Eye strain has become much more common in recent years due to the increase in work-from-home jobs and more people spending more time in front of screens for entertainment and work purposes. However, screentime is not the only cause of eye strain.
You can also get eye strain from other things, like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription or trying to see something in very dim lighting. Eye strain is a common experience, but is it something to worry about?
Keep reading to learn if you should be concerned about eye strain!
What is Eye Strain?
Eye strain is a feeling of tiredness or discomfort in your eyes that typically occurs due to straining to look at something for a long time. Eye strain can occur for any number of reasons and is relatively common.
Typically, eye strain happens when you spend a long time looking at a computer screen, reading, or doing any other activity that requires you to focus your eyes for an extended period of time. This can cause your eyes to be irritated or uncomfortable.
Since these types of symptoms can also indicate alternative eye problems, it’s important to visit your eye doctor for an exam to determine the cause of your symptoms. Your eye doctor will perform a thorough examination of your eyes to rule out any other causes.
They will likely also measure and test your glasses prescription to ensure you are not in need of an updated pair. After talking with you and figuring out what exactly is causing your eye strain symptoms, your eye doctor will be able to give you advice on how to improve your symptoms.
What Does Eye Strain Feel Like?
Eye strain can make your eyes feel achy, tired, uncomfortable, or even blurry. You might also experience headaches, dry or red eyes, or neck and shoulder pain.
When you have eye strain, your eyes might feel more sensitive to light, and you might have trouble focusing on things. It can also be uncomfortable and make it hard to do things like read, write, or use a computer.
In some cases, eye strain may also be associated with dry eye, which can cause additional or worsened symptoms.
What Causes Eye Strain?
As mentioned before, eye strain can be caused by a number of different things. Determining which activity or factor is causing your eye strain may help you avoid the uncomfortable symptoms caused by it.
Some of the most common causes of eye strain are:
- Spending a lot of time looking at a screen, like a computer, tablet, or smartphone
- Doing close-up work, like reading or writing for long periods of time
- Poor lighting, such as working in a dimly lit room or staring at a bright screen in a dark room
- Not taking breaks or looking away from the screen every 20-30 minutes
- Poor posture or positioning, such as leaning too close to the screen or hunching over your work
- Wearing glasses that are the wrong prescription or wearing contacts for too long
- Being tired or stressed, which can make your eyes feel more sensitive and fatigued
- Certain health conditions, like dry eye syndrome or computer vision syndrome
It’s important to take breaks and make changes to your habits and environment to prevent eye strain and keep your eyes feeling healthy and comfortable. Eye strain itself is not inherently something to be concerned about.
However, the discomfort caused by eye strain may be easily resolved, so it’s better not to put off visiting your eye doctor. Your eye doctor at Blaine Eye Clinic can help you narrow down the causes of your eye strain and advise you on how to help your eyes feel better once again.
How to Prevent Eye Strain
Eye strain is common, especially with the increased use of computers and other digital devices, but it’s usually not serious and can be easily treated by taking breaks, adjusting your screen or lighting, or doing eye exercises. After speaking with your eye doctor, they may recommend a few lifestyle changes to help combat or eliminate your symptoms.
Here are some ways to help stop or prevent eye strain:
Adjust Your Screen
Make sure your computer screen is at the right height and angle, and adjust the brightness and contrast to a comfortable level.
Use Good Lighting
Make sure the room you’re in is well-lit, and avoid staring at a screen in a dark room.
Blinking helps keep your eyes moisturized and can prevent dryness and fatigue.
Exercise Your Eyes
Try doing some simple eye exercises, like focusing on a distant object, looking away from the screen, or moving your eyes in different directions.
Wear Glasses or Contacts As Needed
Make sure your glasses or contacts are the right prescription, and replace them when they get old or damaged.
Get Enough Sleep
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night, which can help prevent eye fatigue.
Try to find ways to reduce stress, like taking breaks, doing physical activity, or talking to a friend, which can help prevent eye strain.
Give your eyes a break by looking away from the screen every twenty to thirty minutes and focusing on something in the distance.
Eye strain itself typically doesn’t have serious or long-term consequences, but it can be annoying and uncomfortable to deal with. Remember, taking care of your eyes is important, and following these steps can help prevent eye strain and keep your eyes feeling healthy and comfortable.
However, it is best to visit your eye doctor at Blaine Eye Clinic for an accurate diagnosis and treatment advice that can reduce or even eliminate your symptoms!
Are you experiencing symptoms of eye strain? Schedule an appointment at Blaine Eye Clinic in Blaine, MN, today!