Has your vision gotten worse after experiencing a stroke? If so, you’re not alone. Up to a quarter of stroke survivors suffer vision loss, according to the National Stroke Association. Luckily, partial recovery or natural vision improvement is possible. Start here with these 4 eye exercises after stroke.
1. Standard Pencil Exercises
Start by taking a pencil and holding it about 18 inches from your face at eye level. Then, 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. And when you’re ready for a real challenge, move the pencil towards your nose (but never touching) and then away from your face – staying focused on the pencil tip the entire time. Do 10-15 repetitions of each of these exercises.
While it might seem easy at first, these exercises are vigorous. So when your eyes feel fatigued afterward, know that it’s because you’re putting in hard work.
2. Assisted Pencil Exercises
If you have a caregiver or friend around, have them help you with this peripheral vision exercise.
Give your assistant 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.
3. Letter Searches
Similar to a word search, have a friend create a line of letters and assign you a certain letter to search for. If this is too difficult right now, draw a vertical, red line at the beginning and end of the letters so that your eyes know how far to scan.
Need a bigger challenge? Try some good ol’ word searches.
4. Computer Games
If you’re ready for some fun, try practicing online vision games from Eye Can Learn that allow you to work on your peripheral vision, among many other things. And best of all – it’s free! You can also check out Lumosity if you’re willing to spend a little on fancier games.
And with these simple eye exercises, your vision is definitely in for a workout! Stay dedicated and vigilant, as repetitive practice heals the brain after stroke.