Computer screens, books and bad light
Learn how you are being affected
What Causes Eyestrain?
There are a number of factors that can cause eyestrain in an individual, varying from external influences to more bodily aspects. Staring at computer monitors, TV screens, or mobile phones for a long time can induce eyestrain, as can prolonged reading. You can also strain your eyes by trying to see in dim light, or being exposed to extremely bright light or glare.
Environmental factors can often cause eyestrain, however another reason for tiredness in the eyes could be an underlying eye condition that requires treatment. If you need glasses for myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism or if you have an eye muscle imbalance, then this could strain your eyes and cause them to become fatigued. A lack of sleep, general exhaustion, and stress are also contributing factors.
Many people are at risk of eyestrain – athletes such as golfers, tennis players, and hockey players often have to track fast movements with their eyes, which can tire them out. Those who pay fine attention to detail such as knitters and model makers often suffer from eyestrain, and sun reflection from road surfaces and water present the same issues for drivers and boaters. Most commonly at risk, however, are those who use computers frequently and for long periods of time.
The symptoms of eyestrain include:
- Eye soreness or irritation
- Mild dryness or tearing
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty focusing
- Sensitivity to light
- Sore neck, shoulders, or back
Treatment and Prevention
As screen usage is very common, with almost every household owning a computer, a television, or a mobile phone, eyestrain can be difficult to avoid. Though there are no long term consequences or adverse effects that can happen as a result of eyestrain, it can still affect your concentration and ability to work, and can lead to decreased productivity.
There are, however, a number of preventative measures that can help –
- Adjusting room lighting to increase illumination while reducing glare.
- Increasing the screen resolution and reducing the ambient light of a screen/monitor. Changing the distance between your eyes and the screen to help you focus properly.
- Reducing brightness, and increasing contrast and text size on the screen.
- Cleaning your computer/television screen.
- Installing a glare filter on your screen.
If you are suffering from eye strain, then there are actions you can take to treat your eyes –
- Taking short, regular breaks from visual tasks such as using a computer or reading.
- Standing up to walk around and stretch.
- Blinking frequently to moisten your eyes.
- Using warm water, artificial tears, or eye drops.
- Massaging your temple.
If eyestrain is caused by an underlying medical condition, then wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses could also reduce the strain on your eyes. Visit the Essilor website to read more about eye conditions and prescription lenses.