The causes, symptoms, and treatment of eye strain

Special lenses can cut down the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to.

Special lenses can cut down the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to.

What you need to know:

  • Eyes are delicate parts of the body and can easily get affected by excessive strain such as looking at the computer screen for too long or watching TV, etc.
  • Eye care is critical and should not be ignored. If the strain symptoms persist, consult a specialist.

Do you have trouble reading for long periods? Blurred vision, eye pain, dryness, and redness are symptoms of eyestrain. Eye strain occurs when visual muscles overwork due to continuous focusing on one point, leading to muscle fatigue. As a result, the eyes feel tired, sore, and dry.

Eye strain is also called asthenopia.

Causes of the eyestrain

Looking at a computer screen for long

Most people have eye strain if they spend too much time staring at screens. Eye strain is also prevalent among kids who use tablets and phones for schoolwork.

Staring at a screen without blinking increases the strain because the eyes dry out.

Driving for long hours without a break

If you often drive for long hours, take breaks and rest your eyes. Keeping eyes on the road is strenuous, and if you do not give yourself a break, you'll feel the effects in the form of eye strain.

Studying using poor lights

If the room is not well lit, you will be forced to stare at your books without blinking. Unfortunately, this will cause your eyes to dry because blinking is how the eyes refresh themselves.

Other common causes of eyestrain include

  • Underlying eye problems
  • Poor sitting posture
  • Working on a detailed project

Symptoms of eye strain

  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Eye pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sore eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Itchy eyes

Treating and managing the eyestrain

Artificial eye drops or lubricants

They help relieve dry eyes and itchiness and are available over the counter.

Rest your eyes

When you feel your eyes are strained, take a break from what you are doing. This could mean getting up and taking a short walk, drinking some water, or just closing your eyes for a few minutes. If driving long distances, stop and rest or have a co-driver to help.

Use of computer glasses

You can buy special lenses that cut down the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to when you are working on computers, tablets, or mobile phones. This helps reduce eye strain and fatigue from staring at screens.

Note: These have to be prescribed by a doctor.

Adjust your workstation

Ensure that your computer screen is at eye level and the light is not too bright. For example, if you are using a laptop, try to use it on a table instead of your lap. Also, let your screen font be large enough so that you do not have to strain your eyes.

Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun and reduce strain on the eyes caused by glare.

Avoid addictions

Avoid over-use of screens, especially before going to bed. This will help your eyes recover overnight, and you will wake up feeling less tired.

Eye Care for Children

If a child complains about their vision or seems uncomfortable when reading or doing school work, it may be a sign of eye strain.

Ensure their study area is well-lit and they take regular breaks to rest their eyes.

Limit the child's gadgets time if there is a symptom of eye strain.

Parents/guardians should take their child to an ophthalmologist if they suspect that there's something wrong with the child’s eyesight