With so many people staring at computer screens for the majority of their 40-hour workweek, it should come as no surprise that eye strain is an increasingly common complaint. Quite simply, eye strain is a condition that occurs when your eyes become tired due to intense use. Staring at a computer screen, driving long distances, and reading for long periods can all lead to eye strain. Fortunately, while eye strain can be annoying and uncomfortable, it rarely presents a threat to your health. With a little self-care, you can typically relieve the discomfort. Scroll down to explore some eye exercises for eye strain.
Removing Potential Stressors
First, take a look at your environment. Are there things that you could adjust or remove to reduce the likelihood of eye strain? For example, these simple changes could make a world of difference:
- Visiting an eye doctor to address an issue with your eyesight
- Visiting an eye doctor for help with a condition such as dry eyes
- Wearing reading glasses if recommended by your eye doctor
- Taking more frequent breaks from a task
- Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright sunlight or a glare
- Turning on a light so that you’re not struggling to see in dim light
- Getting more sleep or reducing your stress levels
- Adjusting fans, ACs, or heaters so they’re not directed at your eyes
- Correcting your posture
- Changing the setup of your workstation
- Limiting your screen time
- Using artificial tears to relieve dryness
- Using a humidifier if the room is too dry
- Blinking more often
- Adjusting the screen settings on your digital device
Oftentimes, eye strain will disappear with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Eye Exercises for Eye Strain
In addition to the adjustments above, you may wish to give your eyes a bit of a “stretch” to relieve eye strain. The most important thing is to take breaks from what you’re doing. So if you’re working, look away from your screen for a while. If you’re driving, go to a rest stop for a bit. If you’re reading, set down your book and let your eyes roam the room. You can also try these eye exercises for eye strain:
- Blink frequently to rehydrate your eyes.
- Roll your eyes slowly in both directions to release tension, repeating the action a few times in a row.
- Change your focus by focusing your eyes on something directly in front of your nose, like your finger, and then slowly pulling it away. Then, when your finger reaches arm’s length, look at something in the far distance for several seconds. After that, look back at your finger and slowly bring your finger toward your nose again.
- Palm your eyes by closing them and gently placing your palms on top of your eyelids, without pressure. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then remove your hands.
- Perform horizontal and vertical eye movements. This can help stretch the tired muscles in your eyes. Simply close your eyes and then “look” down to the floor and up to the ceiling without moving your head. Then, keeping your eyes closed, look to the left and right. Repeat these actions a few times.
Finally, you might also consider applying a warm compress to relax your muscles.
Do you need help relieving eye strain? When is the last time you had your eyes checked? If you live near southwest Missouri, stop by Heffington’s. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an e-mail to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location).