Eye Exercises for Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a rare vision disorder that affects the shape of the eye. As of early 2011, the cause is unknown. At its worst, the condition causes the cornea to bulge, thin and shape-shift images into barely recognizable blobs. Remedies include corrective vision aids, and as a last resort, corneal transplant. Certain eye exercises can effectively slow vision degeneration in the early stages of the condition.

A woman is fitting a man for eyeglasses. (Image: Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Palming

Blurred vision and sensitivity to light often accompany the early stages of keratoconus. These symptoms develop from an astigmatism caused by the shifting of the cornea from a round to cone shape. Palming, an eye exercise developed by Dr. William Bates, helps to relieve astigmatism by reducing eye strain. To palm, sit or lie in a comfortable position, and place your right and left palm over your right and left eye. Relax, make sure that there's no seeping light, and breathe deeply for five to 10 minutes.

Strengthening

The keratoconus cone-shaped eye results in refractive visual errors, or the eye's inability to bend and focus light clearly on the retina. A common refraction in keratoconus is myopia, commonly called nearsightedness, which results in visual acuity loss. According to the American Optometric Association, racket and team sports help to improve your overall visual acuity and relieve myopia by revving up your eye-tracking, visual memory and reaction time, depth perception and peripheral vision skills.

Focusing

Irregular light refractions in the eye often result in double and multiple vision problems in a single eye -- monocular and polyopia diplopia -- in keratoconus. The early stages of these conditions can be slowed through swaying exercises that harness the focusing ability of eye muscles. To sway, stand with your feet shoulder-length apart, choose an object in the distance as a focal point and sway from side to side, focusing your eyes on that object as your vision passes by.

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