I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. As a health and fitness professional, this leads me put extra care into the wellness of my eyes. I make sure that my eyes stay as healthy as possible. I do this in a variety of ways:
How to protect the health of your eyes
- Eat foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the cells in eyes from degradation. A potent example of a food that protects eye health is spinach.
- Focus your eyes on different distances. If you focus on a screen for most of the day, take some time to lift your eyes away from the screen and focus on things that are further away. Use the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Taking a brisk walk every few minutes is another great way to give your eyes a break. In fact, brisk walks can increase your productivity at work.
- Balance out the amount of time that you spend focusing on shorter distances with times where you focus on longer distances. This is one of the reasons why I include running into my daily routine.
- Do things that increase blood flow. Your eyes need nutrients to recover. Blood is your eyes’ only access to these nutrients.
- If you feel constant discomfort in your eyes, it is a good idea to pay your eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) a visit. In many cases, this may prevent certain conditions from becoming worse if they are detected early enough.
- Balance out eye-intensive activities with other activities that relax the eye muscles. One of these activities, using tea bags to ease eye strain, is the focus of this article.
Why tea bags help to alleviate eye stain
Here is why tea bags will help to alleviate eye strain:
1) Tea is naturally anti-bacterial
Since tea is naturally anti-viral and anti-bacterial, the regular use of tea bags on the eyes will help to remove any germs that could be causing discomfort. A healthy eye can spend more energy on recovery instead of fighting off viruses and bacteria.
2) Tea bags will add moisture to dry eyes
We tend to blink less when we look at screens. This leads to eye dryness – commonly known as dry eye. Dry eye can make eyes feel painful and strained. It’s like trying to do cardiovascular exercise when you haven’t had enough water for an extended period of time. Dry eye can lead to eye strain. The moisture from tea bags will seep into the eyes and help to moisturize them.
The nutrients from tea (like antioxidants and tannin’s) will help the eyes to recover from damage. Antioxidants do two very important things on a cellular level. They help to repair cellular damage. They also help to prevent further damage from free radicals.
4) Different temperatures will encourage blood flow
Cold temperatures will tighten blood vessels and ease swelling and inflammation. Hot temperatures will expand blood vessels and encourage the flow of more blood. By increasing or decreasing the temperature around the eye, you speed up healing by changing the existing blood flow. This helps to prevent inflammation, swelling, blood pooling and, therefore, stagnant recovery.
5) Relaxes the eye muscles
You need to try leaving tea bags on your eyes for a few minutes to experience the kind of relaxation that you feel in your eyes and eye muscles afterwards. This feeling of relaxation will ease strain and help the rest of your body to relax. It will also encourage healing. A relaxed muscle is a healing muscle. In cases of swelling and inflammation, you have to wait for these symptoms to die down before the healing process can start. This is why athletes will use heat or cold to jump-start the recovery process after injury.
How to use to try the teabag method
If you would like to try this method and see whether it will help with your eye strain, this is how you do it:
1) Add boiling water to two tea bags without any additives like sugar or milk
2) Take out the tea bags and place them on a plate
3) Wait for them to cool down until they won’t burn the skin of your eyelids
4) Place a towel on your pillow so that the tea does not run onto your bedding
5) Place the tea bags on your closed eyes, while lying down, while they are still warm
6) Leave them on for about 10 minutes. Turn them over every 2 minutes or so.
7) Remove the tea bags and open your eyes slowly
8) Repeat the process until you feel like your eye strain is reduced
- You may want to play music is you struggle to sit still
- Don’t worry about drops of tea running down your face
- Be sure to wash your face and hands afterwards – tea can stain your skin
- DO NOT use cucumber slices directly on your eyes. Although the effects will be the same as tea (moisture, cool temperature and relaxation), the possibility of bacterial infections outweigh the potential benefit
By giving your eyes optimal time to recover, you can reduce the negative effects of focusing on the same length of distance for too long. Always speak to your eye doctor whenever you feel any discomfort or whenever you want to try a new self-care routine for your eyes.