15 Eye Exercises To Boost Your Eye Muscles & Improve Vision

Practical hacks to help reduce stress and irritation of the eyes and enhance eyesight.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu SinghDr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT
By Shirin MehdiShirin Mehdi  • 

Whether it is your work laptop, phone, television, or Kindle, digital screens have changed the way we look at life, literally! Since that is inevitable, it becomes more important to take conscious breaks in between to do a few eye exercises regularly. In today’s technology-driven world, our eyes are staring at screens all day long. No wonder they are constantly strained and under pressure leading to vision problems, dry eyes, and even headache and anxiety (1), (2). Eye exercises help relieve stress on your eyes, strengthen the eye muscles, improve visual reaction time, enhance cognitive performance and improve the shape of your eyes as well (3), (4), (5). Read on to know more about exercise for tired eyes.

Need For Eye Exercises

More and more people today are suffering from eye fatigue and strain because of their lifestyle and career choices. Both adults and kids spend a lot of time staring at their computer screen or mobile phone. Other factors like pollution, overuse of contact lenses, and incorrect eyeglasses also strain the eyes. So, you need to do some strain-relieving exercises – after all, we only have these two precious windows to the world. Though eye exercises cannot correct short-sightedness, excessive blinking, and dyslexiai  XA disorder that negatively affects one’s cognitive abilities like reasoning, learning, or memory . , they can be of great help in aiding recovery in the following cases:

  • Poor focus due to weak eye muscles
  • Lazy eye or amblyopiai  XAlso called lazy eye, it is diminished or poor vision caused by abnormal reasons (usually affects a single eye).
  • Crossed eyes or strabismusi  XAn optical disorder where eyes don't align uniformly while staying still or staring in the same direction.
  • Double vision
  • Astigmatismi  XAbnormality or imperfection in the curvature of the eye that results in impaired eyesight and causes blurry vision.
  • Poor 3D vision
  • History of eye surgery
  • History of eye injury
Quick Tip
Get your eyes checked regularly, and don’t avoid using glasses if you have bad eyesight. You will add unnecessary strain to your eyes by not wearing glasses.

Here are 15 eye exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere.

Top 15 Eye Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

1. The Eye Roll

The eye roll exercise for your eyes

Image: Youtube

The eye roll exercise is very effective, and when done regularly, it can help strengthen the eye muscles and enhance the shape of your eyes. So, the next time you hear something and roll your eyes, feel good about it and roll your eyes in the other direction to complete one rep. But since it’s an exercise, you must know the correct way to do it. Here’s how.

How To Do Eye Roll Exercise

  1. Sit or stand straight. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and neck straight, and look ahead.
  2. Look to your right and then slowly roll your eyes up towards the ceiling.
  3. Roll your eyes down to your left and from there, down towards the floor.
  4. Do this in the clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

2. The Rub Down

The rub down exercise for your eyes

Image: Shutterstock

This is a personal favorite. You can do this exercise even while wearing contact lenses. This means that it can be done whenever you feel eye strain and need a quick, refreshing exercise. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Rub Down Eye Exercise

  1. Sit or stand comfortably and briskly rub your palms together until they feel warm.
  2. Close your eyes and place a palm over each eyelid. Imagine the warmth seeping into your eyes.
  3. Remember not to press down with the palms on your eyeballs.

Time – 3 minutes

Sets And Reps – 1 set of 7 reps

3. The Moving Finger

The moving finger exercise for your eyes

Image: Shutterstock

This exercise is prescribed by doctors for people who have poor eye muscles. Here’s how to do it correctly.

How To Do The Moving Finger Eye Exercise

  1. Sit on a chair. Relax your shoulders, keep your neck straight, and look ahead.
  2. Take a pencil in your right hand and hold it in front of your nose. Focus on its tip.
  3. Extend your arm fully.
  4. Bring it back to the starting position.

Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 1 set of 10 reps

 4. The Eye Press

The eye press exercise for your eyes

Image: Shutterstock

Having a bad, stressful day at work? Here’s one exercise that will soothe your eyes and relieve stress – all in a jiffy! Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Eye Press Exercise

  1. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a deep breath.
  2. Place a finger on each eyelid and press very lightly for about 10 seconds.
  3. Release the pressure for about 2 seconds and press slightly again.

Time – 1 minute

Sets And Reps – 1 set of 10 reps

5. Eye Massage

Eye massage exercise for your eyes

Image: Shutterstock

This exercise reduces eye strain and dryness. Follow the steps mentioned below to do it correctly.

