Looking after your eyes should be your top priority, especially if you spend most of your time in front of the computer, phone or TV screen. Do you stare at the computer for very long? If you do, you probably know how draining and tiring it can be to your entire body, not just your eyes.
Even if you’re lucky enough to have perfect 20/20 vision, taking care of your eyes is important to keeping your peepers in perfect condition. And believe it or not, exercising the eyes is as important as exercising the rest of your body.
Exercising your eyes is important
“Eye exercises help the eye both mechanically and optically says eye surgeon,” Dr Keki Mehta. He explains, “Exercises improve the mechanical stability of the eye by coordinating and strengthening the eye muscles. They increase the ability of the eyes to focus and optically, they improve the optical image co-ordination between the two eyes. This allows the eyes to relay a three-dimensional accurate image to the brain, which then sends us a signal that allows us to see the image.”
While the exercises may not reduce your dependence on spectacles, they are very necessary if you want healthy eyes. Your eyes are just like any other part of your body – they need rest and recuperation after a day’s work to repair and strengthen them.
Exercising your eyes regularly will help you make sure you don’t feel fatigued or tired at the end of the day and ensure that you have dewy fresh eyes always.
Causes of eyestrain
Our eyes are designed to work best in a position of depressed convergence. This means at an angle that is 25 degrees below the eye level in a downward direction. As long as you maintain this angle, whether you read a book while sitting down or lying on your stomach, it doesn’t affect vision. However, it is the effort to maintain a fixed gaze at a rapidly moving object that tires the internal mechanism of the eye leading to strain.
Similarly, reading in dim light leads to strain. This is because your pupils dilate in order to allow more light to enter the eyes. Straining the eyes can lead to persistent headaches, fatigue, blurry vision and loss of the ability to focus on objects.
One of the most common causes of eye fatigue is staring for long periods at digital devices such as computer screens, smart phones or video games. This type of eye fatigue or eye strain is known as computer vision syndrome. It affects about 50%-90% of computer workers. Exposure to extreme brightness or glare is bad for the eyes. Also any activity that causes you to focus intensely for extended periods of time may result in decreased blinking, which leads to dry eyes. This is why reading on the go or reading in dim light is a definite no.
Exercises to refresh your eyes
On a roll
Roll your eyes clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Repeat this every 30 minutes. This is especially needed, if you are sitting in front of a computer monitor or studying for long hours.
Close your eyes and cover them lightly with your cupped palms. Avoid applying pressure on your eyeballs. This relaxes tired eyes.
Focus on an object far away from you for about half a minute. Try to maintain your focus, then blink rapidly several times. Then focus on a nearby object for about 15 seconds. Try to maintain your focus, then blink rapidly several times. Do this 10 times.