There’s no debate that too much screen time can be hard on your eyes, leaving them tired, often irritated, and too dry. I talked about several ways to help protect your vision health and reduce this digital eye strain in a previous post . Things like adding more leafy greens to your menu, including a vision supplement in your daily routine, or resting your eyes using the 20-20-20 rule.
To me, these are the best kinds of tips. Why? They’re simple to do yet deliver serious benefits.
Because you really shouldn’t take the importance of vision health for granted. Investing in your eye health can help unlock your potential and wellbeing. Simply being able to see the world we live in more clearly can have significant impact on our overall wellness. Plus, we should think about the things that we’re not seeing.
For instance, a 2020 Dartmouth College studyi of nearly 180 volunteers found that most people can’t tell when color is removed from their peripheral vision.
Although humans have a field of vision that spans about 210 degrees (like stretching out both of your arms), 83 percent of the participants couldn’t tell when they were only seeing 32 degrees of color. Nearly a third of the study couldn’t tell when 95 percent of their vision lost color.
Researchers said participants were shocked to find out how much of the world they weren’t focusing on could be changed without them noticing it. The way we perceive the world around us is likely “incorrect” and mostly constructed by what’s in our minds. If our minds routinely fill the gaps in our vision, then we need to make sure that our brain is healthy, and our outlook is positive. Don’t you agree?
Another new research study adds a simple habit to help protect your vision health. Researchers call it blink exercises. You can call it soothing relief for tired eyes. It’s ideally suited for combatting the strain that too much screen time can have on your eyes.
For this study,ii researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand followed more than 40 men and women, ranging from 18 to 44 years of age. The study participants were asked to complete a 6-second blink exercise every 20 minutes during their waking hours for 4 weeks.
One blink session consisted of closing both eyes normally for two seconds and then open. Close both eyes again for two seconds, then squeeze eyelids together tightly for two more seconds before opening both eyes. The participants reported that they completed about 25 of these blink exercises, on average, every day.
The results were both surprising and expected. Not only did this 6-second blink exercise improve the participants blinking patterns, it also significantly improved their dry eye symptoms and the quality of protective tear film needed for eyes to feel comfortable.
If you’re feeling the strain of tired, dry eyes from too much screen time, I encourage you to add blink exercises to your daily routine and build on your healthy diet and supplement habits.
It could be the 6-second solution you need to take your vision health to the next level so you can enjoy more comfortable eyes no matter where you’re looking.
And when you think about it, healthy vision will move you one step closer to seeing your future more clearly.
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i Cohen M, Botch T, Robertson C. The limits of color awareness during active, real-world vision. PNAS. 2020:117 (24) 13821-13827. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1922294117
ii Kim AD, Muntz A, Lee J, Wang MTM, Craig JP. Therapeutic benefits of blinking exercises in dry eye disease. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2021;44(3):101329. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2020.04.014
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.