Eye exercise for developers

According to conventional wisdom if you get glasses for your eyes you will need them for the rest of your life. It’s quite convenient for eye doctors and opticians because it nicely lines their pockets. William Bates showed at the beginning of the 20th century that a simple eye training was able to improve the eyes. To this day the exercises are called “not evidence based”.

For me the trigger to do something was I had problems with writing - that had become really fuzzy. I didn’t want any bifocal glasses. To use them you have to move your head constantly. Which is a really bad idea.

No pain
The exercises should be fun. If you find them uncomfortable or even painful then stop and find a doctor.

No speed
The exercises should be slowly. Don’t overdo them. This isn’t a sports exercise - don’t force the result. In the beginning an exercise may feel odd. In this case try them again.

Buy yourself some cheap glasses with one diopter less than your original glasses. Now train. The less you use your glasses the better.

How long does it take?
As usual: it depends. The worse your eyes are and the less you train the slower the change happens. For me it was a week until I saw an improvement. It took a couple of weeks until was were I wanted and I could drive without glasses again. Now I only need to train every couple of months.

Snellen table
Print out the Snellen table and pin it to the wall. Step 3 meters away and check your status. Check out both eyes individually. My left eye is quite different compared to the right eye.

Extend the range of the eye movement:
We are used to look straight at computer or mobile. Give your eyes a bit of movement:

  1. Look from upper left to lower right and back. Do this 20 times. Now from upper right to lower left. Again 20 times.
  2. Upper left to upper right to lower right to lower left to upper left. Repeat 20 times.
  3. Make an imaginary rectangle with your eyes and explore the borders. Slowly. Examine the colours, the texture, light and shadow along the rectangle.

Palming your eyee
This is THE exercise to totally relax your eyes. Put your hands over the eyes so that everything is black. Don’t close your eyes. 30-60 seconds.

The swing exercise for the distance:
Position yourself in front of the Snellen table so that you see a row in the lower area a bit fuzzy. Move your upper body to the left and to the right. Move your eyes over the contours of the letter in the focused row. Move the body and the eyes back and forth. Slowly.

Palm your eyes.

Open the eyes and focus them on your row.

Even during the first step you should see the row clearer. After the palming the row becomes crystal clear. It doesn’t last. But if you do the exercise a couple of days then the change will last.

For writing/reading/computer:
The book from Leo Angart has some exercises. I found that reading the smallest possible font on the computer and then going smaller and smaller for short periods helps the most.

This is only meant as an introduction!


Thanks for sharing - I’ve just spent most of the day staring at some old Xojo code on a laptop
and thinking ‘Hmm might need to wear glasses for this’ !

Is the Leo Angart book “Improve Your Eyesight Naturally”?

Welcome @steeley