You’re reading this article on some type of device; maybe a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Before you found it, you were probably using computer technology of some kind to do some other task, like work, read, or scroll social media.
Even when we’re not using a device, we’re using our eyes constantly. Books, television, and virtually every other task we perform use our vision. It’s no wonder our eyes are worn out. If you’re dealing with the discomfort of eye strain, we can help. We’ll show you the best exercises to help deal with eye strain, and give you some pointers on how to prevent it.
What Is Eye Strain
Eye strain refers to how the eyes feel after heavy, continual use — think, hours of screen time playing a video game or staring at a computer screen at work.
Symptoms of eye strain include:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Tired eyes
- Eye pain and soreness
Anyone can experience eye strain — even children. If you’re dealing with eyeballs that feel like they’ve just run (or watched) a marathon, try these exercises to get relief.
7 Exercises for Eye Strain Relief
Get ready to be rewarded for rolling your eyes. These exercises (including eye rolling) help give your eyes the boost they need when they’re fatigued from overuse. Also known as “ocular yoga,” you can use these eye exercises to help prevent eye strain, too.
1. Rolling Your Eyes
Ocular yogis have a fancy name for eye rolling, called rotational viewing. This method of moving your eyes all around the eye socket can help strengthen eye muscles and release tension in them. You can go for the classic “around the world” roll ala every teenager you’ve ever met, or you can try a figure eight style movement.
Just be sure to do these movements slowly because they can easily make you feel dizzy if you do them too fast.
A good method? Roll your eyes in a clockwise direction once, then switch directions and roll them again. Do this 5 to 10 times to give them a good break and relax the muscles.
2. Blink Eye Strain Away
When you’ve been staring at a screen for long periods of time, your eyes naturally become drier. This is because you blink less.
Blinking keeps your eyes lubricated by distributing tears over your eyes. When you blink less, your tears can’t lubricate your eyes properly. It can leave you feeling like your eyes are scraping their sockets and relying on artificial tears.
To prevent it and deal with it, try the blink and yawn method. Blinking several times helps lubricate your eyes, while yawning activates your tear ducts and helps you create more lubrication.
3. Palm Your Eyes
Palming your eyes sounds like some kind of middle school prank, but it’s actually a great way to relax your eyes and help them lubricate. To do it, close your eyes and place the warm palms of your hands over your eyeballs. Don’t apply pressure, but you can roll your eyes while palming.
Keep this posture for 30-60 seconds, which also gives your eyes an adequate break from whatever you’re doing, like reading or working on the computer.
4. Look Up and Down
Moving your eyes up and down are simple exercises that can also help you deal with dryness and fatigue. With your eyes open and your head in a neutral position, move your eyes upward and hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Then, move your eyes downward and hold that position for 5-10 seconds.
It’s important to keep your head still the entire time you are performing these exercises. This will ensure your eyes are getting the work they need instead of your head and neck doing the work for them.
5. Take the 20-20-20 Break
Eye strain can happen anytime, but it’s especially common during computer use. This type of eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, or CVS, is a form of digital eye strain that can lead to increased periods of eye dryness and soreness, backaches, neck aches, and headaches. Long term, CVS can lead to more than just issues with your eye health.
A good way to prevent CVS and eye strain from digital devices is to practice the 20-20-20 rule. For every twenty minutes you are engaged with a digital device, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away from you. Bonus points for adding in a few extra blinks to help lubricate your eyes.
6. Renew Your Focus
Eye strain might indicate you need a fresh perspective. For this, you’ll switch up your focus from objects that are far away to objects that are close to you and back again. Start by extending your arms directly in front of you. Focus your eyes on an object that is at arm's length or even the tips of your fingers. Next, shift your eyes into far focus, looking at an object that is 20-30 feet away.
Switch your focus back and forth three to five times to give your eyes a needed break and help reduce the amount of eye strain you experience while working on a digital device, reading, or engaging in tedious work.
7. Close Your Eyes
One of the best eye exercises you can perform is simply closing them. Closing your eyes helps lubricate them, allows them to rest, and even takes away their need to filter and refract light. When your eyes feel particularly uncomfortable, closing them for a few minutes can give them relief and renew your ability to continue working, even when nothing else can.
These exercises can help keep your eyes feeling more energized, but there are other ways to keep your eyes safe and protect them: safety eyewear.
Safety Eyewear: Do You Need It?
We’ll make this really easy. Every person who has eyes needs safety eyewear. Safety eyewear cuts down the risk of eye-related injuries to about 1%. If you’re serious about protecting your eyes and avoiding vision problems, safety eyewear is 100% for you.
Safety Eyewear and Eye Strain
When you think of safety eyewear, you probably don’t think about it being useful in preventing eye strain, but it is. Stoggles, for instance, are made with blue-light filtering material which helps reduce eye strain related to digital devices. Not familiar with blue light? Let us introduce you.
Blue light is emitted from the sun, but it’s also emitted from devices like your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and LED televisions and light bulbs. Because it is so prevalent, our exposure to it is almost continuous.
Researchers aren’t sure of the extent of the damage that blue light might do to our eyes. Long term, it could cause us to develop eye problems. Right now, we know that it can interfere with circadian rhythm and contribute to eye strain.
Blue light-blocking lenses are the first line of defense against this intrusive light source, and every pair of Stoggles we create comes with this technology embedded into the lens.
Safety Eyewear and Your Everyday Life
If you don’t work construction or wield a welding tool, you probably don’t think you need safety eyewear. Think again. Half of all eye-related injuries occur at home or during recreation. That means you’re at risk of eye injury anytime you:
- Do yard work
- Tackle a home improvement project
- Play a game of baseball or pickleball
- Clean with household cleaning chemicals
The list goes on. Don’t let the fact that you’ve never had an eye injury convince you that you can’t have one. To keep your eyes safe under all circumstances, Stoggles has you covered.
Our safety eyewear also comes with:
- ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification, to prevent breaking or shattering if your glasses get a direct hit.
- Anti-fogging lenses, so you never have to remove and wipe your glasses
- UV-blocking lenses
- Side and top shields to keep your eyes safe in the most vulnerable places, like the sides and tops of your eyes.
The best part? You get the protection you need without the look of a science lab student. Our frame styles (like cat eye and aviator) are unexpected, unique to the safety eyewear industry, and impeccably stylish.
If you need a prescription, we can handle that too. Just upload the information your eye doctor scribbled on that little piece of paper to our website, and we’ll create a custom pair of Stoggles that help correct your vision and keep it safe.
Bend, Stretch, Stoggles
Keeping your eyes strong and strain-free isn’t always easy, especially when we spend so much time on devices that seem hell-bent on keeping our eyes tired and dry. You can level up your eye care by practicing a few eye exercises and making sure you’re taking plenty of breaks when you work on digital devices.
Go a step further and keep your vision safe under any circumstances. Stoggles gives you the ability to keep your vision safe, look great, and reduce eye strain. Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they just wear really amazing safety eyewear.