Eye fatigue is caused by prolonged periods of reading, writing, driving, or working on the computer. Also known as tired eye, it may not be a serious disease but knowing how to prevent even minute amounts of pain help. Also, sometimes eye fatigue could be the cause of an underlying ailment that may require medical treatment. A check up becomes even more important if eye strain is associated with headaches or vision problems.

Causes of Eye Fatigue

Activities that require extended periods of intense usage of the eyes can cause eye strain. Sudden exposure to bright lights and trying to focus on something, like reading in dim light, can also cause eye fatigue due to nervous tension.

One of the most common causes of eye fatigue nowadays is looking intently at digital screens. Gaming on smart phones or TV, working on computer screens, reading on digital devices such as iPads are the major reasons. Better known in eye care professionals’ circles as the computer vision syndrome, it affects about 70-80% of people who work on computers daily. Surveys show up to 10 million eye care examinations every year, are the result of computer related eye problems.

Computer related eye problems are expected to rise as we march through this age of technology. Digital screens also affect a person’s tendency to blink as focusing on a computer screen reduces the blink rate. Under normal circumstances, an individual blinks about 18 times a minute. Whereas, research suggests, people tend to blink only half as much while working on computers.

Symptoms of Eye Fatigue

  • Sore eyes
  • Irritation
  • Dry eyes
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light increases
  • Heavy feeling in the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Overall body fatigue

How to Prevent Eye Fatigue

Eye fatigue can be irritating and could cause problems at work and home. Some changes in the work environment and the daily routine could help prevent eye fatigue. Some of the practices most experts recommend for the prevention of eye strain include:

  • Adjust lighting to make sure your room is lit evenly so you don’t have to glare at an object.
  • Use of anti-allergens could help prevent allergies that may cause redness and irritation in the eyes.
  • Frequent breaks from work help the eyes get a bit of rest. Especially if you work on computers.
  • Use of air purifiers prevents harmful contaminants such as pollen and dust from getting indoors, hence creating a cleaner environment.
  • Periodically practicing the 20-20 rule helps improve vision.
  • After work or before going to bed, apply a cloth soaked in lukewarm water on closed eyes for about 5 minutes.
  • Sliced cucumbers can be used as mini ice packs to calm and soothe fatigued eyes.
  • About 8 hours of sleep daily, is recommended to prevent tired dry eyes and a lot of other diseases.
  • Routine check-ups to make sure your spectacles or contact lens prescription is up to date.
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