Why Is Blinking Important?

Have you ever wondered how many times do you blink in a minute? You may think that it is not necessary to count how many times you blink but it is an important number. Blinking is essential to our eye health. The average time that adults blink is between 10 and 20 times every minute. You may not feel every blink because it only takes a tenth of a second.

Every time we blink, we spread a thin layer of tears across the cornea of the eye. Blinking helps us to keep the eye from drying out. It also helps in brushing away the tiny particles of dust and dirt that are present which can irritate the eyes and interfere with vision. People may be wondering why they get runny noses when they cry, it is because the excess tears and contaminants drain out through the tear ducts into the nasal passages.

woman blinking

How Intense Focus Can Reduce Blinking Frequency

We often notice how we blink a lot less when we are focusing hard on something such as reading a book, playing a game, or watching our favorite show. We blink 60% less frequently than the normal and healthy rate. The average blinking is between 10 and 20 per minute but under these conditions, it is as little as three to eight times per minute.

Reduced blinking frequency can add to problems including eye strain and dry eye. Not blinking enough means there is no adequate moisture given to your eye resulting in a dry eye. You may experience eye strain when you engage in an activity for a long time without taking a break.

closed woman's eye

Importance of Blinking Exercises

We are not usually conscious when we are blinking but it is important to make an effort to blink frequently during the activities that we focus on. Try closing your eyes when you are thinking or doing something that does not require vision because in that way you can rest your eyes for a moment.

If you are doing an activity that requires high focus, you can set reminders to do blinking exercises in each hour. Doing so can keep your eyes feel fresh and prevent dry eye or eye strain. You can simply follow these steps as an exercise:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Pause
  3. Squeeze a bit
  4. Open again and relax

It is amazing how many things can happen in a blink of an eye because many different mechanisms work together. Consult with an eye doctor if you are suffering from dry eye or eye strain.

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