Eye Strain

eye strain

What is Eye Strain?

Eye Strain is a discomfort in the eyes as a result of intense use such as reading and using a computer for prolonged period. Asthenopia is the medical term describing eye strain. It is extremely common and affecting almost all people. Ciliary body of the eye muscles which is responsible for accommodation is what is greatly affected by straining due to keeping the eye muscles in one position for a long period of time. It is annoying but is always not serious and usually goes away after resting the eyes. Eyestrain however, can indicate underlying eye condition and may be a symptom. Bad case of eyestrain can however hamper daily activities that may affect ones living.

eye strain

Eye Strain Headaches

Eye strain is due to the attempt of the eye muscle to have better focus. This eye strain often results to headaches. The eyeballs are working much harder to get a better focus putting too much strain on the eyes. Headache may be described as mild and radiating to both temples and not pounding. Headache is often relieved after resting the strained eyes.

Eye Strain Symptoms

Eyestrain may exhibit one of the following symptoms:

  1. Headache as the most common symptom usually after prolonged staring and shifting activity of the eyes
  2. Fatigue
  3. Burning sensation in the eyes
  4. Blurry vision
  5. Pain in and around the eyes
  6. Irritated eyes
  7. Itchy eyes
  8. Doubling of vision may occur
  9. Soreness or stiffness at the back of the neck
  10. Sensitivity to light is increased
  11. Eye dryness
  12. Watery eyes

Eye Strain Causes

  • Visual problems such as uncorrected refraction errors and accommodative insufficiency
  • The common cause of eye strain is prolonged use of computer or staring at computer monitors
  • Reading with insufficient lighting will strain the eyes
  • Focusing on near distances
  • Switching between distances
  • Watching television for longer hours
  • Bright glare
  • Sports activities requiring switching distance view such as pitching and batting in baseball
  • Low levels of light
  • Long drive
  • Improper viewing angle position
  • Extended focus of an activity such as using the microscope or binoculars
  • Trying to see in dim lights

Computer Eye Strain

Almost all people are in to computers nowadays even children are adept with the use of computers. Most offices are set up with computers prompting employees and even employers to use computers almost every day spending eight hours a day in front of the computers. Children are also using computers in school even at home for doing research and playing games in the computers sometimes subjecting their eyes for longer hours in the computer. Sooner or later almost all will suffer from computer vision syndrome.

There are specific factors contributing to computer strain syndrome and these are:

  • Improper distance with the computer monitor
  • Improper angular position of the monitor relative to visual direction
  • Brightness and contrast of the image on the monitor
  • Quality of image on the monitor related to resolution, image transfer, refresh rates and monitor focus
  • Room illumination and air-condition

Computer Eye Strain Symptoms

A person may know if he is already suffering from computer eye strain if symptoms manifest such as:

  1. Blurry images after long hours in the computer when looking at a distance
  2. Unstable images in computer monitors
  3. Burning or irritating feeling in the eyes
  4. Aching in the brow and forehead
  5. Stiffness in the neck
  6. Headache

How to Avoid Computer Eye Strain

Computer eye strain can be avoided with the following preventive measures:

  1. Place the monitor a few distance comfortable for use
  2. Adjust the angular position of the monitor relative to visual direction
  3. Image and color quality of the monitor should be adjusted
  4. Brightness and contrast should be set properly somewhat not glaring in effect
  5. Room should be well illuminated
  6. Rest the eye from computer monitors by looking away from monitors to a distance every 10 minutes
  7. Place a screen protector on computer monitors to reduce glare directed to the eyes

computer to eye distance to avoid eye strain

Also refer : Eye care tips for bloggers and computer users

Eye Strain Treatment

It is important to isolate cause of eye strain prior to treatment. Eye Strain symptoms associated with other symptoms might be a signal of other underlying causes and these need medical attention. It is also best to consult with a doctor for proper treatment and management of eye strain if there is no other underlying condition that may have caused it.

Proper treatment may be required by the doctor if eye strain is due to underlying eye condition. Eye glasses may also be prescribed for specific activities. Regular eye exercises may also be recommended.

Eye Strain Natural Remedies

Lifestyle adjustments in simple manners may be done to remedy and prevent eye strain. It is necessary to prevent eye strain than further complicate it.

Simple tips and natural remedies to relieve eye strain may include:

  • Regular eye exercises such as blinking not only relieve strain but also improve vision naturally
  • A drop of honey on each eye for 3 minutes while lying down will help ease eye dryness
  • Close the eyes for a few minutes to relax the eye muscles
  • Nutritional supplements for the eyes such as Vitamin A and beta carotene not only reduce eye strain but also help improve the eyes
  • Artificial teardrops can relieve dryness of the eyes and these can be bought over the counter
  • Put on gentle massage on the eyelids, muscles above the eyebrows, upper cheeks and temples at least twice a day


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