Can’t Get Your Eyes to Focus? Time to Exercise…

exercise-vision-focusMy husband just finished up a graduate degree that required a lot of reading. We are talking hundreds of pages each week.  Although he has great vision, he’d often find that after staring a book for hours it was hard to focus.  Not only were his eyes getting dry and tired, but he just couldn’t seem to see the words on the page correctly.

He talked to his optometrist and expected him to say that he needed new reading glasses or some eye drops.  But, to our surprise, the O.D. recommended something very simple:  exercise!

Improve Circulation

When you have a hard time getting your eyes to focus because you’ve been sitting still and reading or working at a computer for too long, proper blood flow may be the problem.  Great circulation helps your optic nerve and other visual centers get the blood and oxygen they need to work well.

Relieve Stress

Fatigue and stress– two other common challenges for anyone who is finishing up a graduate degree like my husband or just making it through the daily grind at work–can also impair your blood flow and ultimately impact the quality of your vision.  Stress has been associated with vision problems like blurred or even double vision.

What’s one thing you can do to help your body fight the effects of stress?  That’s right.  Again, the answer is: exercise!

No Marathon Necessary

If you aren’t a marathon runner or don’t find cardio classes enjoyable, don’t worry. You don’t have to be an elite athlete to get great benefits from exercise for your vision.  All you have to do is choose an activity that you like and can sustain for 20-30 minutes at a time.

If you can, choose an outdoor activity so that your eyes also have an opportunity to focus on objects in the distance and relax from staring at a book or screen.  A nice brisk walk or jog would do the trick.  A game of tennis or golf will help give your eyes some exercise too as they focus on the ball close and far away.

If that’s not possible, then try to position your elliptical machine or treadmill to face the window instead of at the television.   Looking around outside will greatly increase the visual benefits of your workout.

When to See Your Optometrist

If your vision stays blurry, or you still have a hard time focusing, then it’s time to call your America’s Best optometrist.  A thorough eye exam can help identify any other issues that may be at play.

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