Staring at a computer screen all day long sure puts a strain on your eyes. Poor lighting, an increase in visual demands and not enough blinking are all factors that contribute to computer-related eyestrain. Added to that, many computer users often turn to smaller devices like their phones amidst their busy workday, which just makes the strain on your eyes even worse.
Americans today suffer from fatigued and overworked eyes as a result of using computers for work, school and entertainment. The Optometrists Network reports that 59 percent of adults experience eye strain from computer use. It even has an official name now – Digital Eye Strain. Not only can eye strain put a damper on your productivity, but stressed eyes may also lead to work errors, headaches and possibly even glaucoma.
Since simply throwing the computer away isn’t an option for most folks, there are some helpful eye exercises that can help relieve the strain computer screens place upon your eyes. In this post, we’ll go over six basic exercises to help you relieve work-related eye strain and start feeling better.
These exercises will not only help your eyes feel better and allow you to complete your work in a timely manner, they will also save you money! No more pain relievers to get rid of the headaches! No more eye drops to stop that scratchy feeling you get when you strain your eyes! Here are some natural ways to help treat tired eyes.
Start this exercise in a comfortable position. First, rub your palms together to create a bit of heat. Next, form your hands into cup shapes. Now, take your hands and press them over your (closed) eyes. Put your left hand on your left eye and your right hand on your right eye. Let the heat warm your eyes and relax for a few minutes like this.
Since a lack of blinking is one of the contributing factors to computer-induced eyestrain as it dries out your eyes and causes scratchiness, it’s very important to blink. You may have to train yourself to blink normally while computing. Aim for a blink every four seconds to keep your eyes nicely lubricated and happy. This sounds like a simple task, but when focusing on a computer screen it can be difficult to remember.
3. Eye Rolling
Just as neck rolling can do wonders for stiff necks, eye rolling can really do wonders for your eye muscles, especially when you’ve been sitting in front of a computer screen for hours. Take a quick break to roll your eyes during work. It’s pretty simple to pick up: simply close your eyelids and roll your eyes around in circular motions. It almost feels like your eyes are getting a massage, so enjoy! This helps to lubricate your eyes and eases the strain on the muscles.
4. Visual Scanning
After so many hours staring at up-close objects on a screen, help your eyes adjust between objects both near and far. Sit back and observe the room you are in. Find an object at one end of the room and begin to scan the outline of every single thing in the room. For example, start with a television and then move on to the DVD player next to it and then move on the window behind it.
Basically, you want your eyes to be in constant, deliberate motion as you visually take stock of everything around you. You may already think that you are doing this, but most people when working or playing on the computer focus entirely on what is on the screen.
Take a visual break and focus on something else every now and then. It’s important to take your eyes off the computer screen and look away at something else for several seconds or a minute. Aim to do this at least once every 10 minutes. Our 10-10-10 rule is a great idea to keep in mind when you are at work all day.
Sometimes a glance is more than just a glance! Start this one with your eyes closed while sitting. Keep your eyes closed as you glance up as far as comfortably possible. Hold for a moment, then look down. Repeat a few times and then take an eye-breather (open your eyes and look around). Next, close your eyes again. Now, keeping your eyes closed like before, look to the right and the left. Repeat this a few times.
Other Tips to Save Your Eyes
Now don’t let your eyes become weak and overly strained from too much computer time. Take charge of your eye health with these simple eye exercises when you’re on the computer. We understand that computers are everywhere. You use them at work, home, and school. With these simple and easy-to-do breaks, even the most hardcore computer users can avoid some of the dangers straining your eyes can result in.
Your eyes are muscles are just like other muscles in your body; they become sore when held in one position for too long. When your shoulders get stiff and sore you shrug or roll them. The same idea is behind these eye exercises. Give your eye muscles a break and they will thank you!
And just as the body and eyes need exercise, they also need a healthy diet. There are many eye-healthy foods you could easily be incorporating into your meals. We understand life can be busy, so it’s not always easy to get the required amount of vitamins each day; in that case, you could try a proven eye vitamin supplement.
By doing a few of these exercises for computer users and taking a daily eye vitamin, you may increase your productivity, eliminate headaches and work errors, and maybe even reduce your risk of glaucoma! When you stop and think about what you gain by following these simple exercises there is really no reason not to give them a try. Work and school can be difficult enough without straining your eyes and giving yourself more of a headache than necessary.