Eye Exercises for Adult Strabismus

Strabismus is an eye condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned. In many cases one eye points in the proper direction while the other wanders to a different direction.

The condition may cause eye fatigue, double vision, blurred images, reading difficulty or a loss of depth perception, according to Eyecareamerica.org. In adults the disorder in which the eyes cannot align themselves for close work or reading is called convergence insufficiency. Ophthalmologists recommend eye exercises as a treatment for this disorder. These exercises will strengthen the muscles in the affected eye.

Near Focus

In the case of convergence insufficiency, the ability to focus on objects in the near field of vision is hindered. An exercise called pencil push-ups is helpful in forcing a workout of the eye muscles, according to the Mayo Clinic. Focus on a single letter written on the side of a pencil or the end of the eraser and move the pencil as close to your nose as possible while remaining focused. Repeat the movement five times a week and complete about 100 reps with each session.

Forced Focus

Special prescribed reading glasses may be available from your ophthalmologists that have a prism built into the lens. This prism will make the eyes work harder to focus. The Mayo Clinic says these lenses are inferior to other simpler exercise as they will tire the eyes and tend to have less impressive results.


While these exercises may help your situation, realise that not all strabismus conditions will be helped with eye muscle exercises. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only adults with insufficient convergence will benefit from exercising the eyes. They are rarely useful in other forms of strabismus.

Surgical Solution

In most cases, the only way to truly remedy adult strabismus is by having eye muscle surgery, according to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS). The AAPOS claims that most cases of adult strabismus began as an untreated childhood condition, and once adulthood is reached the best-case scenario is typically to have a "reconstructing" of the eye muscles to improve the condition. Exercises may prove to be effective in treating adult strabismus, but a thorough examination by a strabismus surgeon experienced in treating adults may be the best bet in determining whether exercise will solve the problem.