Simply improve your vision as a communicator.

Simply improve your vision as a communicator

February 14, 2024

As communicators, most of our professional work is based on our good vision – our eye vision, that is. We need to preserve our future vision in more ways than one, but the immediate need is to look after our eyes. Communicators spend long work hours looking at computer screens and monitors as well as phones, iPads etc. Apparently about 70% of computer users suffer to some extent from eye strain, known as ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’. Therefore, it’s important to know how to simply improve your vision as a communicator.

And soon, some of us will also be using dramatically new technology like Apple’s Vision Pro, “a computer that is worn on your face,“ and which seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world.” At US$3,000-4,000 it creates a visual and financial challenging 3D environment for us to view.

The writers of a 2023 HBR article, “What is Apple’s Vision Pro really for?” say:

Rather than view the computer’s output through a physical screen, that output is projected directly into your eyes with two very small but high-resolution displays a very small distance in front of you. Rather than control the computer through a keyboard, mouse, or touch screen, the primary user interface is through eye tracking and gestures.

I wonder: what will be the impact on users’ eyes?

An eye-opening experience

When I was a Public Affairs Manager earlier in my career, the big boss reshuffled our organization’s management structure, which was great (I got promoted to the executive team!), but I had to move to another office. Among the changes was that my new office had no access to external light – only ceiling lighting and an internal window to a corridor.

Inevitably, I began to get headaches and eye strain. I did what most people would do, and went to an optometrist, who promptly prescribed reading glasses for the first time in my life. Although I agreed to purchase the glasses, I felt quite unsettled about the idea. It didn’t seem right to need glasses so soon. So I read some articles on strengthening vision by natural eye exercises – and since then I have never looked back, so to speak. No glasses ever again!

Simple eye exercises

Communicators spend a lot of time in front of digital screens, and most of us start to get eye strain at times along the way, whether we already wear glasses, contact lenses, or not. Even if you just have tired eyes and haven’t yet reached eye strain, you can check if these simple, proven eye exercises can help you at no cost- the exercises will improve your vision as a communicator.

These exercises strengthen your eye muscles, increase eye coordination, reduce eye strain, and improve your focus. In addition, the exercises help to reduce your stress, create better peripheral vision, and reduce dry eyes if that is a problem for you.

Consistent eye exercises can reduce your current and future dependence on glasses and contacts. Nevertheless, you should arrange regular eye checkups by an optometrist. Some employers include eye tests as part of their employee health benefits.

Incidentally, I’m not saying “Don’t wear glasses!” I’m saying that these quick and easy eye exercises strengthen your vision whether you wear glasses, contact lenses, or no devices at all.

Develop a daily eye routine

We all find it hard to change our habits. Many people have trouble sticking to new behaviors because they think routines are endlessly dull. But, if you can start a new habit or routine and keep it going regularly for two months it will start to feel natural – it will start to become a new routine that is an automatic part of your day. In the whole scheme of things, two months isn’t long to improve your vision as a communicator,

So what does routine have to do with your eye health? Well, having good daily habits can help to keep your eyes healthy and prevent diseases. It will improve your overall health too.

Here are eye exercises you can do daily:

Eye exercises 1.

Image, above.

Keeping your eyes open for all of these movements, gives you better context when you move your eyes. If you wear glasses it is probably better to take them off for all these exercises.

(1) Move your eyes from side to side. Start by looking left and then look to the right without straining. Do this about 5-6 times to each side. Then change by going from right to left. Do it in a relaxed way; don’t force at the extremities of left and right. Keep your head still while doing this.

(2) Look up and down. Move your eyes down slowly in a relaxed way from a central position to their lowest position. Hold for about 3 seconds, Don’t strain. Keep your head still. Return to the center position each time. Repeat about 6 times. Then do the opposite by looking upwards about 6 times, returning to the center position each time.

