Eye strain: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention


Top 8 Easy Ways To Prevent EyeStrain

For eyestrain prevention, you must understand the problem in detail. Eye strain is a common problem that is experienced by people belonging to almost all age groups. With increased digital engagement, eye strain has become a universally prevalent symptom. Medically eye strain is known as “asthenopia”.


What Is EyeStrain?

Eyestrain is a group of symptoms that arises when the eye muscles get tired due to prolonged strenuous usage. In simple words, eye strain is a characteristic symptom due to eye muscle fatigue. Any activity that demands excessive use of your eyes can cause extra-ocular muscle fatigue leading to eye strain.

In most cases, eyestrain is a minor problem. It gets alleviated by resting the eyes for a brief period. In certain cases, the eye strain can be associated with an underlying eye disease. Therefore, it is recommended to get your eyes checked regularly. Normally, we blink approximately 18 times in a minute. This frequency of blinking helps to keep our eyes afresh. But when the frequency of blinking is reduced due to intensive focus on a certain object or work (book, driving, computer screen, writing), it can cause eyestrain. You must understand eye strain prevention in detail.


Common Causes of EyeStrain

Eye strain is caused by certain activities that involve prolonged use of vision with reduced blinking. These tiring activities include-

Extensive Focus On A Single Activity

Any activity like reading or writing which involves continuous use of vision over a long period can lead to eye strain. 

Environmental Setup With Aberrant Light Exposure

Working at a stretch with inadequate light or excessively lit areas can cause eye strain. For example, reading on a mobile screen or watching a movie on a digital screen with high brightness in a completely dark room, working in a studio with highly illuminated light settings, shooting with strobe light settings, etc. Working under such conditions puts excessive pressure on the eye muscles, leading to eye strain.

Any Underlying Eye Condition

Symptoms of eye strain might be overlapping symptoms associated with an eye disorder. If you are experiencing persistent eye-strain symptoms, get an eye checkup done.


Signs And Symptoms of EyeStrain

Common eye-strain symptoms include-

Uncommon symptoms that need medical attention-

  • Continuous eye pain
  • Soar eyes with a burning sensation
  • Persistent pounding headache


What Is Digital EyeStrain?

Eye strain inflicted due to the use of any digital device is called digital eye strain. Prolonged working hours on a computer or laptop screen is the major cause of this eye strain. Prolonged digital eye strain can lead to computer vision syndrome. Studies suggest that 50%-90% of people who work on a computer screen are at the risk of developing computer vision syndrome. In today’s digital world, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of computer vision syndrome, but taking proper precautions can prevent the worsening of the condition.


8 Easy Ways To Prevent EyeStrain

Limit Stress Timing With 20-20-20 Rule




The 20-20-20 rule involves a 20 minutes focus on the core activity with a 20-second break where you can focus on an object kept 20 feet away. This activity gives your eyes a relaxation window and prevents them from straining. First eye strain prevention. Other than the 20-20-20 rule, you can also use breaks to get away from the activity that helps your eye relax. For long drives, take 10 minutes to 20- minutes breaks, including a stroll or a small nap. You can practice something similar for prolonged screen time. This helps to limit screen time and reduce the incidence of eye strain.


Maintain Proper Placement of Your Screen



Your digital device should be placed at the correct distance, and you should maintain a proper posture. An ideal distance should be 20-26 inches far and slightly below the eye- level. Try changing your posture. You can adjust the screen or adjust your sitting position. This will give your a break from continuous staring and help reduce eye strain.


Use Anti-Glare Protection



The blue light coming out from the digital screen can cause eye strain. Protect your eyes from these harmful rays by either using anti-glare glasses or an anti-glare screen cover. Using an anti-glare filter between your eyes and screen limits the harmful rays entering your eyes, thus preventing eye strain.


Use Proper Illumination

Proper light adjustment should be made depending on the nature of the activity. If you are reading a book or writing anything in a notebook, the light should focus on the object. Sitting in a well-lit room will help you get a smooth reading experience while putting less strain on your eyes. Watching TV in a dimly lit setup reduces eye strain. Similarly, adjust the brightness of your digital screens with environmental illumination. You can use a night filter when it is dark to prevent eye strain.

Restrict eye movement while multitasking: Frequent eye movements while multitasking can cause eye strain. For example, focusing on a handwritten note kept on a table, and laptop screen shifted the focus to perform a task. Instead, you can use a document stand to place your document in a straight line of sight. This will reduce the load on your eyes and prevent eye strain.


Hydrate your eyes with eye-drops:



When you work with continuous focus, you tend to blink less. Blinking is a natural mechanism to replenish moisture in your eyes. A low frequency of blinking can make your eyes dry and cause eye strain. Using eye drops helps to reduce dryness and prevent straining of the eyes.


Protect Yourself From Polluted Air

Pollutants and dust particles suspended in the air can irritate your eyes and cause eye strain. Dry air from air conditioners can also make your cornea dry and add to your eye strain. You can use an air purifier or humidifier to adjust the air conditioner will help reduce eye strain. Practice A Small Eye Refreshing Routine

Once the eye-straining work is finished, place a cool water-soaked cloth on your closed eye for 10 minutes. This regular practice will help your eyes to recover and reduce the symptoms of eye strain.


Who Are At The Risk of EyeStrain?

The incidence of eye strain is higher in people who are exposed the most to causative factors. This includes-

  • Work conditions that demand prolonged exposure to a digital screen.
  • Advanced age with less muscle strength may cause expert eye-strain symptoms often.
  • Kids and adolescence with reduced outdoor activities and increased time spent on digital activities.
  • Already have an underlying eye condition.


Treatments For Eye-Strain

Eye strain is a very common eye problem. Eye strain doesn’t generally have any severe consequences. Maintaining good eye hygiene and following simple steps to reduce eye strain can control the symptoms. Eye drops can be used after consultation with an ophthalmologist to reduce the discomfort associated with eye pain.

However, worsening eye-strain symptoms can be associated with an underlying disease. Pounding headaches, blurry vision, and itchy eyes associated with pain over some time need medical attention. Consult an ophthalmologist for an eye checkup.


Complications of Eye-Strain

The eye strain itself doesn’t cause any physical complication to your eyes. But the discomfort associated with eye strain can cause anxiety, mood swings, reduced productivity, increased incidence of work-related errors, sleep problems, and physical fatigue. However, the blue rays emitted by the digital devices, which cause eye strain, can damage your vision and cause other related problems, including sleep cycle disturbances, age-related macular degeneration, cataract, retinal complications, etc.

Eye strain is an almost inevitable problem. But taking care of your eyes, maintaining proper eye hygiene, and getting regular eye-checkup is of utmost importance to maintain healthy eyes. Try these easy remedies to reduce eye strain. These small tips can alleviate eye strain. In case the symptoms persist, visit an ophthalmologist.

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