Thousands of years ago humans had evolved to see in a long distance way. Their eyes were designed to be able to hunt and see predators far away so they would have time to hunt them, or run away but in today’s society most of the time we are sat at a computer desk focusing on a screen less than 2 meters away. As a result many of us suffer from eye strain, but luckily there are various exercises we can do at our desks to ease the pain and long term damage eye strain can cause.
Firstly, you should visit your optometrist to assess the scale of your eye strain. You may find you need glasses or contact lenses first, to stop serious damage to your eyes and any eye strain exercises you carry out after that will be beneficial. Without doing this you could do more harm than good by carrying out exercises when you require glasses.
The first of your exercises can be carried out during the regular breaks you should be taking each hour. This could be three minutes every half an hour or 5 minutes every hour to look at something other than your screen. You could go to the toilet, go and get a cup of water or anything like that as long as it requires you to focus on something a little farther away. Try to look at as many things as you can, but make your eyes move smoothly between each one.
The second exercise is simple, but you may need to explain to colleagues what you are doing! Ensure your hands are warm, you are sitting comfortably and then place your hands over your eyes, cupped so they don’t touch your eyelids at all, but instead create darkness. Close your eyes for two to three minutes and let your eyes relax in the dark and watch the blackness get darker as time goes on. Then, simply take your hands away and continue with the day.
Thirdly, simply look up as far as you can, hold that for three seconds and then look down for three seconds. You should feel a slight pull on your eyes that may be unpleasant, but remember you’re only doing it for three seconds! Look to the left and then the right and repeat this once more. After each cycle look round in a circle as if you are ‘shaking your eyes off’ as you do after stretching before and after exercise.
Eye strain can have very serious implications for your eyesight and it’s imperative that you get your eyes checked once a year when working in an office environment or one where you focus on a screen for prolonged lengths of time. Your eyes are one of the most valuable organs you possess, so it’s important to increase their longevity so you can still use them after years of making the most of them already! Simply visit your optometrist for a 10 to 20 minute appointment ever six to twelve months.