We live in a digital era where PCs, laptops, iPad, TVs, and Mobiles have become a decisive part of our lives. We spent most of our day in front of these screens and usually had eye fatigue or strain stress.  

The weird thing is that some people consider eye fatigue a disease. However, it isn’t a disease but a condition that usually occurs due to the extended exposure of eyes to bright light. Eye fatigue manifests as tiredness, strain, or soreness in the eyes. 

Although the condition isn’t that serious, if not taken care of earlier, it will worsen with time as it affects a person’s health in various ways. To help you identify the causes and treatment of eye fatigue, below, you will find an extensive article. 

We have also compiled helpful tips to alleviate eye strain symptoms. However, it is always best to consult an optometrist in case of doubt or persistent symptoms.

Causes of eye fatigue

Screens aren’t the sole reason that causes eye strain or eye fatigue. Many factors can cause your eyes to work hard, resulting in blurry vision. Here are some significant conditions resulting in eye strain:

1- Prolonged use of digital devices 

Digital devices such as smartphones and computers are among the most common causes of eye fatigue. This happens because the user has to focus on a brighter screen for too long. Bright light exposure directly affects the eye’s retina, resulting in headaches and muscle tension. 

2- Poor lighting conditions

Poor lighting conditions are another reason that causes eye strain, dizziness, and fatigue. When the lighting is inadequate, the eyes must work hard to focus on the desired object resulting in a headache. However, to avoid such situations, you can choose the following options. 

  • Opting for natural light
  • Using different ambient light sources at different intensities
  • Avoiding direct lights

3- Focusing on nearby objects for an extended period

Eye fatigue can be caused by staring at a computer screen for too long, reading printed text for too long, watching TV or movies for too long, or even driving too long. Apart from these reasons, some other factors also make your eyes tired, for instance, depression, lack of sleep, and dehydration.

Eye strain symptoms

The eye strain symptoms can be distinguished as follows :

  • Sore, tired eyes
  • Itching or burning eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sleepy eyes that want to close

Eye strain isn’t limited to eyes only but can also cause headaches, sore necks, back and shoulders, and difficulty concentrating.

Tips to reducing eye fatigue

Eye fatigue can be mitigated with these tips. 

Take regular breaks: Take frequent breaks when performing tasks that require prolonged focusing, such as working on a computer, reading, or driving. For every 20 minutes of work, take a break and look away from the screen or book for at least 20 seconds.

Adjust lighting: Ensure proper lighting when reading or working. Use task lighting that shines directly on your work area and avoid working in low light conditions or under glare.

Adjust screen settings: Adjust your computer or screen settings to reduce blue light emission, increase contrast, and adjust the brightness to a comfortable level.

Use artificial tears: Use artificial tears to keep your eyes moisturized if you suffer from dry eyes. And in case of persistent symptoms, it is always best to consult an optometrist.

Manage allergies: Manage allergies that may cause eye fatigue, such as pollen or dust allergies, by avoiding triggers or taking medication.

Get enough rest: Ensure you get enough rest and relaxation, as being tired or stressed can make it more difficult for your eyes to focus and lead to eye fatigue.

Wear glasses: If you have a refractive error, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, wearing glasses or contact lenses can help to reduce eye strain and fatigue.

You can get help for eye fatigue

If you suffer from eye strain and nothing works for you, make an appointment to have a complete eye exam with one of our experienced optometrists.

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