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Yoga Relieves Eye Problems

Long hours in front of a computer screen often causes eye problems known as computer vision syndrome. Computer vision syndrome is a group of symptoms including dry eye, eye strain, blurred vision and double vision. Millennia ago, the ancient yogis devised simple yogic eye exercises to stretch and strengthen eye muscles and calm the mind. they believed that eye yoga practice may even strengthen the optic nerve and improve vision. Now research reports that eye yoga practice can relieve computer vision syndrome including dry eye and eye strain.

The Study

The study, published in Head & Face Medicine, compared the effects of eye yoga treatment in professional computer users. Researchers from Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in Bangalore, India, administered daily either a yoga class or usual recreational activities to 291 employees of a software company for 60 days.

The yoga group took a one hour yoga class including yoga poses (asana), yoga breathing (pranayama), visual cleansing exercises (trataka) and guided relaxation. The recreational group participated in their usual activities at the company's recreational center such as watching TV, chatting with friends or working out at the indoor gym.

All of the employees worked in front of a computer screen for at least six hours daily. The researchers evaluated the participants' visual discomfort with a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study. At the beginning of the study, both groups complained of visual discomfort.

The Results

The researchers found that the yoga group had a 30 percent decrease in eye problems including dry eye and eye strain. However, the recreational group had an increase in eye complaints.

"The results of the present study suggest that a combination of yoga techniques practiced for 60 days improves self-rated visual discomfort in computer professionals, " the study authors write. "In contrast, the wait list control group who continued with their usual routine showed an increase in self-rated visual discomfort. Hence the practice of yoga can be a potential non-pharmacological intervention for visual discomfort related to working at visual display terminals (VDTs)."

The Main Point

This study is significant because it suggests that eye yoga practice can be a noninvasive treatment for eye problems related to computer work.

Your Thoughts

Are you a practicing yoga to promote eye health? Please share with us below.

Sources

Telles S et al. Effect of Yoga on Self-Rated Visual Discomfort in Computer Users. Head Face Med 2006 Dec 3;2:46.

Gavalas, Elaine. The Yoga Minibook for Stress Relief. Simon & Schuster. elainegavalas.com .

By Elaine Gavalas - Elaine's featured on the Today Show, Martha Stewart Living Today and other media. She's an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, yoga therapist and author of Yogi in the Kitchen, Yoga Minibook Series and Secr...  





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