I wonder whether the eyes muscle relax when you close them. Common knowledge told us the eyes muscle get tense when you stare at nearby object. If you close your eyes, you eye lids have 0 distance with you eyes. Would the eyes muscle relax in this case?


1 Answer 1


I would guess that the eye muscle relaxes when the eye is closed. After having the eyes closed, just in the moment after opening them, it seems that the focus is in the distance. It takes a fraction of a second before you can read some text on your computer screen for example . This focusing-duration seems to be shorter when looking into the distance after opening the eyes.

Another effect is when you look at an object in short range for quite a moment and then close your eyes. You can feel the relaxation.

  • $\begingroup$ Certainly noticed what you mean when closing eyes and then attempting to immediately focus on a near-to object. I wonder if it could be due to it being dark when the eye is closed - this could I suppose result in the relaxation (as there is nothing to "see" if you do this in a pitch black room). $\endgroup$
    – Rory M
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ I can confirm the eye muscles relax. Not just intraocular muscles, but also the extraocular muscles. I've recovered from chronic eye strain. I know. $\endgroup$
    – John David
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 7:29

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