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How Do I Relieve Tired Eyes?

In a typical day you face long hours at a computer screen, commuting in your car, and other tedious chores that can make your eyes scream for relief. Most of the time we just need to find a way to rest our eyes. We asked Michelle Calder-Cardwell, OD, a VSP network doctor at Urban Optiques Vision & Eyewear in Northville, MI, for some suggestions on how to relax tired eyes.

Quick Eye Fatigue Relief Tips

"There are some great generalized eye exercise techniques that can provide relief to over-stressed eyes," explains Dr. Michelle. She suggests trying any of the following exercises for a few minutes every couple of hours while spending more than a half-hour working on a computer—or during other eye-stressing situations. As always, be sure to wash your hands before you touch your eyes.

Tired Eyes Exercises

  • Every 30 minutes on the computer, or while reading, look as far off into the distance as possible for one to two minutes.
  • Imagine a clock directly in front of you. Focus on the center point, then look at an hour mark without moving your head. Look back at the center of the clock, and then focus your eyes on another hour mark. Try this 10 times.
  • Use your eyes to write letters on a distant wall—but keep your head still.
  • Blink often! Especially while on the computer or if you wear contact lenses.

Not all of these exercises will work the same for everyone, so avoid any of the exercises that are uncomfortable. "If your eye-strain problems persist, visit your VSP network doctor to see if there's a more customized treatment plan or vision therapy that would work best for you," says Dr. Calder-Cardwell. "Even a good pair of glasses or updated prescription can make a world of difference when it comes to relieving eye strain and fatigue."