• Image of a girl with blinking eyes

Blinking Exercises to relieve Dry Eye Symptoms

Blink­ing is a cru­cial part of keep­ing the right amount of mois­ture on the eye sur­face, espe­cial­ly dur­ing cold, dry weath­er. It coats the eye with a fresh lay­er of tears while also clean­ing the sur­face and mois­tur­iz­ing it. It is an almost sub­con­scious action that means a lot to a dry eye patient.

Whether you work at a com­put­er for +8hrs, watch a movie, or live in a dry envi­ron­ment, a slow blink­ing rate will increase your dry eye symp­toms. Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances, your blink­ing rate is an aver­age 4 sec­onds, about 15 times a minute. When using the com­put­er or star­ing at any oth­er bright screen our blink­ing rate decreas­es by up to a whop­ping 70%!

Will blinking alone help my dry eyes during the day?

There are var­i­ous blink­ing exer­cis­es that can help you fur­ther improve the con­di­tion of your eyes. These are designed to work your eye mus­cles and main­tain your eye­sight dur­ing the day.

Look at a distant object

This exer­cise ben­e­fits peo­ple who are glued to a mon­i­tor all day (iPads, tablets, and smart­phones includ­ed). In this day and age, peo­ple are depen­dent on tech­nol­o­gy for a larg­er num­ber of dai­ly tasks. We stare at bright screens a short dis­tance from our eyes and this is caus­ing eye strain since our eyes are at rest when we look at dis­tant objects.

So the first exer­cise goes like this: find a win­dow, any win­dow; now focus on a dis­tant tree or car for 10 to 15 sec­onds. Slow­ly refo­cus your eyes on an object clos­er to you with­out mov­ing your head. Focus on this new object for anoth­er 10 to 15 sec­onds. Do this 4 to 5 times, going back and forth between the dis­tant object and the clos­er one.

Shut, squeeze, rinse and repeat

This one’s a fair­ly quick one. Shut your eyes quick­ly, squeeze them and feel your facial mus­cles mov­ing. Keep this for 3–5 sec­onds. Open your eyes slow­ly and relax the mus­cles, keep them open for anoth­er 3–5 sec­onds. Repeat this process 6 or 7 times.

Clockwise… counter-clockwise

Roll your eyes clock­wise one full round, then counter-clock­wise anoth­er full round. Next, move your eyes up and down, then left and right. Fin­ish up this exer­cise but look­ing at your nose tip.


Palm­ing works to relax your eyes and your mind. It is inspired by Yoga Eye Exer­cis­es and you can do this any­where. To get start­ed sit com­fort­ably and rub your palms against each oth­er until you feel them warm up (Mr. Miya­gi-style!). Turn your palms fac­ing upwards and place them over your eyes, mak­ing sure you are not cov­er­ing your nose and that no light fil­ters through them. Once your palms are posi­tioned cor­rect­ly, feel the warmth com­ing from your palms and close your eyes. Con­cen­trate on the com­plete dark­ness and relax your mind for a minute.

Benefits of blinking exercises for dry eye patients

These exer­cis­es will help you relax your eye­sight, clear tear ducts and pre­vent fur­ther vision dete­ri­o­ra­tion. It is rec­om­mend­ed that you exer­cise your eyes for 5 min­utes for every 30 to 40 min­utes of near vision work.

Try it! Leave us a com­ment and tell us if these blink­ing exer­cis­es are help­ing you.


April 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Blinking Exercises to relieve Dry Eye Symptoms

About the Author:

Born in Connecticut and raised in Upstate New York , Dr. Stetson graduated Cum Laude from Colgate University in New York, and then earned an MD degree with honors at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He distinguished himself again in residency at the Albany Medical Center, where he obtained the highest percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Examinations. Dr. Stetson has performed more than 50,000 refractive surgeries and has been on staff at Diamond Vision since 2004, before becoming Medical Director in 2006.


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