How To Do Eye Massage

  1. Sit straight with your shoulders relaxed.
  2. Tilt your head back a little and close your eyes.
  3. Place your index and middle fingers gently on each eyelid.
  4. Move the right fingers in the anti-clockwise direction and left fingers in the clockwise direction.
  5. Repeat 10 times before changing the direction of the circular motion.

Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

6. Blink

Blink eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

Constantly staring at the computer or mobile screen can lead to both eye and mental fatigue. In fact, it happens because we often forget to blink. Here’s an easy eye exercise to solve this problem.

How To Do Eye Blink Exercise

  1. Sit comfortably on a chair, keep your shoulders relaxed, and neck straight, and look at a blank wall.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Hold for half a second and then open your eyes.
  4. Do it 10 times to complete one set.

 Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

7. Flexing

Flexing eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

Just like you need to flex your biceps to strengthen them, you must flex your eyes to strengthen the eye muscles. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Eye Flexing Exercise

  1. Sit comfortably on a chair and look straight ahead.
  2. Look up without moving your neck and then look down.
  3. Do it 10 times. Then, look to your extreme right. Keep your neck straight.
  4. Look to your extreme left.
  5. Do it 10 times.

Time – 3 minutes

Sets And Reps – 4 sets of 10 reps

8. Focusing

Focusing eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

This is an excellent exercise for your eyes and has the potential to resolve focusing issues. Follow these steps to do it.

How To Do Focusing Eye Exercise

  1. Sit 5 feet away from a window, look straight, and keep your shoulders relaxed.
  2. Extend your right arm in front of you, stick your thumb out, and focus on the tip for 1-2 seconds.
  3. Without moving your hand, focus on the window for 2 seconds.
  4. Focus on a distant object out of the window for 2 seconds.
  5. Focus back on the thumb.

Time – 1 minute

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

9. The Eye Bounce

The eye bounce exercise for your eyes

Image: Shutterstock

This is a fun exercise you can do at work, home, and even in bed. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Eye Bounce Exercise

  1. Sit, stand, or lie down. Look straight ahead.
  2. You can keep your eyes open or closed.
  3. Move your eyes up and down quickly.
  4. Do it 10 times before stopping and resting for 5 seconds.

Time – 1 minute

Sets And Reps – 2 sets of 10 reps

10. Palming

Palming eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

This is a really nice relaxing and calming exercise. Here’s how to go about it.

How To Do Palming Eye Exercise

  1. Sit on a chair and keep your elbows on a table in front you.
  2. Cup an eye in each palm.
  3. Breathe in and breathe out. Feel the tension release. Relax.
  4. Do it for 30 seconds straight before releasing the pose.

Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 4 sets

11. Trace An Eight

Trace an eight eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

All you need are a blank wall and a chair (optional), and you are all set to do this fun and effective exercise. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Trace An Eight Exercise

  1. Imagine a giant lateral (rotated sideways) number ‘8’ on a blank wall or ceiling.
  2. Trace a path along this figure with just your eyes, without moving your head.
  3. Do it 5 times.

Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 4 sets of 5 reps

12. The Sidelong Glance

The sidelong glance eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

This is simply an exercise for healthy eyes. Just don’t creep people out by doing it in a public place. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Sidelong Glance Exercise

  1. Sit, lie, or stand comfortably and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Keeping your head still, try to look left as much as you can, using only your eyes.
  3. Hold your vision for about 3 seconds and look in front.
  4. Look right as much as you can and hold your vision there.

Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 10 reps

13. Writing Messages

 No, I don’t mean Post-it notes or DMs. This is an exercise that soothes the eyes and tones the eye muscles. Initially, this might seem impossible, but when you do it regularly for a few days, you will experience a great difference in the agility of your eye muscles. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do Writing Messages Eye Exercise

  1. Look at a blank wall at least 8 feet away and imagine you are writing on it with your eyes.
  2. This makes the eye muscles move rapidly in different directions and exercises the weak ones.
  3. Do it for about 15-20 seconds.

 Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 2 sets

14. The Double Thumbs Up

The double thumbs up eye exercise

Image: Shutterstock

Yeah, for you! And for this eye exercise that’s so easy and effective that it will almost feel like you are doing nothing. But let me tell you, its impact on the eye muscles is like no other exercise on this list.

How To Do Double Thumbs Up Exercise

  1. Sit comfortably, keep your shoulders relaxed, and neck straight, and look ahead.
  2. Hold both your thumbs at arm’s length, directly in front of your eyes. Focus your vision on the right thumb for about 5 seconds.
  3. Shift your focus to the space between the two thumbs, preferably at a distant object, for another 5 seconds.
  4. Finally, shift your gaze to the left thumb and focus on it for 5 more seconds,
  5. back to the space between the two thumbs, and then the right thumb.

