Vancouver Optometrists

4466 West 10th Avenue
Call: 604-224-3937

How to Alleviate the Discomforts of Eye Strain

Thursday, June 19, 2014 @ 08:06 PM
Author: admin



In today’s technological world where people use screens often, eye strain has become more frequent. However, that’s not the only reason a person’s eyes may feel tired and unable to function like usual. If you go on a long road trip and you’re behind the wheel the whole time, if you work as a truck driver, or if you read for hours on end, you can also experience eye strain.

Most times, eye strain is not a serious medical condition. It doesn’t require intervention by a doctor and typically abates as long as you cease the strain-causing activity for a while. However, that doesn’t mean that eye strain doesn’t sometimes require medical attention if your symptoms get worse or do not disappear after some time.

First though, it helps to understand all sources of eye strain. Not only can staring too long on the road, reading for too long, or using computers or smartphones for too long cause eye strain, but so can other situations. For example, if you read or stare at something for too long in a room with poor lighting, your eyes will have a harder time functioning well. If the room is too bright though, you could also experience discomfort. Glare generated from screens or windows can also cause eye strain.

If you use a computer frequently for work, school, or recreation, this particular type of eye strain has its own particular name called computer vision syndrome. This syndrome isn’t very serious, like most types of eye strain, but it too can cause serious vision problems in some instances.

If your eyes begin straining, you’ll notice a few general symptoms. Your eyes will feel dry and may begin to hurt or itch. Your vision may begin to grow blurry and your eyes may also water. Your back, neck, and shoulders may begin to hurt, and you may notice that you have a headache as well. Other bright lights may make these symptoms worse. The symptoms for computer vision syndrome are generally the same.

However, in some serious instances, you may experience other symptoms. In these cases, it’s best to receive medical attention as soon as possible if these symptoms do not abate in a reasonable amount of time. You may have a strong headache or migraine, itchy or painful eyes, and double vision and other vision issues.

Some factors can make your eye strain worse, such as excessive air conditioning or heater use. If you’re already tired or have already had a long day, it shouldn’t take long for you to experience eye strain. If you already have eye issues such as refractive errors, this also increases your likelihood of developing eye strain.

If you do decide to visit with your doctor, he or she will test you for eye strain through a typical eye examination. You should discuss any factors that may cause your eyes to become uncomfortable, such as long amounts of time at a computer or on the road, long amounts of time spent reading, or possible preexisting eye conditions. Ultimately, if you have another eye condition, your doctor can treat it at this time. He or she may also recommend that you wear prescription lenses to reduce the chance of you developing further eye strain.

Mostly though, you can make most of the changes to prevent eye strain yourself. Take frequent breaks from reading or computer use. If you drive a lot, make rest stops when possible to give your eyes a chance to refocus and rest. Always make sure that you’re in a well-lit room and try to keep the temperatures even if you can. By moving your computer monitor at home and work between 20 and 40 inches from where you sit according to Mayo Clinic, you can reduce the effort your eyes have to make when looking at the screen. You should also try to prevent glare in the room if possible.

You can also buy artificial tears without a prescription if eye strain typically gives you dry eyes. These artificial tears keep your eyes lubricated so that your eyes don’t feel as irritated at the end of the day. You can try massaging your eyelid muscles, Mayo Clinic recommends. Rub your temple, your eyelids, your eyebrow muscles, and your cheek below your eyes using your fingertips for 10 seconds per spot. Try to do this at least once every day.

While eye strain isn’t a long-term threat to your vision, it’s still annoying and can detract from productivity and comfort. By taking the above steps to be proactive about your environment, you can reduce your chances of experiencing eye strain.


Leave a Reply