Eye strain

Posted on 2015-02-12 09:32:40

Eye strain, also referred to as eye fatigue is an eye condition that affects many people. Any form of activity that involves intense use of your eyes like extended period of reading, staring for instance watching television or using computer can cause the eyes to get tired hence eye strain. Exposing eyes to too much light or straining to see in an environment that is not sufficiently lit can also strain the eyes. Eye strain is characterized by general feeling of tiredness, dry eyes (low tear production), watery eyes, difficulty focusing, increased sensitivity to light, double or blurred vision, headache as well as tired, sore, burning, itchy eyes. In addition, eye strain can cause discomfort to other parts of the body. One may feel pain in the shoulders, back, or neck. Strain to the eye muscles can lead to refractive error (poor eye focus) which can cause a need to use eye glasses. Eye strain is common in people who stare at computer screens or other digital electronic gadgets like smart phones for a long time. This form of eye strain is at times referred to as computer vision syndrome and affects most people working with computers. Digital gadgets may be associated with eye strain because there is less blinking when staring at the screen. Frequent blinking is very important as it is a natural way of refreshing and moistening the eyes. However, when you stare at something for too long, you blink less and this can result into tired, dry, burning, and itching eyes. These symptoms can be worsened by inadequate sleep because sleep allows the eyes time to get refilled with vital nutrients. Prolonged sleep deprivation can result into persistent eye irritation hence decreased productivity. Symptoms of eye strain can cause a lot of discomfort but it is rarely a serious condition and usually goes away on its own when you rest the eyes. However, there are instances when signs and symptoms of eye strain may be a sign of an underlying eye problem requiring medical attention. Therefore, if you experience persistent eye strain that does not respond to simple precautions, it is advisable that you see an eye doctor immediately. This is particularly crucial if your eye strain is accompanied with headache and/ or with other eye problems like double vision, discomfort or noticeable change in your sight. It may not be possible to change the nature of your work or other causes of your eye strain, but there are simple measures you can take to prevent or reduce eyestrain. Making a few adjustments in the way you work, read or use the computer can allow your eyes the amount of rest they need. Here are tips to get you started; The 20-20-20- rule. Make sure to take a break from your work. If you are working with a computer or reading printed material, take time to focus on something different every 20 minutes by looking away at something that is far (about 20 feet ) for 20 seconds. This will help you focus on what is near you. Take a few minutes off and do something different like making a phone call. If you can, lean back on your chair and close your eyes for about 20 seconds. Try to blink more when reading or working with a computer as it helps refresh and moisten the eyes. Less blinking can result into dry eyes. Adjust lighting in your work environment to lessen glare (extreme brightness) and harsh reflections. Too much glare can cause strain to the eyes and make it hard to see objects on the screen. You may consider fitting an anti-glare screen on your computer screen. Keep the room softly lit when watching television. With eyes closed, apply a warm compress (a warm washcloth) to dry, tired eyes. Discuss with an eye doctor on the use of Over-The-Counter eye lubricants (artificial tears). These drops can help prevent and ease dry eyes resulting from prolonged periods of reading or using computer. If the symptoms of eye strain continue after practicing these simple precautions, consult an eye doctor for comprehensive eye exam to pin-point the cause of the strain.   By Rebecca Muthoni http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/health/Everyday-activities-that-cause-eye-strain/-/1954202/2619354/-/i1o59jz/-/index.html