effect is wearing down, as muscles have been mostly released. Now I have to do more extreme stretches (e.g. starting HARD from corners of eye for 30-40 seconds).
Were there periods of time as you progressed with these exercises that the process of releasing this muscles (i.e. doing these exercises) involved some pain/soreness? The exercises are helping a bunch, but on some days my eye muscles feel more pain/soreness during the day (before, after and during exercises). Just wanted to make sure! This is going great!
I always experience some pain/soreness on days in which I do extreme exercises for a long time. That’s merely the muscle fibres ‘breaking’ and rebuilding. That’s typical of my RSI experience. However, as a rule, the following day after such extreme exercises is better. Overall, if I didn’t do computer work for over 12 hours each day even now, and merely focused on exercises, I’d be way better in just about 10 days.
But I’ve got to do other things in my life, so I know that this issue will continue for a long time, easing slowly over the months. It won’t ever go away permanently, based on my experience with RSI.
You've included all most all the ways of relaxation.
I also use The Law Of Attraction to get rid of eye strain and almost every health problem.
Worth mentioning in this post 🙂
I'm also finding that moving my head around while doing these exercises leads to more creaking sounds (not sure if that is recommended) – any input or comments would be greatly appreciated!
Jason, I’ve experienced the same. Some of these sounds definitely emerge from the neck, so that’s not necessarily eye muscles, but most are eye muscles.
I find that the more the creaking sounds I hear in my head, the better I feel later. In fact, creaking sounds have virtually stopped now in most cases, since the “easy wins” have been achieved. Now the smaller but harder tightness remains. A tiny bit of general soreness and pain, and tightness in moving eyeballs to the corners of eyes.
More exercises here: http://eyepitstop.com
I've been using a computer – laptop and desktop – for many years and been using a camera for many, many years, both – often – in a poor posture. Recently I have developed a sort of tinnitus, which I feel is related to the poor posture and the eye strain, and the mental/brain strain that goes with working intensely. Do you have any opinion of the connection between tinnitus, and the eyes, brain, and posture?
Will any of these exercises help with Nystagmus and Osilipsia caused by MS?
I’m afraid I’m not aware of these issues. In any event, this was merely some initial research I had conducted for my own eye issues – which turned out to be due to excessive computer use.
Greetings, Mr Sabhlok
I’ve been having terrible eye strain for about 4 years now. I’ve been to MRI, multiple eye doctors, neurologists and otoneurologists – nothing wrong was ever found.
The symptoms you describe are 90% identical to mine – so I guess it must be the same issue with me too.
I’ve been following your advice for a month now and a lot of things seem better. A big THANK YOU for that.
I’d love it if you can give your answer to the following few questions so that I’m able to progress more quickly and less painfully. Thank you in advance!
1. Should I start with easier eye exercises and stretches and gradually progress to more extreme ones? Sometimes, when I do a certain extreme stretch, I feel my eye muscles becoming even more strained. What’s your opinion on this?
2. What is the best way for you to relax your muscles? Is it by closing them, laying a warm towel on them, stretching them or something else?
3. If your eyes get really bad – to the point of being dizzy and aching and nauseous – what are the things you do that help you calm things down?
4. I feel that the muscles that are strained the most with me, are those below the eye – e.g. when I look towards the ceiling, I feel a burning, tightening sensation. Do you have any concrete suggestions on how to tackle that? Should I stretch in the same direction (towards the ceiling) or opposite (towards the nose) or something else?
5. It’s been 5 years since you started treating your eyes. How are you doing now? What seems to help you the most?
Again, thank you very much for your great advice. I hope that if I keep on following it, in 6 – 12 months I’ll start seeing some real good results.
Strictly my experience – for whatever it is worth:
– I do a range of exercises (e.g. rotating) and stretches/ presses of the nose/cheek muscles, etc. automatically during any spare moment I have, and mostly at home. Plus applying a warm compress once in a while, if I get time. I never do the exercises till it hurts. Always stop after a bit. These are tiny small muscles and no point in straining them. The goal is to loosen them (and particularly the gunk/ lactic acid build up inside them).
– My eyes/cheek/nose muscles are pretty close to normal now, but not entirely normal, so I keep up the work as part of normal life. Every few months there is a significant improvement, and in any case, pain and other acute symptoms have long gone.
I would suggest working out your regime for yourself by experimenting with a range of exercises. This takes time – given these are tiny muscles, so patience is important.