Blog — Eyes of NM, Albuquerque Optometrists

The Importance of Blinking

Did you know that almost 90% of patients with dry eyes have a condition called meibomian gland dysfunction?

Did you know that this is severely impacted by a lack of blinking?

Did you know that you blink less when you are concentrating, like when you are using a computer?

Did you know there are exercises you can do to help retrain your muscle memory to blink more frequently and completely?

Frequency:

  • To be completed every 20 minutes, 20 X a day to improve muscle memory.
  • Use an audible signal (egg time, phone or computer alarm) to remind you.
  • Free IPHONE App: Donald Korb Blink Training

Exercise instructions:

  1. Close both eyes normally, pause 2 seconds, and open. Note: To check your blink, place your finger gently on the bone to the outside corner of one eye. When you are blinking “normally”, you should feel very little movement from the muscles around your eye.
  2. Close the eyes normally again, pause 2 seconds and then aggressively squeeze the lids together (as if you are trying to crack a walnut with your lids) for 2 seconds. Open both eyes.
  3. Repeat every 20 minutes, 20 X a day.

Awareness:

Your blink rate naturally decreases with sustained visual activity.  For example, if you spend a lot of time on the computer or other digital media, doing close up work, you probably have a decreased blink rate and might want to post a copy of the blinking exercises nearby as a reminder.

Helpful Hint:

If you are having difficulty incorporating the blinking exercises into your schedule, choose an activity you do routinely such as answering phones or looking at email or text messages.  Doing the blink exercises every time you perform this activity will help to make complete blinking, a habit.

Happy Blinking!

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