Dry Eyes and Blurry Vision: 20-20-20-20 Eye Exercise for Eye Strain

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Dry Eyes and Blurry Vision: 20-20-20-20 Eye Exercise for Eye Strain

Are you struggling with watery eyes? Dry eyes? Blurred or double vision? Headaches? Sensitivity to light? What are some of the best exercises you can try to manage these? Among the many exercises you can learn, check out a simple 20-20-20-20 exercise you can start doing today.

  1. It does not cost you a penny. It is FREE. All it needs is self-discipline and consistency
  2. Most of us need it today due to deteriorating eye health.

Many of us spend most of our waking hours shuttling from one screen to another and one gadget to the next. The more time we spend doing this, the more severe the strain on our eyes.

What are some of favorite eye exercises. Representational image only. Photo Credits: Freepik/Artursafronovvvv

It is not rocket science. If any part of your body is undergoing continuous stress, you will start having issues with it. That is how eye strain works too. Most of us move so quickly through life that we forget the little things that matter the most. We do not realize the value of our eyes until we start having issues with our vision or eyesight.

What are dry eyes?

Dry eyes refer to a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly, leading to insufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eyes. Tears are essential for maintaining the health and comfort of the eyes, as they provide lubrication, protect against infections, and help maintain clear vision. When the quantity or quality of tears is compromised, it can result in dry, itchy, and irritated eyes.

What are blurry eyes?

Blurry eyes refer to a condition where vision becomes unclear, hazy, or out of focus. It can affect one or both eyes and may occur gradually or suddenly. Blurred vision can be a symptom of various underlying causes, and it is essential to determine the specific cause to receive appropriate treatment.

Eye Exercises for Dry & Blurry Eyes

Eye exercises for dry eyes

Dry eyes exercise is a valuable practice that can help alleviate the discomfort and irritation associated with dry eye syndrome. These eye exercises for dry eyes aim to stimulate tear production, improve tear distribution, and enhance overall eye moisture. By incorporating dry eyes exercises into your daily routine, you can experience relief from dryness and promote better eye health. Some dry eyes exercises may include intentional blinking throughout the day, gentle eye massage to stimulate tear production, applying a warm compress to your closed eyes for a few minutes, among other dry eyes exercises and techniques.

Eye exercises for blurry vision

Similarly, engaging in blurry vision exercises can be a helpful approach to improve focus and clarity of sight. These eye exercises for blurry vision aim to strengthen the eye muscles, enhance coordination, and relieve eye strain, which can contribute to blurry vision. Some effective blurry vision exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine include near-far shifting, eye circles, focus switching and blinking. Check if incorporating these blurry vision exercises can help strengthen your eye muscles, reduce or relieve eye strain, and potentially enhance visual acuity. Remember to consult with an eye care professional for guidance on suitable blurry vision exercises based on your specific needs and to address any underlying eye conditions.

How to Relieve Eye Strain? Check Out Exercises For Eye Strain

The easiest way would be to cut out excessive screen time. But let’s be honest. Most of us are working full-time on devices. It exposes us to blue light throughout the day. Even students spend a big chunk of their time studying or playing on gadgets. Yes, we need to adapt to the evolving world, but we must also find simple solutions that can help us keep eye strain in check.

The 20-20-20-20 exercise will help you do this. It is one of the best exercises for eye strain. This exercise is not my invention. I have only added another 20 seconds of blinking to the existing 20-20-20 exercise because it has proved to be beneficial for my clients.

The original 20-20-20 exercise has been recommended by eye doctors and vision experts for many years. This trend continues to date. While the origin of who invented this exercise has been a longstanding debate, many attribute it to Dr. Jeffrey Anshel. An optometrist and author, in his book Smart Medicine for Your Eyes, Anshel recommended it to relieve eye strain and reduce the risk of digital eye strain.

What do we do in the 20-20-20-20 exercise?

It is a simple but effective way to give your eyes a break from the strain of staring at a computer or phone screen for extended periods. It is also one of the best eye strain exercises.


The rules are simple.

  1. For every 20 minutes you spend on the screen, take a break.
  2. Look away from the screen and focus on an object which is 20 feet away. Look outside the window. You can even step outside if you are in a limited space. Try to find a building that is approximately 20 feet. Hold your gaze, preferably without blinking for the next 20 seconds.
  3. Once done, blink your eyes gently 20 times for the next 20 seconds. Do not rush, be gentle and slow.

Do this well. Once you have completed this 20-20-20-20 exercise, you can go back to your screen time.

