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Tips to Relax Your Eyes

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Do your eyes hurt after spending a significant amount of time reading, playing video games, driving, or staring at a screen? These visually intense activities can sometimes be hard on the eyes, causing uncomfortable symptoms like headaches and blurry vision. Other symptoms of eye strain can include light sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain, trouble concentrating, and burning or itchy eyes. 

Fortunately, preventing painful computer vision syndrome and eye fatigue symptoms can be as simple as trying a few of these eye exercises. To learn more about digital eye strain and discover the best relief options for you, call Lifetime Vision Care at 727-205-9119 and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Jeffrey Phillips. 

Relax Your Eyes with These Supportive Techniques

Many of these exercises are designed for computer users. Eye strain resulting from long drives, reading, or other activities, can be alleviated by modifying some of these recommendations.

Keeping it Cool

The ciliary muscles are found inside each eye and are responsible for close range focusing effort, They get overheated and fatigued with prolonged screen use.  So, cool it!  Or rather, cool them.  Use a moist paper towel, or a moist washcloth, that is folded so it can lay over both eyes like a mask.  Place the moist mask in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for at least 5 minutes to get it down to about 34  degrees.  When your eyes feel tired, take a break and press the cool towels  lightly against your closed eyelids for 2-3 minutes.  This will cool off the muscle and allow it to relax.  You can do this several times daily if needed, and it also helps to alleviate allergic symptoms.

The 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule helps you avoid dry eyes and eye strain by giving your eyes frequent breaks. After about 20 minutes of screen time or doing close-up work, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives the eyes a much needed rest and helps them relax. There are also free apps available that provide pop-up reminders that notify you when it’s time to shift your gaze.  

Screen Ergonomics

The American Optometric Association recommends placing computer monitors 20 to 28 inches, or 50-70 cm, away from your eyes and the top of the computer should be at eye level or right below for optimum eye comfort. Glare filters can reduce the amount of glare produced by digital devices and improve your viewing experience. 

Poor sitting posture can also contribute to eye strain. Your chair should be situated so that your feet are flat on the floor, or use an angled footrest for additional comfort.  

Optimize your Eyewear

Since regular prescription lenses or glasses may not adequately meet your visual needs for lengthy computer use, you may benefit from wearing computer glasses. These prescription glasses are customized to your needs and also reduce glare and block blue light. 


You don’t have to live with the discomforts of eye strain. If symptoms persist, it may be time to visit Lifetime Vision Care and get the relief you seek. Call our office to schedule a convenient eye doctor’s appointment.