Keeping your eyes in optimal health is vital to living an active and vibrant lifestyle. However, as with other body parts, your eyes can get tired and strained from daily activities. You are more likely to experience eye fatigue if you spend hours in front of digital screens or doing close-up tasks like reading.
Fortunately, there are various ways to relax your eyes. A local optician shares some of them.
What Is Eye Strain?
Driving for extended periods and prolonged use of digital devices like computers, smartphones and tablets are two of the most common causes of eye strain. You could suffer from its symptoms if you read without taking breaks. This common eye condition can also result from exposure to glare and dry moving air from your heating and cooling system.
Dry eyes, headache, blurred vision, itching eyes and light sensitivity are common symptoms of eye strain. Some patients experience difficulty concentrating and neck, shoulder and back pain. This condition is usually not serious, and its symptoms tend to improve once you give your eyes a break. However, it can indicate an underlying eye problem that requires attention.
What Can You Do to Relax Your Eyes?
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
Frequently resting your eyes will make it less prone to fatigue. If your work involves using a computer for hours, you can try following the 20-20-20 rule. It’s where you stare at something 20 feet away from the screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Tweak Your Workstation
According to the American Optometric Association, it’s ideal for your computer monitor to be 20 to 28 inches from your eyes. The upper portion of the screen should be around eye level for comfort. Proper posture also helps alleviate symptoms of digital eye strain.
Palming is a simple yet effective way to soothe your eyes. You can try this relaxation technique when your eyes are feeling tired. Close your eyes and put your palms against them. Place a slight pressure for at least 30 seconds. This exercise will help relax and lubricate your eyes.
Focus Your Eyes on Near and Distant Objects
If you wear eyeglasses, take them off before performing this exercise. Hold one of your thumbs at arm’s length and the other up close. Focus your eyes on the nearby thumb and then on the one at arm’s length. Stare at something across the room and then at a distant object. Look at each object for two seconds and try to get a clear image of each.
Consciously Blink Your Eyes
It’s easy to forget to blink when you’re busy working on a computer or reading. As a result, your eyes could get dry and strained. Make it a habit to consciously blink your eyes, especially when staring at digital screens. Doing so will help you avoid eye strain and keep your eyes lubricated.
Practice the Clock Exercise
The clock exercise can alleviate eye strain symptoms, such as headaches and eye fatigue. Picture a large analog clock a couple of feet away from you. Make sure your head remains still and move your eyes to the supposed position of six and then to 12. Continue shifting your gaze to the opposite pairs of the imaginary clock. Focus on each number for at least a second and do the exercise for five minutes or more.
Roll Your Eyes
Rotational viewing or rolling your eyes can remove tension from your eye muscles. Gently roll your eyes in a single direction and back to their original position to relieve soreness around and beneath the muscles of your eyes. Repeat for three to five times each hour.
Use a Warm Compress
Another thing you can do to relax your eyes is to use a warm compress. Place a warm, wet cloth on your eyes to ease discomfort, fatigue and dryness. The warmth can aid with tear production, keeping your eyes from drying out.
Make Sure You Have the Appropriate Eyewear
Uncorrected vision problems can contribute to the development of digital eye strain. It can cause you to experience frequent headaches and risk your safety. During an eye examination, your doctor can determine if you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. They will then prescribe you with the appropriate eyewear.
More Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Eat Well-Balanced Meals
A balanced diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining good eye health. Some nutrients beneficial to the eyes include omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins A, C and E. Incorporate leafy greens, fish, eggs, nuts, citrus fruits and lean meats into your meals.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is vital to keeping all body parts healthy, including your eyes. Dehydration can contribute to the development of dry eyes. Always aim to consume at least eight glasses of water daily.
There is evidence suggesting that aerobic exercise can improve oxygen flow oxygen supply in the eye. Regular movement can also lower eye pressure, helping manage glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep provides your eyes with much-needed downtime to repair and recover from the day’s activities. Poor sleeping habits can result in eye irritation, redness and soreness. As much as possible, you should get seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Smoking is detrimental to eye health. It exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress, increasing the risk of vision-threatening conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
Schedule Routine Eye Exams
Regular eye exam appointments do more than trace changes in your vision. They let specialists catch early signs of eye problems that can cause permanent vision loss, such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Often, these conditions don’t manifest symptoms until their later stages.