What Is Eye Strain?: Effects and Treatment

Spending endless hours on the computer, using our phones, reading on our tablets, or binge-watching shows on Netflix seem like completely harmless activities.

Most people would agree that they are pretty relaxing activities!

But have you ever experienced watery eyes or double vision after spending long periods using digital devices?

If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of eye strain.

In this article, we’re giving you all of the details on eye strain, what it is, what its effects are, and how it can be treated.

What is Eye Strain?: Effects and Treatment

What is Eye Strain?

Eye strain, also known as asthenopia, is a common condition that occurs after long periods of intense eye use. This type of ocular fatigue can happen after driving long distances, reading for an extended period of time, or spending considerable amounts of time looking at digital screens.

Eye strain causes stress on the eye muscle and can be characterized by a number of symptoms.

These symptoms might include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sore, tired, and itchy eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches

To simplify it, any type of discomfort that is caused by looking at something for an extended period of time can be considered eye strain.

While these symptoms do cause irritated eyes, eye strain is not thought to be a serious health issue. However, if left untreated, eye strain can be aggravating and reduce your ability to concentrate.

What Causes Eye Strain?

As we already mentioned, eye strain is caused by focusing on a particular task for extended periods. Eye strain is becoming an even more common condition in this digital age, as more people spend more time using digital devices.

In addition to spending extensive amounts of time on tablets, phones, and computers, eye strain can be caused by other activities such as:

  • Being in a poorly lit environment (too bright or too dim)
  • Driving
  • Reading
  • Refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or aging of the eye)

Eye Strain Treatment

Generally speaking, eye strain is relatively easy to treat and can be cured by making a few simple changes to your daily habits.

Here are some things that you can begin implementing into your routine to help prevent eye strain:

Practice the 20-20-20.

When using digital devices like your computer or phone, make an effort to look away from the screen. A good rule of thumb is every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away from the screen for 20 seconds.

Try, as best you can, to balance the amount of time you spend looking at a screen with other activities that demand different uses of your eyes. For example, if you spend all day working on a computer, try to take a few short breaks during the day and go for a 5-minute walk outside.

Keep distance.

How far away is your computer from you right now? How about your phone?

When using any digital device, it should be positioned arm’s length away from your eyes (this goes for both your computer and your phone). 

Adjust the lighting.

Make sure that whatever screen you are using is adequately lit. If the screen is too dim, you could be putting additional strain on your eyes.

Also, be sure to adjust the position of your screen to avoid glare, as this can also put added stress on the eye.

Adjust the air.

This is something that is often overlooked. However, if the air where you are working or using digital devices is dry, it could be causing additional irritation to your eyes.

If you suspect this might be contributing to your symptoms of dry or irritated eyes, try improving the air quality by using a humidifier or by relocating to another spot.

Wear blue light glasses.

Keep your eyes protected at all times by simply wearing blue light glasses.

Unlike the other tips we mentioned above, blue light glasses do not require you to make any lifestyle or habit changes. To protect your eyes from digital eye strain, all you have to do is put on a pair of blue light glasses when using any digital device.

Final Thoughts

Eye strain is a common symptom caused by extended periods of intense eye use.

Luckily, eye strain is not a serious condition and can be easily treated by making changes to your daily habits.

Our team at bluwinx believes that you have the right to a good night’s sleep. That’s why we offer fashionable frames with KODAK Total Blue® Lens technology that provides unsurpassed protection against harmful blue-violet light.

If you are interested in learning more about blue light, visit our blog, and read more about blue light and sleep-related topics.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out – email us at help@bluwinx.com!

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