Best Eye Exercises To Relieve Strain And Tension Headaches

At some point, all of the muscles in our body will suffer from overuse, and the small ones in our eyes are not excepted, especially as a result of either driving over long distances or staring at computer screens and other digital devices, with the latter being a common result of everyday office work. 

Eyestrain is usually not a serious medical problem, requiring only eye rest or other solutions to reduce eye discomfort. However, in some cases, it could be a sign of a more serious condition that could threaten your vision in the long term if left untreated for a long time.

Listed here are the eye exercises that will provide you with all the strain and tension headache relief you will need for long-term eye health, all from "The Power of Stretching" by author and licensed massage therapist Bob Doto. Note that these exercises should not be held for too long, nor should you overexert when doing them, and that repeating the positions once or twice is recommended:

Eye Stretch 
How to do it:

  1. Look straight ahead, and look up, down, left and right in that order.
  2. Hold each stationary position for the duration of a breath (e.g. inhale and look up, exhale and look down) 
  3. Make half-circle motions, arcing toward the forehead first, followed by half circles in the direction of the feet. Alternate the breaths for the half circles as you go back and forth so that you inhale in one direction and exhale on the way back. 

Look Into The Distance 
Holding your focus on the screens for hours can tire out your eye muscles, leading to headaches and wooziness. Looking out into the distance will relieve eyestrain caused by staring at the screens all day.
How to do it:

  1. Stand or sit by a window, then focus your eyes on a point at the distance, allowing you to engage the muscles that focus on the eyes. If you are not beside a window, then you can find a point within the room that you are in that is in the distance.
  2. Looking at a faraway general landscape should also suffice when engaging your eye muscles if you feel tired staring at a specific point.

Around The Eyes
Because the face is one of the most tension-prone areas of your body, it is a good idea to utilize this set of stretches on the small but powerful muscles surrounding your eyes for some tension relief.
How to do it:

  1. Press your finger pads on your temples, then gently pull the skin back towards the hairline.
  2. Close your eyes, then press your finger pads beneath the eyebrows before gently pressing them towards the forehead. Finally, press the pads into the skin below the cheekbones.
  3. Keep your head in neutral position, then look up toward the forehead while you pull down the skin underneath your fingers. For more soothing relief, you can also make small circles using your fingers as you apply pressure.

Digital eye strain 65 percent of Americans suffer from digital eye strain. bark CC BY 2.0