Are you working from home? If so, your extended screen time will be straining your eyes more than ever. Have you given thought to the importance of relaxing your eyes? It is as important as relaxing your mind or body. So, how to rest your eyes? Simply moving your gaze away from the blue light and keeping your eyes shut in between can relax your eyes to a large extent. But many other relaxing techniques can keep your eyes fit. Follow some of the relaxation techniques explained further in this article to maintain a good vision.
Reasons for Eye Strain
There are several reasons for eye strain. But the most common reasons are viewing a computer screen without a break, reading a book, or any other activity like any handicraft that requires intense focus. Your eyes will be tired or irritated and this is termed eyestrain.
Eyestrain has become a common condition in this digital age. Statistics have shown that the major cause of eye strain is continuous exposure to digital screens. This is not limited to adults alone. Even children are addicted to digital screens nowadays and use various digital devices for more than 2 hours a day which can completely drain the eyes. There are other reasons for eye strain as well. Some of them are:
- Inadequate light; a light which is too bright or too dim
- Stress and fatigue
- Dry eyes; keeping your eyes moisturised is very crucial
- Poor posture while viewing a digital screen or reading
- Holding the digital device too close to your eyes
When to Give Your Eyes a Rest?
Taking steps to improve vision is imperative for the upkeep of optical health. Completing your task within a given timeline is important but more important is understanding how to give rest to your eyes to avoid vision complications in the future.
Periodic rest for your eyes is essential even if you are not involved in activities requiring continuous focus. Your eyes are constantly on the job from the time you wake up in the morning. But giving rest to your eyes becomes even more important if you are into an activity that needs constant focus. When do you decide it is high time to give your eyes some rest? Here are some symptoms which you should be mindful of
- Heavy, tired, or aching eyelids
- Facing problems focussing
- Blurred or double vision
- Muscle spasms of the eyes or eyelids
- Irritation in the eyes
- Watery or red eyes
- Not being able to keep eyes open
When you encounter any of the above issues, it is about time to figure out how to rest your eyes.
Tips on How to Rest Your Eyes
Have you been reading continuously, playing video games, or are glued to your computer for a prolonged period? Then your eyes must be definitely hurting. You may be experiencing irritation in your eyes, blurred vision, headache, etc. Besides constantly focusing on a task, you should also know how to give rest to your eyes. Here are a few exercises that might soothe your eyes. Try them to get rid of any kind of strain – whether digital or non-digital.
1. Shifting Your Gaze
This exercise is all about shifting your gaze and rolling your eyes in different directions. To perform the exercise, slowly turn your head to the left and roll your eyes to the right. Repeat in the opposite direction. Then gaze first to the right, then to the left, up and finally down. You can sketch geometric shapes with your eyes. The entire process should be repeated 5 to 10 times.
2. Outline an Eight
This eye exercise will make your eye muscles more flexible and enhance your eyesight. Imagine a massive 8 that is almost 10 feet away from you and turn it over. Now, carefully draw it with your eyes for a few minutes, going in clockwise and then anticlockwise directions. Persevere this to keep your vision clean.
3. Use Proper Lighting
Different activities require different types of lighting. For instance, keeping the room dimly lit when watching television may be better for your eyes. Similarly, try to put the light source behind you and direct the light onto the page or task you are working on when reading printed materials or performing intricate tasks. Use a shaded light that is positioned in front of you if you are reading at a desk. The shade will prevent light from entering your eyes directly.
4. Keep Your Eyes Lubricated
Recurring dryness of the eyes can be harmful. Treating dry eyes becomes imperative for your eyes to feel normal. One way of preventing the recurrence of dryness of the eyes is artificial tear drops that are available over-the-counter.
You can also consult an ophthalmologist if the dryness persists. Eye drops used to treat redness should be avoided as they can worsen the symptoms of dry eyes.
Preservative-free eye drops can be applied as frequently as necessary. If you use preservative-containing eye drops more than four times per day, you risk developing a sensitivity to the preservative. Changing to preservative-free eye drops in this situation can be beneficial. Use them no more than four times per day, though.
5. Follow the 20-20 Rule
Shifting your gaze to something as far as 20 feet every 20 minutes while working will help relax your eyes. But how would you gauge 20 feet? The exact distance is not the key. All you need to do is simply shift your focus to something far away from you.
You can look out of the window and gaze at a tree far away or the sky or any other object that interests you. Why 20 seconds? That is because it takes 20 seconds for the eyes to relax completely. While you are giving rest to your eyes, you can also drink water to keep yourself hydrated. Hydrating yourself can hydrate your eyes as well.
You should keep repeating this 20-20 rule. Set a timer for every 20 minutes so that you don’t get engrossed in your work and lose continuity.
6. Do Not Refrain from Blinking
Blinking is very important for the lubrication of the eyes. When you are involved in a task, the rate of your blinking comes down to 8 to 10 blinks per minute from 20. If you feel the strain in your eyes, it is time for you to blink. Consciously blink frequently when you are glued to a computer or any digital device to avoid dryness of the eyes.
Rub your palms together to make them warm. Then cup your hands and place them over your eye sockets to create light pressure. Keep your eyes closed and gaze into the dark space till all traces of different tones disappear to create complete darkness. This exercise will help clear your eyesight, lubricate your eyes, and give your eyes a chance to rest and unwind. Release the tension around your eyes by performing this exercise for at least 30 seconds.
8. Gaze at Objects Near and Far
People with spectacles generally feel lazy to gaze at things. This can become one of the major factors to further worsen their eye health. Performing the exercise mentioned below will strengthen your eye muscles while keeping your eyes healthy.
Keep one thumb close to your eyes and the other thumb at an arm’s distance. Gaze at the thumb held close to your eyes, to begin with. Then shift the gaze to the thumb at arm’s length. Further, look at any object in the room and finally at something that is far away. Ensure that all four focus points are aligned to make the shift of focus subtle. You should at least gaze for 2 seconds at every point to get a clear image.
Knowing how to rest your eyes is very crucial to maintain healthy vision. Following the simple tips mentioned above can be a great help when followed correctly. In addition, wearing the right gear if you are exposed to a digital screen for a prolonged period is equally important.