All About Dry Eye Blog

Blinking Exercises to relieve Dry Eye Symptoms

Blinking is a crucial part of keeping the right amount of moisture in the eye surface, especially during cold, dry weather. It coats the eye with a fresh layer of tears while also cleaning the surface and moisturizing it. It is an almost subconscious action that means a lot to a dry eye patient.

Whether you work at a computer for +8hrs, watch a movie, or live in a dry environment, a slow blinking rate will increase your dry eye symptoms. Under normal circumstances, your blinking rate is an average 4 seconds, about 15 times a minute.  When using the computer or staring at any other bright screen our blinking rate decreases by up to a whopping 70%!

Blink break! Before you continue reading… blink a couple of times.

Will blinking alone help my dry eyes during the day?

There are various blinking exercises that can help you further improve the condition of your eyes. These are designed to work your eye muscles and maintain your eyesight during the day.

Look at a distant object

This exercise benefits people who are glued to a monitor all day (iPads, tablets and smartphones included). In this day and age, people are dependent on technology for a larger number of daily tasks. We stare at bright screens a short distance from our eyes and this is causing eye strain, since our eyes are at rest when we look at distant objects.

dry eye blinking exercises 1

So the first exercise goes like this: find a window, any window; now focus on a distant tree or car for 10 to 15 seconds. Slowly refocus your eyes on an object closer to you without moving your head. Focus on this new object for another 10 to 15 seconds. Do this 4 to 5 times, going back and forth between the distant object and the closer one.


Shut, squeeze, rinse and repeat

dry eye blinking exercises 2This one’s a fairly quick one. Shut your eyes quickly, squeeze them and feel your facial muscles moving. Keep this for 3-5 seconds. Open your eyes slowly and relax the muscles, keep them open for another 3-5 seconds. Repeat this process 6 or 7 times.


Clockwise… counter-clockwise

dry eye blinking exercises 3Roll your eyes clockwise one full round, then counter-clockwise another full round. Next, move your eyes up and down, then left and right. Finish up this exercise but looking at your nose tip.



dry eye blinking exercises 4Palming[1] works to relax your eyes and your mind. It is inspired by Yoga Eye Exercises and you can do this anywhere. To get started sit comfortably and rub your palms against each other until you feel them warm up (Mr. Miyagi-style!). Turn your palms facing upwards and place them over your eyes, making sure you are not covering your nose and that no light filters through them. Once your palms are positioned correctly, feel the warmth coming from your palms and close your eyes. Concentrate on the complete darkness and relax your mind for a minute.

Benefits of blinking exercises for dry eye patients

These exercises will help you relax your eyesight, clear tear ducts and prevent further vision deterioration. It is recommended that you exercise your eyes for 5 minutes for every 30 to 40 minutes of near vision work.


Try it! Leave us a comment and tell us if these blinking exercises are helping you.





  1. Marv Dukes says:

    God bless who ever wrote this posted this text. This gave all the answers to question that were dispersed along the web ; all in one informative piece …Awesome!!

  2. Yan Reich says:

    Thank you so much!
    I’ve been doing the exercises for a couple of days now (though not as often as you recommend, something like 2-3 minutes every hour), and my eyes feel much better, after bugging me for months.

  3. Hare Krishna says:

    thanks for this great information – so many folks have dry eyes these days, including me. I will try these Blinking Exercises today.

  4. I’m glad you’ve all found this article useful! Combine these exercises with proper computer/monitor positioning ( and your eyes will thank you!

  5. Thanks for the useful info! I shall try these and provide more feedback.


  6. My husband and I have tried the exercises and will continue and send further comments. We have tried exercises in the past and then get lazy or shall I say BUSY. Thank you as this condition is very uncomfortable to live with. We found the Yawning exercise very good BUT now we can’t stop (only joking). The whole programme we are very grateful for so thank you once again.

  7. YES!!!!! This helps SO much… I developed dry eye after cataract surgery (2 years ago) but especially after DSEK surgery in my L eye 6 months ago… The hot compresses and eye massage help a bit in unclogging oil glands…BUT it did not help me to produce tears or make my eyes feel less dry. THESE EXERCISES DO. THANK YOU! :)

  8. Thank you for this information. I have been really struggling with dry eyes post cataract surgery. I will try these exercises and get back to you. I wish my ophthalmologist was a better patient educator or gave out handouts such as these. I would be so helpful rather than having to try to deal with the problem alone.

    • Hi Anne. Glad you found the article helpful. I do believe it’s normal to experience dry, more sensitive eyes post cataract surgery. However, the dryness should subside in a few months or so. Wear your protective lenses and be sure to give your eyes rest when watching the television or on the computer. Hope you feel better soon and keep us updated on your progress!

      • Thank you so much for your prompt, kind and reassuring reply. I have been practising the exercises all day and already sense some benefit. I also have glaucoma and I think the drops are a bit irritating which doesn’t help. Thanks again and I will keep you posted. I appreciate your work.

        • You very welcome! Yes, it’s true.. glaucoma drops can cause irritation and dryness in the eye! However, using artificial tears alongside them is not the best option since they tend to wash our the glaucoma drops. Perhaps also try talking to your doctor about including omega-3 supplements in your diet which could provide you some additional relief.

  9. Zainabriaz says:

    Hey after doing these execise my eyes got really teary,is it normal?

  10. MAM Shuman says:

    What a great Article. It is helping me everyday.

    God bless

  11. Very interesting article. Dry eye glasses and warm compresses are also very effective with blinking exercices

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