Do your eyes ever get tired of doing their job? It may sound weird, but for some people the eyes can get dry, itchy, tired, and may begin to burn if they are open for too long. Eye strain, also known as eye fatigue is very common and can most likely be treated at home.
How do you know if you suffer from eye straining? Here are a few additional symptoms:
- Pain in the eyes
- Seeing double
- Inability to focus
- The eyes are sensitive to light
- Dry eyes
- Decreased productivity
- Eyes that produce too many tears
- Neck, back, or shoulder pain
So, why do your eyes hurt?
Irritated eyes are rarely ever connected to a serious concern; in fact, a few lifestyle changes may solve your problem. Many people experience eye strain when partaking in activities that require the eyes to focus for an extended period of time. Writing, reading, driving, looking at your phone or computer screen, watching television and playing video games are all activities that may awaken eye fatigue.
If you spend a lot of your time in front of a screen, you may have developed computer vision syndrome; almost half of the people who do, have it. Smartphones and tablets are further contributing to this issue causing many people to search for an optometrist. The reason looking at a screen for an extended period causes eye strain is because you don’t take the time to blink while you’re looking at them. Of course, these screens don’t prevent you from blinking but they can dramatically affect the number of times you do it per minute.
Those who do not get a good night’s sleep may also experience symptoms of eye strain.
Avoid and reduce eye strain now
There are many things that you can do to improve the symptoms of eye strain. Many of them are changes that you can make so act now if you long for comfort.
You should be getting a regular eye exam to ensure that there aren’t any underlying issues. Although it isn’t common, eye strain could be linked to something more serious. There are muscles in the back of the eyes, and if they are overworked, they may become inflamed. Getting an annual exam will also help provide you with the tools you need for better vision.
Your doctor may also recommend that you invest in some eye drops. Sometimes all your eyes need is a little lubrication to function properly. Eye drops can take care of dry eyes, redness, itching, and discomfort. If you are someone who spends an adequate amount of time in front of a screen, let your doctor know so they can adjust your treatment accordingly. There are certain features that can be added to glasses and contact lenses that may improve your condition.
Make sure that the air in your home is clean. The particles in the air are small enough to get into your eyes and cause irritation. If possible, purchase an air filter to cleanse the air. If you suffer from extreme dryness, plug a humidifier in your home to provide additional moisture.
Change your surroundings
Your symptoms could be due to the places you frequent.
If your eyes are sensitive to light, it may be smart to close the curtains or blinds to reduce the amount of natural light coming through the windows. If you have light bulbs that give off a bright light, try reducing the wattage or turn a few of them off while you work. Studies show that fluorescent lighting can affect your eyes so try switching to another type of lightbulb. You should also move your computer so that light doesn’t shine directly in front of you.
How does your workstation look? If you experience a lot of eye strain, I hope you don’t have the brightness of your computer screen over 50%. It may seem like you need the brightness up to see clearly, but you may be able to see better if so much light wasn’t shooting through your screen. It is also smart to push your computer screen about 20 inches away from you, so you aren’t super close to the monitor. Use an adjustable chair to move your eyes to the same level as your screen; looking up or down too far can contribute to eye strain. You could also invest in a mount that swivels so you can position the screen to your liking. If you can find a glare filter to put on your screen, that will also help. Also, be sure to keep your screen clean, so you aren’t competing with dust and other debris.
You may need to purchase a new computer monitor. Old computer screens have a crazy glare and are rounded, which can cause eye strain.
Are the walls in your home covered in glossy paint? Try painting them a darker color and using a matte finish; your eyes won’t be affected by the glare and dark paint will be much easier on the eyes.
Develop new habits
If you do a few things differently, it might change the way your eyes feel. While working, try giving your eyes a break by looking away from the screen. Every 20 minutes or so take a few seconds a look away from your screen. It is important to look directly in front of you, so you aren’t forcing the eye up or down. You can also find a way to remind yourself to blink.
If you wear contacts, you may want to wear eyeglasses while in front of a screen. Contact lenses are already known to make your eyes dry so wearing them in front of a screen is a double whammy on them. Your glasses can be strictly for computer use, after work you are welcome to pop your lenses back in!
Sometimes eye strain is serious and may cause you to see a medical professional. If your symptoms cause you to get headaches or changes your vision, you may need to seek help.