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Exercise Your Eyes

Subjected to a marathon of stress every day, here are soothing solutions for your tired eyes

Eyes, one of our most precious possessions, are on a marathon task from the moment we wake up to the last second before we sleep. Termed by ophthalmologist James P. McCulley as one of the most active muscles of our body, they continuously bring to vision tons of things around us. However, their constant use certainly tires them and chances are that most of us are taking our eyes for granted. Identifying the causes of tiring eyes and incorporating a few easy eye exercises will reduce the stress on them.


Here are some of the commonly observed indications of tired eyes.

  • Usually it starts with a headache and leads to an irritation or a burning sensation in the eyes.
  • Watery, scratchy or red eyes might also mean that they are tired due to excessive strain.
  • Puffy, heavy eyes or dark circles indicate stressing eyes in excess of their capacity.
  • Irritation or heightened sensitivity to light or dark colours.
  • Twitching or aching eyelids.


Eyes tire not because of their continuous use but by their improper use. Our eyes contain three sets of muscle groups – the extra-ocular, sphincter and ciliary muscles. If we spend a long time staring at a computer, watching television with dim or no lights, reading while lying down or under poor light, we are concentrating our eyes in an inappropriate way. Tasks demanding concentration can cause tired eyes and blurred vision. As a result, we tend to blink less leading to improper lubrication and hence dry eyes. This becomes worse if we are in a dry environment, such as a heated or airconditioned office.

In fact such inappropriate usage provides a workout for these muscle groups strenuous enough to make a bodybuilder proud! Just like doing a hundred push-ups can cause the arm muscles to pain, so can the muscular effort described above cause sore eyes. While most of us are more than happy to rest our muscles after doing a few push-ups, we expose our eyes to a rigorous workout every day.


We exercise the muscles in our body, through a brisk walk or yoga, but have we ever thought of exercising our eyes? Here are some simple and effective eye exercises that can alleviate the pain of tired eyes, reduce the stress on them and even make them stronger. You can do these exercises anytime, anywhere. It will take only a few minutes.

1. Blink your eyes:

Take two minutes to relax your eyes. In this two-minute break, consciously blink your eyes after every four seconds. Look around the room or close your eyes for a minute if you want and then resume working. The purpose behind blinking consciously is to relieve tired eyes of the stress that comes from looking at a computer or television screen intently. This will relax your eyes and increase your span of attention considerably.

2. Palming:

Close your eyes. Rub your palms vigorously and place them on your eyes such that the palm covers the eye and the fingers rest on the forehead. Do not exert any pressure on the eye. The warmth of your palms helps soothe and relax tired eyes. Do this exercise periodically for two minutes.

3. Trace a figure of eight:

Assume that you are sitting at a distance of ten feet in front of a large figure of eight placed vertically. Now start the exercise by tracing the imaginary figure of eight with your eyes. Move your eyes along the curves of the eight slowly. This eye exercise is useful in improving the flexibility of your eye muscles, leading to better eyesight.

4. Thumb exercise:

Extend your right arm and position your right thumb in front of your eyes. Focus your eyes on the thumb in front. After a span of time lasting a complete breath, shift your focus to another object a few feet away. Do the exercise for three minutes. The basic purpose of the thumb exercise is to make you concentrate on the object that is near as well as distant. The exercise makes you employ different eye muscles and strengthens them, leading to an improved eyesight.

In addition, splashing your eyes with cold water is one of the best home remedies for tired eyes. Studies show that eyes help people accumulate 95% of their knowledge. This fact is enough to make us review our eye care routine to ensure their safety. These exercises are a real stress buster for the eyes and can help us relax our eyes as well as our brain. The only way to know, how effective they are, is to try them when we feel our eyes are under stress.


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