Eye Exercises

Sometimes your optometrist may recommend specialised eye exercises to help improve your visual system to see better and more comfortably.

Accommodation and Convergence Exercises

These exercises are to improve the strength and flexibility of the focussing (accommodation) and pointing (convergence) systems. The procedures will typically need to be carried out daily for 4-6 weeks before there is a noticeable improvement in symptoms. Our optometrists will usually schedule a follow up visit after 6 weeks of treatment. Occasionally you might experience some eye discomfort when first starting the exercises but these usually recede as your visual system begins to improve.

Pen-to-nose

Hold a pen or pencil about 35cm in front of your nose. Concentrate on it’s tip and slowly bring it closer towards you. Continue moving the target towards your nose until it becomes doubled. Don’t  move the pen, but instead look into the distance and relax your eyes for a few seconds. Now move the pen away from your nose until it looks single again. Repeat this 30 times each day.

Distance Rock with Pen

Hold a pen or pencil as close to your nose as possible so that you can see it as a single image. You should feel some eyestrain, but the pen should not be doubled. Don’t  move the pen, but instead look into the far distance and relax your eyes for a few seconds. Look back to the pen ensuring it is still single and hold for 3 seconds. Continue looking back and forth for 30 cycles each day. As you improve, try to hold the pen closer to your nose.

Monocular Distance Rock with Print

For this activity you will need a newspaper or magazine with small print and to work in a well illuminated area. Cover one eye with your hand and look at the print with the other eye. Start with the print at about 35cm from your nose and slowly bring it closer to you until it becomes too blurry to read. Now look away into the distance and relax your eyes for 3 seconds. Move the page back to 35cm and begin again. Repeat this for both eyes 20 times each day.

Binocular Distance Rock with Print

For this activity you will need a newspaper or magazine with small print and to work in a well illuminated area. Keeping both eyes open, start with the print at about 35cm from your nose and slowly bring it closer to you until it becomes too blurry to read. Now look away into the distance and relax your eyes for 3 seconds. Move the page back to 35cm and begin again. Repeat this procedure 40 times each day.

Brock’s String

Attach the looped end of the string to a hook on a wall so that it is at eye level or slightly lower and hold the knotted end to the tip of your nose. Move one of the beads to the middle of the string and look at it. You should see one bead with 2 strings running towards your eyes and crossing at the bead. Where the strings appear to cross is the actual place that your eyes point to. Ideally they should both be pointing at the bead.

  • If the string crosses behind the bead, move the bead away from you and concentrate until the string crosses through the middle of the bead.
  • Now move the bead towards your nose very slowly whilst trying to keep the string crossing in the middle of the bead.
  • If the string crosses behind the bead and you cannot centre the strings on the bead, move the bead back and start again.
  • If the string crosses in front of the bead, move the bead towards you and concentrate until the string crosses through the middle of the bead.
  • Now move the bead away from your nose very slowly whilst trying to keep the string crossing in the middle of the bead.
  • If the string crosses in front of the bead and you cannot centre the strings on the bead, move the bead closer and start again.

Try and do the exercises for 5 minutes each day until you are able to look at a bead anywhere along the string and make the string appear to cross at that point quickly and with little effort.

*If you experience eyestrain then try doing fewer repetitions all in one go and spread them out into 2-3 sessions through the day.