When you think about improving your eyesight, natural therapies are not usually the first thing that occurs to you. Most people make an appointment with their eye doctor, and resign themselves to the fact that they will be buying new glasses, contact lenses, or maybe even the dreaded bifocals.

Your eyes, like any other part of your body, can be strengthened and protected by exercise. Your ophthalmologist probably doesn't advocate this, but since about 1910, a small group of physicians and eye care professionals have been researching and advocating natural vision correction through a system of eye exercises.

Dr. William H Bates was one of the leading crusaders for eyesight improvement by natural methods. He was one of the original physicians who believed there was more to vision than the actual physical act of seeing. He believed that vision was a mind/body process that interpreted visual information. Unfortunately, for Dr. Bates, he was about seventy years ahead of his time. In his era of medicine, physicians considered the mind and body to be completely separate, with no interaction.

In the 1940's, Dr. Bates published his findings. He believed that eyesight problems were the result of the eye muscles straining to see. He developed simple stress relieving eye exercises that improved eyesight and allowed people to get rid of their glasses for good.

Over the decades, various physicians and eye doctors studied and improved on the Bates method of natural vision correction. A small grass roots group of these doctors remains to advocate for natural methods of improving eyesight.

Today's vision improvement exercises are used to correct many types of vision problems, including lazy eye (amblyopia), crossed eyes (strabismus), near or far sightedness, and ageing vision.

There are currently over two hundred different eye exercises available to treat a variety of vision problems. Most are simple, and easily fit into your daily routine. Here is one to try if you spend a lot of time on the computer. Tack the front page of the newspaper to a wall, about eight feet away from your monitor. Every ten to fifteen minutes, glance up at the newspaper, focus on the headline, the sub-heads, pictures, and smaller type. This will minimize the blurry vision you have at the end of the day, by giving your distance vision a chance to work at regular intervals during the day.

Natural eye exercises are not the total solution, but they can help you preserve the vision you have, delay the need for bifocals, and save you money on frequently changing eye glass prescriptions.

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