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The best eye exercise routine to help Dry Eye. You need to try it!

eye exercises for dry eye

These simple and easy exercises are designed to stimulate your natural tear production and help to bring relief to those dry, tired, sore irritated feeling eyes. Dry eye is a progressive inflammatory condition caused by too few, or poor quality, tears. When your tears are not able to perform their protective health role your eye will become exposed to potential damage. The causes of dry eye are complex and the symptoms can vary widely from one person to another. The most important thing to understand is that you can take control and help stop dry eye from developing and causing irreversible ocular damage.


Dry Eye Zone has put this short ExEYEcise routine together as a compliment to the treatment programme recommended by your eye care professional.


1. The Flutter

When you blink you spread your tears over the surface of your eye helping maintain that protective moisture barrier. The action of blinking will also help release new tears from the glands around your eyes and eye lids. As well as moisturising the ocular surface your tears also bring essential nutrients and oxygen.Rapidly blink or flutter your eyes for 15 seconds.

A top tip to check that your blinks are effective is to gently rest your index finger horizontally under your bottom eyelid, when you are blinking fully you should feel your top lashes touch your finger.  Thank you Dr Schendowich of the National Keratoconus Foundation.


2. The Squeeze

Now really get those tear glands working with ‘the squeeze’, slowly close your eyes and hold for 2 seconds, slowly open your eyes and close them again, this time squeeze them tight for 2 seconds and release for 3 seconds. Open your eyes. Repeat 5 times


3. The Roll

Place your index finger horizontally on your lower eye lid and gently ‘roll’ it up towards the eye 2-3 times. Move your finger along the length of the eyelid from the outer edge all the way to the nose. Repeat for the upper eyelid. Now repeat ‘the roll’ for the other eye. This exercise is designed to help express oil from your meibomian glands, the oil will improve the quality of your tears and slow down the rate of moisture evaporation from the eye.


4. The dream

Look into the distance, such as out of a window, and soften your gaze for 20 seconds. This will allow your eyes to rest – especially important if working at a screen. Repeat this once as part of this routine or every 20 minutes if you are using a computer for long periods.


5. The black out

This is not so much an exercise but best practice if you suffer from dry eye. If safe to do so keep your eyes closed when only your ears are needed. This is known as ‘blind working’ Try this when having a phone conversation, listening to the radio or a conference call when there is conversation only. Only do this when sitting down.



Repeat these exercises up to FIVE times each day or if working at a screen try to do then 2-3 times an hour to help avoid digital eye strain. You will soon get into the habit and hopefully feel the benefit!


What next?

These exercises may help bring some degree of relief, especially if you spend significant parts of your day looking at screens. However, they are not designed to be a substitute for getting the advice of your eye care professional who will recommend a management programme specifically for your type of dry eye. And don’t forget scientific studies have shown that aerobic exercise in general helps tear production and improves overall health.


You can find out more about all things dry eye related by visiting Dry Eye Zone – there is plenty of useful advice, more about dry eye disease itself and a curated range of products you will only find available from leading independent opticians.



And don’t forget to subscribe to Dry Eye Zone regular free information updates.



If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms then you should ask the advice of your eye care professional. Do not leave things untreated as symptoms may progress. Why not book your next eye examination with an independent optician today.




Kristeen Cherney. Medically reviewed Dr Ann Marie Griff. Can Blinking Exercises Help Treat or Prevent Dry Eye?


Kim AD, Muntz A, Lee J, Wang MTM, Craig JP. Therapeutic benefits of blinking exercises in dry eye disease. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2021 Jun;44(3):101329. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2020.04.014. Epub 2020 May 12. PMID: 32409236.


Abokyi, S., Nyamaah Mensah, S., Otchere, H., Osei Akoto, Y., & Ntodie, M. (2021, November 27). Differential effect of maximal incremental treadmill exercise on tear secretion and tear film stability in athletes and non-athletes. Experimental Eye Research.


Kim, S.-D. (2016, June). Effects of yogic eye exercises on eye fatigue in undergraduate nursing students. Journal of physical therapy science.


Effects of physical activity/exercise on tear film characteristics and dry eye associated symptoms: A literature review. Contact lens & anterior eye : the journal of the British Contact Lens Association.


Al-Mohtaseb Z, Schachter S, Shen Lee B, Garlich J, Trattler W. The Relationship Between Dry Eye Disease and Digital Screen Use. Clin Ophthalmol. 2021 Sep 10;15:3811-3820. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S321591. PMID: 34531649; PMCID: PMC8439964.


Dr Bezalel Schendowich. The Science And Art Of Blinking. National Keratoconus Foundation. Accessed March 2024.


Al-Mohtaseb Z, Schachter S, Shen Lee B, Garlich J, Trattler W. The Relationship Between Dry Eye Disease and Digital Screen Use. Clin Ophthalmol. 2021 Sep 10;15:3811-3820. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S321591. PMID: 34531649; PMCID: PMC8439964.



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