On average, you blink 900 to 1,200 times per hour. And over the course of one day blinking accounts for 10% of your time spent awake. So, it’s clear that blinking is important—but why? Let’s explore one of the most important forms of maintenance your body performs on an automatic basis.
Blinking is a natural way for your eyes to clean debris, such as air particles, dried tears, dead cells and more. And by cleaning debris through blinking, you are helping to prevent eye infections.
To work properly, your eyes need a steady supply of nutrients and other substances. For example, your corneas don’t have blood vessels but they still need oxygen to function. Oxygen is delivered through your tear film. Blinking gives your eyes a steady replenishment of tear film and the oxygen supply that comes with it.
Of course, blinking also prevents your eyes from getting dry.
Screen time and blinking
Research shows that you may blink less than half as much as you should while using a computer. This can result in eye irritation and puts extra strain on your eyes. Here’s what you can do to protect your eyes:
- Practice the 20-20-20 technique. Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- Adjust the brightness of your screen. Avoid using a screen that is brighter than the room you are in.
- Increasing font size can help reduce eye strain.
- Set screen time boundaries before bed. The blue light emitted by screens is shown to disrupt sleep patterns.
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