Constantly looking at a digital screen almost 7-8 hours a day is our new normal. This staring can cause eye strain. With the world going virtual and people spending more and more time in front of one or the other devices, digital eye strain is a common symptom faced by many patients. Earlier known to be a symptom for adults is now a common complaint among younger patients as well.
Studies have shown people spend more time in front of a screen than they spend sleeping. With digital devices becoming smaller like the smart phones, one is always staring at them.
Excess use of these digital devices also leads to blue light exposure. Constant exposure to blue light is known to cause eye strain, dry eye, and also affect the sleep cycle making the person constantly feel fatigued.
Quitting the use of these digital devices is impossible in the current age. These simple eye exercises can help reduces the eye strain caused mainly by the use of these digital devices. A change and simple modification in lifestyle can help you relieve with eye strain, headaches, irritation, fatigue and dryness. It will also help you be more focused and productive.
- 20-20-20 rule: This simple 20-20-20 rule can be very helpful to relieve eye strain. This rule simply refers to taking frequent breaks. It is strongly advised to take a break every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and look at something 20ft. away. These visual break helps the eye muscles to relax and refocus. It reduces the strain caused by constant staring at an object.
- Voluntary blinking: Constantly looking at a screen is known to reduce and effect the blink rate (number of time one blinks / per minute). When one is trying to focus or stare at a screen, it reduces the blink rate as you are trying to see as mich as possible without missing it even for a second. Digital screens are also known to cause incomplete blinks. All of these lead to dry eye symptoms and eye strain. Voluntary blinking is a conscious way of making sure we blink more often and do not compromise on our blink rate. This will also ensure complete blinks Vs Incomplete blinks improving the dry eye symptoms like itching, irritation. Dryness, watering, fatigue and blurring of vision.
- Eye Roll: It is very important for you to relax your eye muscles. Stretching is known to be a great way to relax your eye muscles. Just as you roll your wrists, shoulders or feet to help release all the tension in your muscles, rolling your eyes in circular motion acts in a similar manner. You can either keep your eyes open or closed but ensure you roll your eyes in a circular motion looking at all the directions. It will be helpful to rotate your eyes both in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. This exercise should not take more than few minutes for your day. Rolling yours 5 -7 times can really do wonders.
- Palm and eye heat massage: Heat compression or massage is known to relax the tension in the muscles. Similarly there are several muscles in the eye that can really benefit from some warm therapy. In this exercise. You simply need to sit or lie down in a comfortable position. You rub your palms together until some heat is generated. Once you feel the heat place them on your closed eyes. The heat generated by rubbing relax your eye muscles.You can also gently press your eyes or move your fingers on the closed eyeballs in clockwise and anti clockwise manner to add more relaxation. You can repeat the same exercises 3-5 times, 2-3 times a day to help your eyes relax and rejuvenate.
- Eye scanning: Eye scanning is a simple exercise which will consciously force you to look at various distances and enable you to focus at various distances. For example, sit comfortably on your chair, now gaze outside the window at a far distance, then focus on something closer than the previous object and keep gazing at closer and closer objects after every few seconds. This simple exercise will break the monotony of the distance and muscle fatigue which is created by constantly staring at various digital devices. Make this part of your routine exercise. Even if you think you are seeing at various distance already, you might not be focusing at various distances enough. Thus this exercise will help you focus / refocus better.
- Zooming : Zooming also focuses on the strength your ability to focus and strength of your eye muscles. To perform this exercise, you need to simply sit erect on a chair with you back straight and one hand stretched. Stretch your arm and make a fist with your thumb open. Now keep starring at the tip or nail of that thumb. Gradually bring the thumb closer till it becomes, double, blur or till the tip of your nose. Repeat this exercise several times to help your eye muscles and relive the eye muscles of any eye strain.
In this digital world, where we are constantly using our eyes to navigate between tons of information, it is important to take care them. Just like exercise is important for the overall health of the body, eye exercises are very important to relax your eye muscles. These simple yet effective exercise can be easily done anywhere and anytime. It takes less than 5 minutes of your day to help your eye relax and rejuvenate.
If eye strain still persists with symptoms like dry eye, irritation or blurring of vision, it is highly recommended to connect and speak to an eye doctor for professional advice. You can also take a simple Dry eye or Vision test to know the status of your eye health.
Dry eye test : https://www.eyecarelive.com/eye-condition-dry-eye/