Eye Exercises After Stroke May Help Restore Vision
As a result of my Strokes, I have vision loss in both my left and right eyes, with Blind Spots and pheferral vision loss on my left and right side. I was told I would never drive again, however after 5 years of working on my vision loss, I am finally ready to try and get my Driver's License back.
It will be a long and expensive process, but I believe it is another important step in my road to recovery and more independence. Plus, Driving will improve my overall awareness of my surroundings.
I also have a friend who has tried wearing an eye patch in an effort to stimulate her Brain's Neuroplasticity, and increase or regain her pheferral vision, Post Stroke. She claims that it has helped her, so I am going to give it a try. She has just gotten her Drivers License back, but want to be sure that she is ready, and continues to work on improving her eyesight. Great Idea.
Remember, your Stroke Recovery Stops, when you stop trying to Recover.
See the EYE EXERCISES below, and continue your Recovery.
It is never to late to start trying to recover from your Stroke. We all go through stages of Recovery, and stages of trying to recover. This is why it is so important to have different exercise programs for different times of the year, or seasons. I have a list of BASIC EXERCISES that I do everyday, regardless of the season. Then I have seasonal related exercises I do based on the weather. Never stop trying to Recover and more importantly NEVER GIVE UP!!
1. Slow Blinks
Sometimes stroke patients don’t blink because they have lost the involuntary movement. To help encourage the body to start blinking again, practice slow blinks daily.
Simply breathe in and close both eyelids, and breathe out while you open your eyelids. If you don’t have control of your eyelids, then gently use your finger to assist your eyelids.
2. Clock Rotations
Next, fix your gaze straight ahead. Then, look up at 12 o’clock with your eyes (without moving your head) and feel a gentle stretch in your eye muscles. Then, breathe out and return to a relaxed forward gaze.
Then, breathe in and look at your 1 o’clock. Repeat this all the way around so that you do 12 repetitions total.
This helps retrain the 6 eye muscles that control your eye while improving blood flow and eye health.
3. Near/Far Focusing
Next, hold your finger out in front of you, about arm’s length away. Breathe in while looking at your finger, then breathe out while you gaze into the distance past your finger.
Switch between focusing on your finger and focusing on the distance a total of 12 times.
With your eyes still focused on your finger extended in front of you, start to gently bring your finger in close to your face. Breathe in as you remain focused on your finger as you bring it closer and closer.
Then, breathe out and begin to move your finger away. This movement should feel like you’re pumping a trombone back and forth, slowly. Repeat 5 times.
5. Squeeze Blinks
Now that you’re halfway through, let’s give your eyes a little break. Close your eyelids and gently squeeze them shut.
Do NOT squeeze so hard that it hurts. You simply want to gently stimulate your eyes.
Squeeze for half a second, then relax. Squeeze, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
6. Pencil Exercises
Start by taking a pencil and holding it about 18 inches from your face at eye level. Then, with your eyes focused on the pencil, slowly move it from left to right as far as you can see without moving your head.
Return to center and then move the pencil up and down as far as you can see – again, making sure to avoid moving your head. Repeat this 5 times in both directions.
7. Peripheral Vision Stimulation
If you have a caregiver or friend around, have them help you with this peripheral vision exercise.
Give your caregiver two pencils and have him/her hold them on both sides of your face. Look straight ahead and make sure that you can see both of the pencils in your peripheral vision.
Then, have your assistant move one pencil slightly closer to you and one further away. Your only job is to guess which is closer. Do this 10 times, or until you’re bored.
8. Homemade Letter Searches
Similar to a word search, have a friend write down 20 random letters in a single line. Then, ask them to assign you a certain letter to search for. Search for at least 5.
9. Computer Games
If you’re ready for some fun, try practicing vision games with Nintendo DS and FLASH FOCUS that will allow you to work on your peripheral vision, among many other things. And best of all we have the Nintendo DS and Flash Focus in stock at www.jghrehab.ca. Go to our online store and order yours today!
You can also check out Lumosity if you’re willing to spend a little on fancier games. I played Lumosity everyday in the beginning, which really helped with my vision, cognitive and memory. Great Resource!!
Eyes Feeling Fatigued?
If you begin these exercises and your eyes feel fatigued, pay close attention.
Is it a dull ache? That might mean that you gave your eyes a good workout! Be sure to get lots of sleep and allow your eyes to rest. You’re rebuilding muscle and rewiring the brain, congrats!
If it’s a sharp pain, stop the exercises immediately and consult a vision restoration therapist. There might be complex medical issues that deserve attention.
Check out this interesting video.