We don’t often pay attention to our blinking habits throughout the day. But whether we realize it or not, blinking is vitally important to our eye health.
The average adult blinks between 10 and 20 times per minute. Even though a blink only takes one tenth of a second, all those blinks add up to about 10 percent of our waking life! So, what’s so important about blinking that we need to miss out on 10 percent of everything that’s happening right in front of us?
Blinking Nourishes And Lubricates Our Eyes
Blinking is necessary to clean and moisturize our eyes. Each time we blink, a thin layer of tears is spread across the eye surface, keeping them from drying out as well as brushing away any small particles of dust or dirt that could otherwise irritate our eyes or impair our vision.
When We Focus, We Blink A Lot Less
Did you know that the number of times we blink decreases drastically when we are focused on something? On average we only blink three to eight times per minute when reading, watching TV, listening to a podcast, working on a computer, or another activity that requires intense focus. That’s roughly 60 percent less than our normal rate of blinking! This lack of blinking over time can lead to eyestrain and dry eyes.
Blinking Exercises Can Relieve Strain And Help Dry Eyes
For the most part, we may not realize when we’re blinking. However, making a conscious effort to blink more often during high focus activities can do our eyes a world of good.
Make it a habit to close your eyes when you are thinking or doing something that doesn’t require your vision. Set reminders for yourself to do a blinking exercise every hour during periods of focus. One good exercise that will leave your eyes feeling fresher is to simply close your eyes and pause, squeeze them for a moment, open them and relax.
A Lot Happens In The Blink Of An Eye
The mechanism of our eyes is incredible! Different types of tears along with multiple oil-producing sebaceous glands work together all day to nourish and protect our eyes.Truly, a lot happens in the blink of an eye!
Ask yourself, are you blinking enough throughout the day? Even though blinking seems minor to us, it essential to keeping our eyes healthy.
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Top image by Flickr user Regan Walsh used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.