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The Purpose of Blinking

Do you know why it's essential for us to blink multiple times every minute?

The adult average for blinking ranges between ten and twenty times per minute, with each blink lasting a tenth of a second.

Blinking Refreshes and Cleanses Our Eyes

Fresh layers of tears spread across the surface of our eyes with every blink. The tears brush away minor irritants like dust and dirt particles that could interfere with our vision and keep our eyes from drying out. The excess tears drain out through the tear ducts and down into our nasal passages when there is too much moisture. Now you know why your nose gets runny when you cry!

When We're Focusing, We Tend to Blink Less

Sometimes, we blink as little as three times per minute when we're concentrating hard on something like a game, TV show, project, or book. Going a long time with blinking less than we should compound unit it becomes eye strain or dry eye.

Get Into the Habit of Blinking More

When you find yourself concentrating, try to make a conscious effort to blink more. You can train your eyes to blink more frequently out of habit if you work on it enough. Setting reminders to do blinking exercises every hour can help get you into the habit. Soon, you won't need the reminders anymore. Please keep your eyes feeling fresh by doing simple exercises like closing them, pausing a moment, squeezing your eyelids, and then opening them again.

Blinking Mechanisms

Blinking, while seeming a simple act, actually requires a lot of different mechanisms working in harmony in our eyelids and eyes, including various types of tear production, tiny glands producing oil to replenish the film that stops our tears from drying out, and several different sets of muscles to do the physical movement of blinking. With so many moving parts, there are many ways things can go wrong. If you're experiencing dry eye or eye strain and blinking exercises aren't doing much to help, set up an appointment with us!

Do you know what's always a sight for sore eyes? Our patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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