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Are you blinking correctly?

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What do you mean there’s a wrong way to blink? It’s an innate thing that we don’t even have to think about, but when we are thinking too hard we forget to blink.

Did you know that we blink on average 12 times per minute. People with dry eyes may blink up to 20 times per minute. When you are concentrating hard and on a digital device the blink rate decreases by up to 60%, and the amount of incomplete blinks can increase by 50%.

Blinking is important as it allows the tear film to fully cover the cornea. As the eyelids come together a small amount of oil is expressed by the meibomium glands. This oil is called meibum and it prevents the tears from evaporating off the cornea. This is why full complete blinks are important.

The good news is that blink exercises can help. A new study revealed that improving your blink can reduce dry eye symptoms. Try it out. Blink exercises are full complete blinks without squinting. Check to make sure your facial muscles are not being recruited by placing your fingers on your temples and blinking. You should not feel any movement of your fingers.

Read the study “Therapeutic Benefits of Blinking Exercises in Dry Eye Disease”: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32409236/

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Written by Mindy Blumberg

Dr. Mindy Blumberg is an optometrist registered with the BC College of Optometrists and is a member of the BC Doctors of Optometry. She graduated from the University of Waterloo and moved to Whistler, BC, to live in the mountains. Mindy grew up alpine ski racing and now has a special interest in sports vision. She helps with performance vision training with the Canadian Ski Cross and the BC Alpine Ski Team. Dr. Blumberg brings expertise on post-concussion vision rehabilitation and performance sports vision. She also uses these functional vision skills and vision therapy to improve reading and comprehension in children by enhancing the visual systems needed to have academic success.

Sea to Sky Optometry would like to acknowledge that we are operating our eye clinic on the unceded territory of Lil’wat Nation and want to thank the community for their support.

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