An estimated average of one in three people use the computer for work or play every day. The majority of these people spend upwards of five hours or more at the computer. This amount of time looking at the computer screen can cause a wide variety of eye problems, including straining of the eyes. If you work on the computer for an extended period of time, try some of these tips to help give your eyes the much needed workout they need, and reduce the risk of eye strain.
The Blinking Rule of Thumb
Did you know that there is a blinking rule? Eye care specialists will agree that by following the 20-20-20 blinking rule, it will help reduce the risk of developing eye strain.
- Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer at something approximately 20 feet away from you.
- Rapidly blink 20 times. This will help you remoisten your eyes.
Like every other muscle in your body, your eyes need proper circulation in order to function and focus properly. Massaging your eyes can help keep blood flowing throughout the veins in your eyes. To massage your eyes properly, wash your hands, then close your eyes and place your fingertips on your eye lids. Lightly rub your eye lids in a circular motion. For additional benefits place a warm, damn cloth or towel over your eyes prior to massaging to help expand the veins in your eyes. This will help allow for improved blood flow during the massage process.
Eye Rotation Exercise
When you begin to feel your eyes getting tired, practice the eye rotation exercise to rejuvenate and “wake” them up again. This is an easy exercise that can be done at your office, at home, or virtually anywhere. Simply close your eyes, then roll them clockwise. Repeat counterclockwise. Then, exhale while opening your eyes. The exhale will help to ease any tension and stress you may be experiencing. Repeat this method for at least one to two minutes as needed.
Figure 8 Exercise
This exercise will help strengthen the muscles of your eyes, which will help in the prevention and treatment of amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye syndrome”. This condition typically affects children, however strengthening the muscles of the eye even for adults has proven to have its health advantages.
- Focus on a spot on the floor approximately 10 to 20 feet away from you
- While focusing in that general area, use your eyes to trace a figure 8 onto the floor
- Once complete, repeat the process backwards
Additional Tips to Help Improve Eye Health
Here are a few additional tips to help ensure you maintain or improve the health of your eyes. Some of these tips may be appropriate to do while at the office, while others you should do at home.
- Be sure that your computer monitor is in the proper position and distance.
- Reduce the amount of glare on finished surfaces and computer monitors.
- A healthy diet is just as important to your eye health as it is your overall health and well-being.
- Get a restful sleep.
- If you feel your eyes feeling dry or scratchy, keep a bottle of eye drops within reach.
The health and condition of your eyes are important to your overall health and well-being. By performing these exercises and following these helpful tips to keep your eyes in tip-top condition, you can help reduce your risk of eye strain, and possibly even other health conditions.