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Blinking Exercises

Partial blinking is very common in people with dry eyes.  If you have been diagnosed as a partial blinker and have been given this handout, your optometrist feels blinking exercises are critical for your eyes ocular health.

Blinking Sequence:  20/20

Every 20 minutes/20 x day




  1. Blink exercises require frequency.  They must be done every 20 minutes for 4-6 weeks to be effective.  Use an audible signal such as an egg timer, cell phone alert or computer to remind you, especially during tasks requiring sustained focus. (IPhone App:  Mindfulness Bell)

  2. Close both eyes normally, pause 2 seconds and open.  Then, close the eyes normally again, pause 2 seconds and then aggressively squeeze the lids together (as if you are trying to crack a walnut with your lids) for two seconds.  Open both eyes.  Repeat every 20 minutes.

  3. Hold your index fingers at the corners of your eyes and blink. When you are blinking correctly, you should feel your index finger pull in.

  4. Blinking is very task-dependent and the blink rate decreases with sustained visual activity.  For example, if you spend a lot of time on the computer, reading, or other close up work, you are probably blinking much less frequently and might want to post a copy of the blinking exercises nearby as a reminder.

  5. Lastly, if you are having difficulty incorporating the blinking exercises into your schedule (i.e. 4 x an hour), chose an activity you do routinely i.e. checking email, text messages.   Doing the blink exercises every time you perform this activity will help to make complete blinking a habit.  It is critical for the health of your eyes. 

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