When you’re focusing your eyes on a nearby a computer screen for long periods of time, you’ll eventually strain your eyes. This could lead to dry, irritated eyes, headaches, vision blur and difficulty focusing on your tasks. There are some simple exercises you can do to alleviate eye strain symptoms, whether you use corrective glasses or contact lenses or have perfect vision.
First off, regularly blinking for longer periods will help relax the eye. Depending on how sensitive you are to eye strain, you may need to rest your eyes completely a few minutes once every 30 minutes. Covering your eyes with your hands or a soft cloth to prevent any light from entering is a good tip. This can be coupled with the technique called “Palming”, where you quickly rub your hands together to make them warm before cupping them over your eye sockets, without making contact with your eyelids. This relaxes your eyes.
Another method is to take short pauses more often, focusing your eyes on a more distant object for 20 seconds every 15 to 20 minutes.
It’s also good to exercise your eye with different eye movements. For instance, you can slowly scan the edges of an object in front of you, or move an object, such as a pencil, from left to right in front of your face at arm’s length. Keep your head still and follow the shape or motion for about 2 minutes.
You might also want to do some pure focusing exercises. One way of doing this is to hold your finger or small object 15-20 centimeters in front of you, focus on it for a few seconds, then switch to an object about 3 meters away the next few seconds before looking at your finger again. This should be repeated around 15 times.
Finally, simply moving the eyes around in their sockets have proven to help reduce unnecessary strain. You can do this easily by closing your eyes and rotating them in wide circles without moving any other muscles in your face. After doing this a few times, try making smaller circles at the very center of your eyes.
If you still have symptoms of eye strain even when performing these exercises regularly, you should have an optician examine your eyes. Just as focusing on the same thing for long periods is straining, having glasses or contacts with the wrong power can be very tiring for your eyes. Also, if it’s dry eyes causing the problems, there might be a softer contact lens or eye drops to remedy your issues.