(3) Circle your eyes. Roll your eyes 6 times in a slow clockwork movement, starting and finishing in the 12 o’clock position. Repeat anti-clockwise. Keep your head still. This strengthens eye muscles, making them more flexible with smoother eye movement. This exercise is particularly valuable in preventing eye strain and discomfort.

(4) Do the horizontal figure 8 with your eyes. Imagine a big number 8 turned on its side about 10 feet in front of you. Start with your eyes looking straight ahead. and slowly sketch the figure 8 with your eyes looking to the edges of your vision. Fully circle several times in a relaxed way for 30 seconds. Then reverse direction for 30 seconds. This simple, but effective exercise improves eye coordination, and helps prevent muscle imbalances that can result from focusing on particular areas of the screen you spend most of your time looking at. For instance, I use a laptop with two monitors, and tend to look at parts of the left screen for my emails and the right screen for web use.

Eye exercise 2.

Blink regularly. Blinking is a natural way to evenly moisten the eyes, preventing dryness. Hold your eyes closed for a few seconds each time. Repeat several times. Many communicators spend long work hours in room air conditioning to keep themselves warm in winter and cool in summer. This immediately dries eyes. Dry eyes also develop faster when people use digital devices, we tend to blink less, leading to dry eyes and discomfort. See if you can remind yourself on your smartphone or in other ways to blink regularly, especially during lengthy times of screen use. It is all too difficult to maintain a reliable habit, so find a way to remind yourself daily.

Eye exercise 3.

The 20-20-20 Rule. This is especially tailored for people engaged in a lot of screen time. The 20–20–20 rule involves taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to gaze at an object about 20 feet away. This very popular rule is a lifeline for your eyes, interrupting prolonged screen exposure, and developing eye comfort and vitality.

Experts say making the 20-20-20 rule a daily habit can easily save your eyes from developing strain and pain over the long run.

Eye exercise 4.

Palming. Gently cupping your palms over your closed eyes creates a serene haven of darkness. Palming is not just a physical relaxation technique; it’s a mental oasis. This practice eases eye muscles, calms nerves, and can be particularly beneficial after extended periods of screen engagement, offering your eyes a well-deserved respite.

Eye exercise 5.

Zooming. Hold a pencil or your forefinger/thumb at the front center of your eyes at arm’s length. Slowly bring the pencil closer to your eyes until you see a double image of the pencil (about 3-4 inches from your eyes). Slowly return the pencil to its initial position. Repeat this several times during the day. This strengthens your eyes’ focusing proficiency.

Overall

It is in our interests to improve our vision as a communicator because our professional work depends heavily on our good vision so we are productive and efficient.

Further reading

You are welcome to read my other recent article on the importance of good eye health, “Good visual health enhances workplace safety.”

Kim Harrison

Kim J. Harrison has authored, edited, coordinated, produced and published the material in the articles and ebooks on this website. He brings his experience in professional communication and business management to provide helpful insights to readers around the world. As he has progressed through his wide-ranging career, his roles have included corporate affairs management; PR consulting; authoring many articles, books and ebooks; running a university PR course; and business management. Kim has received several international media relations awards and a website award. He has been quoted in The New York Times and various other news media, and has held elected positions with his State and National PR Institutes.

Content Authenticity Statement. AI is not knowingly used in the writing or editing of any content, including images, in these newsletters, articles or ebooks. If AI-produced content is contained in any published form in future, this will be reported to readers.

Leave a comment

Please read and respect our Comments Policy before engaging.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Further Reading

Good visual health enhances workplace safety

A crucial aspect of supporting employees’ performance and productivity is paying attention to their personal health and well-being, including visual health. Consequently, a previous article here highlights the role of effective internal communication in keeping...

Stress management tips for PR teams during a crisis

It’s a PR team’s worst nightmare – a media relations crisis. Of course, it’s also what you signed up for, and you know what to do to handle it and get your organization or client back on track in the eyes of the public and shareholders. But that doesn’t mean it’s...

Share

No products in the cart

Send this to a friend