What is Eye Strain
Eye strain generally occurs when the eye muscles are over-used and is characterized by fatigue, pain and other related symptoms of irritation in the eye, headaches and visual problems. If the eyes have been continuously focused on a book or computer monitor for a very long period of time, the ciliary muscles of the eye tightens which in turn causes the eyes to get irritated and the vision becomes uncomfortable.
This is an annoying problem no doubt, but not fatal. The only remedy of eye strain is to get your eyes some rest. For most of us, it is almost impossible to change the nature of the job if it demands long hours at the computers. But there are ways to reduce the eye strain. A simple way is to give the eyes a break once or twice every hour, rest for five minutes, focus on a distant object and blink.
Causes of Eye Strain
Eye strain is mainly caused due to the following reasons:
- Glare from Bright Lights
Symptoms of Eye Strain
Some common symptoms of eye strain are:
- Recurrent headaches and Migraines
- Pain in the eyes and red, watery Eyes
- Blurred and double vision
- Dry and scratchy eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Neck and back aches
- Heaviness and aching in the eyelids and forehead, especially in the areas around the eyebrows
- Twitch in the eyelid
Some computer strain symptoms are:
- Headaches while using the computer
- Irritated and dry eyes
- Focusing problems when looking from screen to distant objects
- Losing place when moving focus of the eyes between copy and the screen
- Difficulty seeing after hours of computer use
- Double vision
- Color perception problems
- Changes in prescription of the glasses
Solutions to Relieve Eye Strain
- While working, it is always advisable to reduce the eye-strain by shifting focus from near to far (at least 20 feet away) on a frequent basis. Also, try blinking in between your work. That helps a lot in reducing the dry eye symptom and eye strain.
- Reduce the glare of your TV and computer screen. The flat screen technologies of modern day do not reflect as much light. Try to switch to them. Try using a glare filter on your screen.
- Adjust the contrast settings to a moderate level so that it does not strain your peripheral vision.
- Adjust the colour settings and the colour temperatures on monitors and screens.
- While reading, position your book such that it is 30 to 40 cm away from your eyes.
- Always wear sunglasses when you are outdoors or driving as the UV rays are harmful enough to make your eyes prone to strain. Use sunhat or baseball cap to reduce the glare of the sun.
- Do not watch television at an angle. Also, keep the lighting of the room 50% dimmer in comparison to the screen. Never ever watch television or look at the monitor in darkness.
- Consult your optometrist and list for yourself some eye exercises. They help in strengthening the muscles of the eyes and preventing eye strain. Some effective eye exercises for preventing eye strain are:
- Head Rolls
If your optometrist prescribes, use eye-drops or artificial tears to soothe the overworked eyes.
Eat green and leafy vegetables for a better eye health. Take nutritional supplements such as Vitamin A and beta carotene. They are really good for your eyes and will reduce the risks of eye strain.