As we age, our vision is among the first senses to degrade. Our eyes’ ability to focus lessens over time, which is most noticeable while reading or using a phone or computer.
Fortunately, tech gadgets and software offer accessibility features that allow more people to access them. Google recently introduced an app for people with speech and motor impairments to make it easier to use their phones. Tap or click here to learn more.
Vision training apps claim to help improve eyesight and keep your eyes healthier. We can’t say that they definitely work, but some free apps are worth checking out if you’re sick of reading glasses or don’t want to bump up your prescription strength.
Blue screen blues
Whether browsing the web, working, shopping online, checking social media, or video chatting with friends and colleagues, we expose our eyes to blue light. While you can find blue light in fluorescent lighting, LED lights and even the sun, we hear about it more when referencing phones and computer screens.
While more studies need to be done on the potentially harmful effects of blue light, we know that it can disturb your circadian rhythm, affect your sleep and cause eye strain. Skincare experts have also linked blue light from devices to skin problems. Tap or click here to learn more.
It may seem counterintuitive to use your phone to train your vision, but these apps are designed to be used for just a few minutes at a time.
Eyes Recovery Workout
Eyes Recovery Workout is an Android app that features exercises to help restore your vision and relax your eyes. There are six exercises, and an entire session lasts just five minutes. You only need one session per day to see improvement, and you can set up notifications and reminders to keep it up.
Just follow the eye on your screen and focus on the sound prompts. The developers suggest running through the program after work or during work breaks.
With more than 500,000 downloads and a score of 4.7 on the Google Play Store, this one is worth a look. Eyes Recovery Workout is free to use with ads. Upgrade to the full version to remove ads.
Eye Workout: Eyesight Exercise
The Eye Workout: Eyesight Exercise app is available for iOS. This app has four exercises: Relax, Improve, Prevent and Refresh. You get voice-over instructions, tips for eye health, achievements to help you set goals, daily and weekly reminders, and lifetime statistics.
A dark mode reduces eye strain, and you can sync your progress to your iCloud.
Upgrade to the app’s pro version for full access to all the workouts and features. This costs $2.99 per month or $23.99 for a year. There’s also a free trial for this tier. Eye Workout: Eyesight Exercise was founded in Ukraine and is regularly updated.
Exercise your eyes without an app
We exercise our minds and bodies, so why not our eyes? Doctors can recommend eye exercises to help with specific conditions such as lazy eye. For general purposes, you can perform many eye exercises at home. Here are a few to get you started:
- Blinking: This one comes as natural as, well, blinking. When you’re focused on a screen, you tend to blink less. Take a break now and then and consciously blink as you would normally. Also, try keeping your eyes closed for a few seconds.
- Palming: Cup your hands over your eyes until you see black. This should take about 30 seconds. Clear your mind and focus on breathing.
- Figure eight: Imagine a big number 8 on its side and on the floor 8-10 feet away from you. Slowly track its shape with your eyes for half a minute, then do the same in reverse.