Beat eye strain

I wear glasses, have since school, and I’ve noticed since I spend a lot of time staring at a screen that I am suffering more from eye-strain.

So, as most of you wear glasses AND stare at screens during most of your life, here’s some suggestions on remedying eye strain.

More than 70% of American knowledge workers suffer from eye strain. You know the drill, your eyelids get tired and dry, a headache starts rumbling inside your skull, and your ability to focus on your work starts to evaporate.

So I could avoid eyestrain I looked through through internet medical literature looking for insights.

1. Make your on-screen characters big enough that you can actually read them.
If your on-screen text is too small, you’re going to strain your eyes. Hold a credit card to the screen — the letters you’re reading should be at least as big as the card serial numbers, or about 3.5 mm.

2. Take a break every 15 minutes to help your focusing muscles recover.
Focusing and refocusing you eye physically strains the eye muscles. Like other muscles, they will get worn out with overuse. So make a point to pause, relax, and look into the distance — like a building across the street — since that lets them recover.

“While you’re reading, your eyes make about 10,000 movements an hour,” Cornell University ergonomics professor Alan Hedge said in an interview. “It’s important to take a step back every 20 minutes and let your eyes rest.”

I personally activate the acupressure points around my eyes (see below)

3. Blink more to keep your eyes from drying out.
When we’re staring into screens, we blink less, which prevents the eyeballs from getting the nutrients they need. Make a conscious effort to blink every 10 to 15 seconds to prevent desert eye.

4. Feed your eyes the nutrients they need so they can work hard.
Eyeballs use up lots of the body’s energy and make extra demands on vitamins, so try eating foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E or zinc. Alternatively, take a supplement.

5. Move  your monitor far enough away to make it easy on your eyes.
You should literally keep your screen at arms length. If you’re sitting back in your chair, you should be able to just touch the screen with your outstretched hand.

6. Clean your monitor often.
Dust obscures text and makes it harder to read the screen, which tires your eyes faster.

7. Angle your monitor so you don’t have to fight on-screen glare.
If you can see a white shirt in the reflection of a turned-off monitor, you’ve got too much glare. In that case, reposition the screen to avoid glare — ideally at a 90 degree angle to any windows. Otherwise, install an anti-glare screen.

8. Get your eyes checked regularly.
If you need glasses and you don’t have them — or you need an upgraded prescription and don’t realize it — you’re making your eyes work harder than they need to.

Bonus tech solution… Get an app so your monitor isn’t glaring at you all day.
Computer monitors are bright, which is great during the brightest hours of the day. But that light is harsh on your eyes in the early morning and evening — plus the blue light of screens wrecks your sleep cycles. To avoid that, try the app f.lux, which changes the colors of your screen to match the time of day, such as a yellow-orange around sunset.




According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all diseases involving the eye are closely related to the liver. It is also understood that the eye is nourished by all of the internal organs in the body. The lens of the eye and the pupil basically belong to the kidney, the sclera to the lungs, the arteries and veins to the heart, the top eyelid to the spleen, the bottom eyelid to the stomach, and the cornea and iris to the liver. The Spleen and Stomach also control circulation in the eyes. Therefore an imbalance in any of the internal organs may lead to eye disease. 


There are a number of acupuncture/acupressure points around the eyes (basically around the orbits of the eyes which are the bones that surround the eyeballs). The points shown above are some of the major local eye points.

  • Jingming (UB-1) , lies where the inner corner of the eye meets the nose.
  • Zanzhu (UB-2)  lies in the depressions at the inner ends of the eyebrows.
  • Yuyao Midpoint of the eyebrow in the hollow.
  • Sizhukong (SJ 23) Sanjiao or Triple Burner Channel, in the depression at the outside end of the eyebrow.
  • Tongziliao (GB 1) lies in the cavities on the outside corners of the eye sockets.
  • Qiuhou Midway between St-1 and GB-1 along the orbit of the eyes.
  • Chengqi (St 1) directly blow the pupil on the infraorbital ridge bone.

Instructions for doing self-acupressure for eye health:

GENTLY massage each acupuncture point around the orbit of the eye, starting with B1-1 and massaging each point as you go up and outward. Each point should be massaged for approximately 5-10 seconds. You can massage both eyes at the same time. You can do this massage as often as you like over the course of the day. You may find that each point feels different in terms of sensitivity.

Keep BREATHING as you massage. Deep breathing helps the cells of your eyes receive the oxygen they need for healing. Practice long, slow abdominal breathing while massaging the acupressure points.

3 Replies to “Beat eye strain”

  1. Wonderful write-up, but a frustrating read, due towards the lack of proper punctuation in a lot of spots. Please close your quotations! If this post is following some sort of nouveau grammatical style, of which I’m not aware, I remain frustrated; nevertheless, I apologize.

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