We all know that feeling — your eyes are tired, strained and begging for relief after a long day of staring at screens. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to give your eyes the rest they need. Joel H McGahen OD, a renowned eye care professional in Chambersburg, PA, is here to share some expert tips on how to relax your eyes.
The Importance of Eye Relaxation
Eye relaxation is no trivial matter. Strained, overworked eyes cause discomfort and can lead to more serious issues like headaches, blurred vision and even long-term vision problems. An eye doctor‘s advice can be pivotal in preventing these problems before they escalate.
Ways to Relax Your Eyes
Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
Working professionals and students spend much time in front of screens. To help mitigate the effects of digital eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, try to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This change in focus eases the strain on your eyes from continuously looking at a nearby screen.
Blink More Often
Blinking is very important when working at a computer. It moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. We tend to blink about a third less while using a computer, which can cause dryness. Try to make a habit of blinking more frequently, especially in front of a digital screen.
Do Eye Exercises
Regular eye exercises can help improve vision and combat eye strain. Try rotating your eyes in a clockwise and then counter-clockwise direction a few times. Practice focusing your sight on different distances for a few seconds to improve your focus flexibility.
Palming is a great technique to rest and reset your eyes. It is simple: rub your hands together until they feel warm, gently rest your elbows on your desk and cover your eyes with your palms. Avoid pressing against your eyes. Sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes covered, making sure no light enters through your fingers.
Take Frequent Breaks
Ensure you are taking regular breaks from your screen. Not only is it good for your eyes but it also increases concentration and productivity. A five- to 10-minute break every hour would allow your eyes to relax.
Adjust Your Monitor
Ensure your screen is comfortable for your eyes. The top of your display should be at or slightly below eye level so you look slightly downward when you work. Additionally, adjust your screen settings to comfortable levels to avoid straining due to undesirable brightness or contrast levels.
Keeping your body well hydrated can help avoid dry eyes. Drink ample water and use artificial tear drops to maintain eye moisture.
Get Good-Quality Sleep
Quality sleep is critical to eye health. It allows your eyes to completely rest, repair and recover. Insufficient sleep may weaken your vision, so get seven to eight hours of sound sleep a night.
Take Off Your Contact Lenses
Leaving your contact lenses in for extended periods reduces the amount of oxygen in your eyes and can also damage your cornea’s surface. It is highly recommended to remove them before going to sleep.