Maybe you guys have been following my Intermittent Exotropia journey with Alivia, maybe you haven’t. Regardless, though, did you know eye exercises are extremely beneficial even for children that don’t have an eye condition? Even if your child has pretty good vision (meaning they don’t require glasses) there is always room for improvement. Eye exercises, in addition to improving vision, can also improve hand-eye coordination, inattentiveness, and depth perception!
THE BENEFITS OF EYE EXERCISES
According to Livestrong:
Eye exercises for kids are designed to improve your child's vision as well as his hand-eye coordination. While many professional athletes perform eye exercises to help their vision on the court or field, children perform eye exercises to see the board better at school or to improve their overall coordination.
And according to eHow:
Whether your child has vision problems or simply needs to work on his or her attentiveness, spending time on eye exercises can be extremely beneficial. Through simple eye movement exercises, your child can improve the strength of his eyes. Using visual games and focusing activities, you can help your child not only control the movement of her eyes, but also improve her visual acuity.
(yep, that’s the hubby with the prism we use for Alivia’s eye exercises)
For those that are familiar with Alivia’s Intermittent Exotropia I last left off saying our Ophthalmologist recommended we start thinking about eye muscle surgery. The hubby and I were quite shaken up by the thought of our little one having surgery especially one that required anesthesia. I shuddered at the thought of my 3 year old unresponsive and alone while strangers operated on such an important part of her body, her eye (her beautiful eyes)! Since my last post, however, we decided to give eye therapy a go before making a final decision on whether to go forward with surgery. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are with our decision. In addition to patching up to 2 hours a night, I have been doing eye exercises with her 3 times a week since June. At our last eye therapy appointment, I was happy to find Alivia’s eye had improved! Not only the vision but her control over the deviation as well. Now when I see Alivia’s eye deviating outward, I can ask her to bring it in and 90% of the time she is able to (and almost immediately too)! Yep, we are pretty psyched!
So now what?
We keep at it. We be consistent. We keep encouraging her. We reward her for effort. We take her to every eye appointment and continue to check her vision. We do everything in our power and exhaust all methods of improving her vision and eye control before deciding on surgery.
And now that you know your child doesn’t have to have an eye condition to do eye exercises, I have some wonderful product recommendations that will help with focus, depth perception, inattentiveness, and overall eye control!
First, I highly recommend pencil push ups! These exercises are primarily used to treat convergence insufficiency (when your eye muscles are weak). This exercise is vital for those with any form of Strabismus. You can even get creative like I do! I use popsicle sticks with stickers to hold Alivia’s interest and keep her focused. It works like a charm!
PENCIL PUSH UPS
PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING YOUR VISION
For improving depth perception, try these Magic Eye Beyond 3D books! I recommend these for older children. They are so much fun and very addicting! They even released a Harry Potter version in 2010 (super cool)!
The products below, all in which I’ve purchased for Alivia, are fantastic for improving focus, inattentiveness, and hand-eye coordination. Her favorites are the I Spy book and the Minnie Bingo game! What can I say, the girl has good taste (they just happen to be my favorites too)!
Do you have a child with an eye condition? If so, feel free to drop me a comment. I’d love to hear your story. Maybe we can lean on each other! I may also be able to answer questions you may have especially if your child has been newly diagnosed.
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Okay folks, I guess I’ll catch you tomorrow! Have a wonderful day!