Do eye exercises to avoid reading glasses really work? You may have heard that eye exercises can prevent you from wearing reading glasses, when you hit your 40s or 50s. This is due to a common condition known as presbyopia. This is when the lens of your eye gets rigid with age, and less able to focus at specific distances. The media has conflicting evidence as to whether eye exercises work or not. It could be a viable option, but the facts aren\u2019t solid in comparison to the evidence supporting typical vision-correction treatments. What are eye exercises and how can they benefit me? There are many different eye exercises out there. US ophthalmologist, Dr William Horatio Bates in 1891, suggested that if you exercise your eyes, you will be able to improve your vision naturally, regardless of any sight-issues you may have 1. One technique is known as \u2018palming\u2019, when you cover your eyes with your hands to block out the light. Another exercise is by rolling your eyes from side-to-side. Bates suggested that the exercises work best when you do them regularly and abstain from glasses. Whilst the Bates method aims at relaxing the eyes, recently people have been suggesting that this actually can strengthen the eyes instead. Some have tried this technique and claimed that it has prevented them from wearing glasses into older age. Beyond the Bates method2, other eye exercises include repeating the motion of moving an object at different distances to exercise focus change. Another one is practising a \u2018figure 8\u2019 motion by looking at different directions in this pattern. These techniques are meant to help with eye-strain, dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches. So are these exercises worth it? The thing is, there is not enough scientific evidence in the field of ophthalmology to back this up. You would also need to be very disciplined in regularly exercising to see any results. You\u2019d likely need to practice daily for the rest of your life. Another determining factor of your eye health is the shape of your eye. and how the light travels through your retina, to your brain 3. The same applies for presbyopia. No matter how much you exercise your eyes, you cannot change the shape of your lens inside your eye. Professor David Elliot from Bradford university describes how \u2018The lens is like an onion, with lots of layers that build up throughout life \u2014 it eventually becomes so stiff its curvature can\u2019t change any more\u2019 4. So no matter how strong your eye muscles become, the shape of your eye is unchangeable and therefore impossible to prevent vision problems developing. It\u2019s really down to genetic luck and environmental factors that take a lifetime to develop. Lens replacement surgery is a medically certified solution for you Lens replacement surgery has been practised for nearly a century. In recent years surgeons have refined and discovered new techniques and used advanced technology to maximise the best possible outcomes for our patients, and with fewer side-effects. Also known as refractive lens exchange, it involves removing the natural lens of your eye and replacing it with an artificial one. This can significantly improve your vision and reduce or completely eliminate your need for reading glasses. Additionally, the results are for life and with a 88% success rate of patients 5 achieving 20:20 vision. If you\u2019d like to find out more about if eye exercises work or how lens replacement surgery can improve your life, book an assessment with us.