Some people believe astigmatism comes from heredity and eye socket formation. However, astigmatism often develops or is worsened after an injury to the neck or head, according to the American Vision Institute. Vision is distorted and blurred with astigmatism because of a refractive error with the eye. However, typically it’s a minor problem associated with nearsightedness, farsightedness or a loss of focus related to aging, the institute says.
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The best way to relieve eye pressure for any sort of vision strain problem, including astigmatism, is to take regular visual focusing breaks from reading, writing and staring at the computer, according to The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. This involves focusing on other objects in the distance for at least 20 seconds at a time. Focus on objects in the distance several times a day if you're working on a computer. Also, position your computer monitor as far away as possible but where you can still read text, suggests CNNhealth.com.
Ask a friend or look in the mirror to determine whether you have a habit of tilting your head. If you do, spend time every day tilting it in the opposite direction for two or three months, according to the American Vision Institute. This helps the extraocular muscles “to adjust the force they exert on the eyeball,” explains the vision institute, and should counterbalance the astigmatism. Set up a system at home or at the office using cue cards to remind you to tilt your head the other way, suggests the American Vision Institute.
Perform neck stretching exercises daily to help relieve astigmatism. With an upright posture, slowly move your head from side to side and back and forth several times each day, suggests Eye-exercises-for-good-vision.com. Also, turn your head and look over each shoulder a few times during the exercise routine, and incorporate head circling in both directions toward the end of the routine.
Because your neck constantly supports your head, it often carries tension and builds up stress in neck muscles. Arteries between muscles in the neck work to supply blood flow to the head and the eyes, according to Eye-exercises-for-good-vision.com. Stressed and tightened neck muscles restrict blood flow, and neck exercises increase circulation. Increased circulation brings more nourishment to the eyes, adds Eye-exercises-for-good-vision.com.
Strengthen eye muscles, sharpen focus and improve vision and astigmatism symptoms with yoga exercises for the eyes, according to Yoga-vidya.org. Begin with a straight posture and either stand, sit in a chair or sit on the floor with legs crossed. First, close your eyes, breathe and meditate on feeling and becoming aware of your eyes, says Yoga-vidya.org. Begin moving your eyeballs from side to side slowly; do this several times, and end with closing and relaxing your eyes. Continue to breathe throughout your eye exercises.
Next, complete slow repetitions of looking in all directions—up and down and to the sides. Include looking up and then down at an angle, says Yoga-vidya.org. Circle your eyeballs around slowly a few times. Rest and close your eyes between all repetitions. Practice focusing on objects at different distances by holding your thumb out in front of you and alternating between focusing on your thumb and something in the distance. Add looking at your own nose as a third alternating focal point, suggests Yoga-vidya.org.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- American Vision Institute: Astigmatism and Eye Exercises
- The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: The Lowdown on Eye Exercises
- CNNhealth.com: Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes
- Eye-exercises-for-good-vision.com: Astigmatism Treatment
- Yoga-vidya.org: Yoga Eye Exercises (YouTube)
- American Optometric Association