Computer Eye Strain: BATTLE THE BLUR

Working on the computer daily? Blurred vision becoming an issue? Keep eye strain in check with these powerful and natural solutions.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably using some sort of electronic device. When I count to three, I want you to look away from it. If you can, look at a point at least ten feet away, just below eye level. If not, look at a point as far as possible from you. If the girl sitting across from you on the train gets nervous, you can resort to closing your eyes. Count to ten and come back here.

Note: if you have these ten seconds to give your eyes a bit of rest, then you have what it takes to begin healing your eyes and preventing further damage.

Here we go. 3…2…1…

Now blink once or twice. We sometimes forget to blink as we stare intently into our glowing orbs. Did you blink a couple times? Okay, then. We’re off to a good start!

Check Your Eyes

If you haven’t already noticed these changes, give your eyes a little checkup. Here are some symptoms that may indicate you have computer induced near-point eye strain that may be deteriorating your vision:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Occasional blurred vision, near or far
  • Excessive tearing
  • Pain behind your eyes or otherwise unexplained aches in the head, neck and/or shoulders
  • Light sensitivity
  • Trouble seeing objects or letters up close (particularly if this wasn’t always a problem)
  • Slow deterioration of your vision

A couple weeks ago I was dismayed while checking out the nutrition label on a paleo beef bar (like a fancy, healthier Slim Jim) to find that I had pulled the wrapper a few extra inches away in order to see it clearly.

“Oh, no. It’s happening.”

I’d always boasted perfect vision, so this was a near catastrophe. What would I tell my friends who always swore up and down that my vision would “naturally” decline with age, as if years of life were a magical ruining elixir?

Maybe so, but I tend to agree with those theorists out there who consider “aging” to be a disease, albeit an ultimately inevitable one (maybe). But many “age-induced” ailments or injuries are actually the result of much wear and tear with insufficient doses of tender loving care, and are often preventable. Besides, I’m only thirty-something and I’m not ready for that.

Immediately, of course, I set myself to some furious googling.

Beat the Blur

Orlin Sorenson is an expert on eye health and recovery who offers some free tools and apps as well as supplements through his company Rebuild Your Vision. I commend him to you. Here are some tips I garnered from him and a few other nerds who published awesome studies online. Of course, this is not exhaustive, but makes for a nice start.

1. Blink

Playing video games, watching TV, reading books and web surfing all have one thing in common: they tend to make you intensely focused and unblinking. Blinking provides your eyes with much needed micro-rest. For you, it’s the split of a split second. For your eyes, it’s a mandatory exercise that provides both relief and moisture. So, don’t forget to blink! Do it intentionally. Do it plentifully. Do it like you mean it.

2. Look Out Into the Abyss (aka Palming)

This is a nice one. Maybe try it for those two minutes on “the throne” instead of reading an eBook or posting on facebook?

All you have to do is close your eyes and gently place your nice warm palms over them. Check to make sure there’s no light coming in, and then close your eyes again. Stare deeply into the black mystery of the backs of your eyelids. Imagine distant galaxies. Don’t just zone out, but direct your vision far into the depths of…Okay. Just look ahead into the darkness as far as you can for 1-2 minutes. That will do!

3. 10-10-10

All the experts just LOVE this one because it addresses the body’s strict use-it-or-lose-it policy, and this exercise offers a bit of ocular cross-fit training. The three tens stand for 10 minutes-10 seconds-10 feet. If you’re forever staring at a screen that is just a foot or so away from your eyes, then your eyes may not only grow weary and tired, but may lose their fitness in clearly seeing at any other distance, near or far.

Sorenson offers a free app with purchase of his supplement, or you can set a timer to remind you every ten minutes to look ten or more feet away for ten seconds. It’s really not as terribly disruptive as you might think. I’m an editor, novelist, journalist and overall insane worker bee on the comp, typing, researching and staring at the majestic orb for glorious twelve hour sessions whenever possible. If I can do it, you can do it!

4. Rolling

Don’t roll your eyes at me! Actually, please do. Or better yet, roll them at yourself. Eye rolling will assist in keeping your crystal balls hydrated and also gently work and stretch the eye muscles (more ocular cross-fit). Simply hold your head level and roll your eyes, stretching them as far as you can comfortably as you roll them in one direction. Do that for a few rounds and then repeat in the opposite direction.

5. Food, Nutrition and Essential Oils

Most experts agree that a diet high in refined sugars, excessive caffeine, and too few fruits and veggies both directly and indirectly affect your body’s ability to maintain healthy eyes and vision. Conversely, there are many foods, supps, EOs and diet habits that specifically contribute to eye health, particularly:

  • Food & Drink
    • Veggies high in carotenoids—that is, the orange and yellow vegetables rich in Vitamin A
    • Any foods high in antioxidants. The usual suspects appear, blueberries and cherries being at the top of the list.
    • Plenty of water to keep them hydrated. Dryness is a no-no.
    • Fresh fruit/veggie juices for highly absorbable vitamins and minerals
  • Supps
    • Eye drops…sort of like supplements, no?
    • Fish oil or Cod liver oil
    • Greens superfood for vitamins and minerals
    • Eyebright
    • Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA)
    • Or find a synergistic blend such as Orlin Sorensen’s Ocu-Plus Formula
  • Essential Oils (apply up to three drops of high quality essential oil diluted in coconut oil on cheeks and around the eyes —never ever ever in the eyes— a couple times per day)
    • Frankincense oil to improve overall eyesight
    • Helichrysum oil for its tissue healing and regenerating prowess, to help support and build healthy nerve tissue
    • Cypress oil to improve circulation delivering nutrients to the eyes, helping to improve macular degeneration

I hope this gets you started on the road to excellent fitness and health! As always, if you’d like to find out where to get highest quality essential oils that I use and share with my family, contact me at May you see brightly and be blessed with unshakeable health!

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