Did you know, as we stare at computer, television, or portable device screens while working, reading, watching entertainment, or playing games that our blink rate decreases? It has been found we blink 66% less when working on a computer. This can lead to the feeling of dry eyes, burning of the eyes, light sensitivity, eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, and more.
You may be wondering, why does blinking properly matter? If a person doesn’t blink enough, the moisture in our eyes evaporates. Blinking also allows for our bodies to produce a thin film of tears across the surface of our eyes, keeping our eyes moist. If we limit our blinking, even unknowingly, our eyes do not get the chance to produce the moisture properly.
What Can You Do?
Following the simple: 20 – 20- 20 Rule when using devices or looking at screens for prolonged times can help. The 20 – 20 – 20 Rule is simple:
- Every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds, and look at something 20 feet away.
This allows you to give your eyes a break from the strain that the digital screen and lack of blinking can cause. In addition to the 20 – 20 – 20 Rule, you can also do blinking exercises. Blinking exercises refreshes our eyes and helps keep them lubricated.
- Close both eyes normally, pause 2 seconds, and open. Note: To check your blink, place your finger gently on the bone to the outside corner of one eye. When you are blinking “normally”, you should feel very little movement from the muscles around your eye.
- Close the eyes normally again, pause 2 seconds and then aggressively squeeze the lids together (as if you are trying to crack a walnut with your lids) for 2 seconds. Open both eyes.
- Repeat every 20 minutes, 20 X a day.