Representational image only. Photo Credits: Freepik/Mary Markevich

Why 20 seconds?

It is the time your eyes take to completely relax. You can even grab a glass of water if you must keep your eyes and body hydrated during this time.

Why should I blink?

When you are glued to a screen, if you mindfully notice, you do not blink that much as compared to when you are not in front of the screen. And you must blink regularly. Every time you blink, you clean the debris that builds up in your eyes. You also manage the water or fluids in the eyes. It is why blinking matters.

What are the benefits of the 20-20-20-20 eye exercise?

Engaging in regular eye exercises offers a multitude of benefits that can enhance the health and function of your eyes. These exercises are designed to strengthen the eye muscles, improve focus, and alleviate eye strain. By incorporating eye exercises into your daily routine, you can experience the following benefits:

  1. Improved Vision: Eye exercises can help improve vision by enhancing the flexibility and strength of the eye muscles. They can be particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  2. Reduced Eye Strain: Prolonged screen time and extended periods of focusing on nearby objects can lead to eye strain. Eye exercises help relax and relieve tension in the eye muscles, reducing eye fatigue and discomfort. Relieves eye strain caused by prolonged screen time that may lead to eye fatigue, dry eyes, and headaches. Taking regular breaks and trying these exercises can help to reduce the risk of these.
  3. Enhanced Eye Coordination: Eye exercises promote better coordination between the two eyes, helping them work together more effectively. This can improve depth perception and overall visual coordination.
  4. Increased Flexibility: Just like any other muscle in the body, the eye muscles can benefit from increased flexibility. Eye exercises can enhance the range of motion of the eye muscles, allowing for smoother eye movements.
  5. Prevention of Age-related Vision Problems: Regular eye exercises can be a proactive approach to maintaining healthy eyes and reducing the risk of age-related vision problems such as presbyopia (difficulty focusing on close objects as we age) or eye muscle degeneration.
  6. Relaxation and Stress Relief: Engaging in eye exercises can have a calming effect on the mind and body. They provide a moment of relaxation, reducing overall stress levels and promoting general well-being.
  7. Improves posture. Taking regular breaks to look away from the screen can also help to pay attention to and improve your posture. Most of us tend to hunch over our screens, which can cause neck and back pain. By taking breaks and looking away from the screen, you can encourage yourself to sit up straight and improve your posture.
  8. Increases productivity. Contrary to what you might think, taking regular breaks can help increase productivity. It gives your eyes the much-needed rest and allows you space to center yourself and take a few deep breaths. Use this time to recharge your brain and return to work feeling more focused and energized.

During the pandemic, we had several children, adults, and teenagers who complained of eye strain issues. Before we move to complications and extremes, we asked them to practice this simple exercise. And it worked for many.

Now, of course, eye strain could also be caused due to other issues. So, it is important to make an informed decision. If your symptoms continue to persist, visit an ophthalmologist.

Other eye strain exercises

Eye strain exercises, also known as eye relaxation exercises, are an effective way to alleviate the discomfort caused by prolonged screen time and other activities that strain the eyes. These simple yet powerful eye strain exercises can help reduce eye fatigue, relieve tension, and promote overall eye health. Incorporating eye strain exercises into your daily routine can provide much-needed relief and prevent long-term eye problems. Here are four eye strain exercises that you can easily incorporate into your day:

Other eye exercises to try.

A word of caution

If you have uncontrolled diabetes and are having vision issues, please consult your healthcare expert immediately. If your diabetes is not brought under control, it can lead to diabetes-induced glaucomas and lead to blindness. This is not to scare you but to make you aware.

The bottom line

20-20-20-20 is not a magic eye exercise. So, also pay attention to other aspects of your lifestyle like nutrition, movement, sleep, and emotional wellness. Foods rich in zeaxanthin and lutein are powerful for your eye health. A few of these include leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, peas and lettuce, egg yolks, pistachios, flax seeds, corn, bell peppers, and so on.

Look after your eyes. They are precious. Give them the care they rightfully deserve. Try to balance your screen time as much as you can. Help everyone in your family learn this eye exercise, especially kids and teens. Share this as much as you can. Have other eye exercises that have worked brilliantly for you? Share them in the comments so it can benefit more people.

Disclaimer: It is important to note that while eye exercises can be beneficial, they should not replace regular eye exams or medical advice. If you have specific vision concerns or eye conditions, consult with an eye care professional for personalized guidance. Incorporating eye exercises into your daily routine, along with maintaining good eye health habits, can contribute to healthier vision and improved overall eye wellness.

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