Eye strain is a condition that happens when the eye becomes tired from excessive use such as staring at computer screens and other digital devices and long-distance driving.
Causes of eye strain
- Excessive reading without pausing to rest the eyes
- Looking at screens of digital devices
- Long distance driving and performing activities that involves extended focus
- Exposure to bright light or glare
- Looking at a very dim light
- Stressed and fatigue
- Underlying eye problems such as dry eyes or uncorrected vision
- Exposure to dry moving air such as fan or heating or air-conditioning system
- Watery or dry eyes
- Sore, tired and burning or itching eyes
- Sore neck, shoulders and back
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Feeling of incapable of keeping the eyes open
- Tightness of the temples
- Make a relaxing mask by soaking small clean towel cold water. Wring out excess water from the towel and then fold it lengthwise and place it over the eyes for at least 2-7 minutes while lying down. Repeat this process several times every day. Another alternative is using tea bags. Tea bags have tannins that constrict blood vessels and lessen puffy eyes due to eye strain. Ice cubes placed in a plastic bag and placed in the affected eyes also lessen the symptoms.
- Turn off any strong lights, extra lights and fluorescent light bulb to prevent long exposure of the eyes to these lights and over stimulate the body and eyes. It will also prevent fatigue and irritability. Make a comfortable lighting by using soft and warm lights.
- Use anti-reflective screen on the computer screen to lessen the glare and lessen straining the eyes.
- Strengthen the eyelids by lowering the eyelids halfway down for at least 5 seconds. Then slowly close the eyes and relax the eyelids. Take a few breaths to increase flow of blood in the area. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth for at least 1-2 minutes.
- Prescribed artificial tears to lessen dryness of the eye
- Prescribed medicated eye drops to lessen dry eyes and other symptoms
- Take regular breaks from working on a computer or looking at the phone by closing the eyes for a few minutes, standing up and stretching the body and taking snacks or a short meditation.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from the ultraviolet rays of the sun or the blue light from electronic devices to prevent making the condition worse and prevent headaches.
- Take plenty of rest and sleep at least 7-9 hours of sleeping.
- Avoid exposing the eyes to air such as hair dryer, car heater and air conditioner.
- Install a humidier inside the room to add moisture to dry air.