man applying eye drops as a eye strain remedy

Eye strain: Tips & support

Wondering what may help with those pesky eye strains you keep experiencing?

Eye strains (known medically as asthenopia) are unfortunately becoming more and more common in the digital age. They’re generally caused by staring at screens without blinking enough or focusing on one task for too long without a break. Some doctors have even dubbed asthenopia “computer vision syndrome” or CVS1.

Thankfully, there are simple things you can try that may help your eye strains and prevent them from happening again in the future if you have the right know-how.

First of all, what are the symptoms of eye strains?2

If you’re unclear on what exactly eye strain is, here are a few of the most likely symptoms:

  1. Dry, irritated eyes
  2. Blurred or double vision
  3. Sensitivity to light
  4. Persistent headaches
  5. Shoulder or neck pain

What may work for my eye strain?3

If plagued by eye strain, there are a few things you might want to consider doing that could help. These include:

  1. Using eye drops
Dry eyes are a common symptom of eye strain and are generally caused by staring or focusing at one thing – such as a screen – for too long without blinking. If you have dry eyes, you may want to invest in some eye drops, which will instantly hydrate your eyes and soothe any irritation.

  1. Adjusting the lighting

If you’re at a laptop or computer either for work or pleasure, make sure the light in the room is not too dim. Low light can make you strain your eyes to see things correctly and cause fatigue. Ideally, your light source should be in front of you yet not shining directly in your eyes.

  1. Opening a window

To avoid getting even drier eyes, make sure you keep your home or office well ventilated. Homes which have poor air circulation are typically dustier, plus things like heating systems are known for drying out hair, eyes, and skin. Try to open your windows regularly or invest in a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Those prone to persistent eye strain, as well as working out how to prevent it, may want to consider a more long-term remedy such as glasses or contact lenses.

What about preventing eye strain in the first place?

While altogether avoiding the risk of eye strain is tricky in our modern age of mobile phones and computers, there is a range of things you can do to help prevent it in the future. These include things like limiting your screen time, having regular breaks from repetitive tasks, or taking a supplement designed to support your vision. It’s also a good idea to have your eyes checked regularly4.

Take a look at our comprehensive guide to the causes and symptoms of eye strains for even more tips on how to prevent it. If you’re worried about your eye health, it might be a good idea to make an appointment with your optometrist or GP.

Last updated: 23 April 2020

Sources
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/asthenopia#overview
  2. https://www.specsavers.com.au/help-and-faqs/what-are-the-different-types-of-eye-strain
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/asthenopia#home-remedies
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/eye-strain#tips-for-prevention
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