Exercises for a lazy eye

Updated February 21, 2017

Did you know that amblyopia, or "lazy eye," is the most common cause of vision loss for people under 40? Luckily, it is possible to correct a lazy eye by strengthening its muscles and connection to the brain through a series of exercises. These exercises for a lazy eye should be done in conjunction with your eye doctor's treatment and with his knowledge and consent.

Eye Patch

The most common form of treatment for a lazy eye is to disable the stronger eye with an eye patch (or blurring drops or a corrective lens) in order to force the lazy eye to work harder and increase its communication with the brain. The length of time that an eye patch should be worn will be prescribed by your doctor.

Rolling, Focusing and Tracking

Once the dominant eye has been covered or disabled, the lazy eye's muscles can be put to work with the following exercises. The duration and frequency of these exercises should be prescribed by your doctor.

Rolling Roll the weak eye in a circle to improve the muscle's strength.

Focusing Focus the lazy eye on an object held in front of it. Then move the object back and forth slowly, forcing the lazy eye to focus. This will not only strengthen the muscles, but improve the eye's connection to the brain.

Tracking Focus the lazy eye on an object held in front of it. Move the object slowly from side to side, up and down and diagonally while keeping it at the same distance.

Read Small Print

Reading small print with a lazy eye will force it to exercise. Crossword puzzles, books and other word games with small print make wonderful exercise tools. This exercise should be conducted at least one hour a day while the dominant eye is disabled (or according to your eye doctor's instructions).

Video Games

Specialists at Tel Aviv University are testing a computer therapy game, developed in 2009, which corrects the activity of neurons in the brain that control eye function. And while it has only been tested in adults, preliminary results showed that 20 hours of playing the video game had the corrective power of 500 hours of wearing the patch.

While your average video games do not boast the same therapeutic powers, eye doctors often recommend that children play them one hour a day to exercise a lazy eye.

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About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.