 Time – 2 minutes

Sets And Reps – 3 sets of 5 reps

15. Treat The Eyelids

Exercise to treat the eyelids

Image: Shutterstock

This exercise is based on yoga. It is extremely relaxing and stress-relieving. It also helps get rid of headache that is caused due to eye strain. Here’s how you should do it.

How To Do Treat The Eyelids Exercise

  1. Sit comfortably and massage the lower eyelids very gently with your ring fingers.
  2. Start with the inner edge of the lower eyelid and gradually move outwards.
  3. You can go on to massage the eyebrows in a similar fashion after finishing with the lower lids.

Time – 5 minutes

Sets And Reps – 5 sets of 10 reps

These are the 15 best effective exercises that will help strengthen and relax the eye muscles. Apart from these exercises, here are a few tricks to get relief from eye strain.

Other Effective Eye Strain Relievers

  • Hot and Cold Compresses

This can be a great end to a hard day at work. Take a bowl of hot water and another of cold water. Dip and lightly squeeze one hand towel or washcloth in each bowl. First, place the hot compress on your eyes and eyebrows. Feel the warmth and savor it for about 5 seconds and then switch to the cold compress for 5 seconds. Repeat at least 5 times.

  • Take A Nap

Sleeping or taking a short nap is the best way to relax and rejuvenate your eyes. In fact, taking power naps can improve your productivity and enhance brain function. So, give your eyes some true rest. Also, do not sleep or wake up to laptops or mobile phones. Keep them away, close your eyes, relax, and fall asleep.

Doing all this helps, but you must also eat healthy and follow good hygiene to enhance your eye health. Take a look at a few tips for good eye health.

Tips For Good Eye Health

Tips for good eye health

Image: Shutterstock

Here’s what you must eat and avoid to keep your eyes healthy.

  • Increase your intake of beta-carotenei  XA pigment found in vegetables and fruits that is converted by the human body into vitamin A or retinol.  and lycopene-rich foods or take vitamin Arich supplements.
  • Maintain good hygiene of the eyes by washing them properly with cool water or rose water every day. Rose water is effective in reducing eye strain and itching, especially in summers.
  • Avoid touching the eyes without washing your hands.
  • Keep a check on the condition of your contact lenses.
  • Avoid too much sun exposure and try to wear UV protection sunglasses or a hat when you venture out in the sun.
Did You Know?
Dirt and other impurities can get into your eyes and cause complications. Use eye drops to keep your eyes hydrated, clean, and healthy.

There are also a few other things that you must be careful about. Take a look at the next section to keep your eyes safe and healthy.

Things To Remember

  • In case you suffer from short-sightedness or farsightedness, visit your eye doctor regularly and replace old contact lenses as directed by him/her.
  • If you contract any allergy or eye illnesses like a stye, pink eye, , do not self-medicate. Visit a doctor promptly.
  • Eye exercises cannot reverse any eyesight problem, so before subscribing to any company that promises to do so, talk to your doctor.

With increased screen time and lack of sleep, your eyes are under constant strain. Including the above mentioned eye exercises would not only help relax your eye muscles but also help improve your eyesight. This in turn improves your visual reaction time and enhances your cognitive abilities. Eye roll, eye press, blinking, flexing, focusing, eye bounce, are a few of the many eye exercises mentioned above that hardly take 3-5 minutes of your time and can be done anywhere anytime. Make sure to do these every day to help your eyes rest and relax.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I do these exercises, will I still need to wear glasses?

Yes. Eye exercises don’t treat any eye problems. They only strengthen and relax your eye muscles and may prevent further degeneration of the problem.

Could eye exercises help fix an esotropic, half-blind right eye?

No. You must seek a doctor’s help immediately.

Is closing my eyes tightly and opening them a good exercise for my eye muscles?

Do not close your eyes too tight. It may increase the strain and might even cause headache. Do a few exercises from the list above for relief.

Can you strengthen the eye muscles?

Yes, if you train your eyes regularly, you can strengthen your eye muscles. If you have some infection or condition, you must talk to a doctor first.

How do you make your eyes look bigger?

Do the side to side, up down, and eye roll exercises to make your eyes look bigger.

What are the symptoms of weak eye muscles?

Some symptoms of weak eye muscles include light sensitivity, blurred or double vision, difficulty focusing, soreness or discomfort, headache, pain in the neck, shoulders, or back, and dry or watery eyes.

Key Takeaways

  • Gently massage the eyebrows and eyelids to improve circulation and reduce eye strain.
  • Palming is a relaxing exercise where you cover the eyes with your palms to give them rest.
  • Exercises like eye-rolling, moving fingers, and frequent blinking relax the eyes.
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your eyes properly and using rose water to reduce eye itching.

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