Blinking is an involuntary reflex which does not require much thought throughout our day. Even though blinking seems simple, it is very important. And believe it or not, there is a correct way to blink.
Why is blinking so important?
- Protects our eyes from debris and foreign objects
- Creates a smooth surface for light to enter our eye and land on our retina for clear vision
- Keeps our eyes moist and spreads tear film evenly
The 20/20/20 Rule
Our blinking pattern can be disrupted throughout the day when we are staring at a screen for too long and doing continuous near work. Optometrists recommend the 20/20/20 rule for everyone, especially those with too much screen time. The 20/20/20 rule means taking a break every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
There is a right way to blink
We want to ensure that when we blink, it is a complete blink. This means that our top eyelid should touch our bottom eyelid. It is very common for people to blink only halfway or not close their eyes completely while asleep. This can be a problem since it exposes the bottom half of our eye and does not allow our tears to be expressed as efficiently. As you may guess, this leads to dry eye symptoms.
Incorporating the 20/20/20 rule and being more conscious about the way we blink can go a long way in helping our eyes feel less dry throughout the day.