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BLINKING

All about Contact Lenses










Blinking is good

 WHY IS BLINKING IMPORTANT?

Blinking is vital for a healthy eye. A full blink cleans and refreshes the front of the eye whilst providing nutrients and dissolved oxygen for the tissues of the sensitive cornea (front surface of the eyeball). A continual flow of fresh tears containing the body's own defence mechanisms also protects the eyes from bacteria and other unwanted micro-organisms. The tear film, the layer of tears on the front surface of the eye, has been described as a miracle. It is perfect in every way, consisting of exactly the right ingredients designed to give you clear vision and to protect the eye from attack from organisms you cannot see.

It is important for all contact lens wearers to ensure they are blinking correctly as the tears keep the contact lens wetted and cushioned on the eye surface and this can mean the difference between success and failure in long term contact lens wear. On this page you will find some exercises which are specially designed to eliminate faulty blinking by replacing it with normal fully relaxed efficient healthy blinking.

 WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO BLINK?

The right time to blink is now. Looking at computer screens for long periods of time can severely dry out the eyes. CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors are worse than TFT (thin film technology) monitors as the former give out static which can dry out the eyes and air-conditioning is bad news for anyone with a dry eye problem. Try to blink fully and often, especially when looking from side to side and from one object to another. Many people forget to blink or do not think it is important enough to bother about. The best time to blink is when you would not normally remember to blink such as when concentrating on something such as a computer screen, longer periods of reading, watching television or even just waiting at traffic lights.

 HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BLINK?

The average blink rate is once every 5 seconds — so try to blink using this interval and remember to make it a slow, relaxed and controlled full eyelid closure. In one hour the average person will blink 720 times but studies have shown that computer users will blink less at only 144 times in an hour.

THE PROCEDURE

  Sit down where you can be relaxed and comfortable without distraction. The head should be straight and upright with the eyes initially directed straight ahead.

  Close the eyes slowly and gently, in a fluid motion, as if slowly falling asleep. This is generally the most difficult part of the exercise and takes the longest to achieve a successful outcome. Most people start off the exercise being jerky and patience is required is order to be able to develop the necessary slow gradual movement of the eyelid.

  Pause for 3 seconds after closing to allow the upper lid to complete a full closure.

  Open slowly to a slightly wider than normal position but not so wide as to cause any wrinkling of the forehead.

  Pause in the wide open position for two seconds.


REMEMBER TO BLINK


Perform 10 of these blink actions in succession and repeat this 15 times each day with and without the contact lenses.

Improvements in lens tolerance usually occur after 1 - 2 months.

These exercises, if performed conscientiously, should enable you to develop a full, fluid, natural appearing blink to improve your vision, comfort and increase contact lens comfort and wearing times.


FINALLY


These exercises prove beneficial only if you work at doing them for many weeks or even months. If you have been blinking incorrectly for twenty years one cannot expect that all problems will be immediately resolved. It will take time and effort to achieve the desired results, so in the short-term many sufferers use tear supplements or re-wetting drops. Click on the DRY EYE page for advice about other ways to relieve dry eyes.


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