Eye fatigue refers to the pain in the eyes that you experience after you have pushed them beyond their working capacity. It mainly happens when the muscles in our eyes don’t get enough rest and start to hurt. The screens of digital devices or doing close-up work over long periods can also trigger this problem.
Any kind of visual disturbance is unpleasant. While eye fatigue is normal, if you wear prescription glasses, it could be a sign of deteriorated ocular health and may need a new prescription.
When it occurs, you should stop whatever work you are doing and let your eyes take a short break. For some people, the pain is so bad that their eyes start to heat up and they have to take pain relievers. It gives them relief for a short while but if you want to eliminate eye fatigue from your routine, you have to know its causes and how to prevent it.
What causes eye fatigue?
The pain in your eyes occurs due to a lot of reasons. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Eye muscles are tired
The ciliary muscle helps in readjusting the focus of the eye lens to help it see nearby or distant objects. When you use this muscle beyond its capacity, the lens struggles to focus on the close-up objects and you get a blurry near vision.
When you are indulging in a task that requires close focus such as reading or staring at a computer screen, you keep the ciliary muscle from relaxing. Hence, the lens struggles to adjust and you don’t get a clear vision.
If you have presbyopia, your near focus is already worse. When you indulge in close-up tasks for a long time, your eyes will wear out in the process. What you need is a good pair of readers. If you want choices in frame styles, you may as well get your reading glasses online. You would only need a magnification strength and not prescription power.
- Dry eye syndrome
Some people don’t have enough tear production which makes the surface of their eyes too dry. This inadequate natural lubrication makes the surface more prone to tear or damage. Thus, this dryness causes the eyes to feel tired and leads to eye fatigue.
If you’ve also been having trouble with producing enough tears, it’s better to see an eye doctor and know if you have dry eye syndrome. If you are under 16 or over 60, you can take a free eye test from the NHS.
- Computer vision syndrome
The most common reason behind aching eyes is your insincere habits of using digital devices for a long duration without taking a break.
Our devices are infamous for emitting blue light which has short wavelengths and high-energy rays. Thus, exposure to blue light is more harmful than any other type of light in the colour light spectrum.
The blue light goes right to the back of your eye and damages the retinal cells that form your central vision. Prolonged exposure to blue light is not desirable for your macular health and you may even have to deal with macular degeneration in the future.
If you can’t escape your screen time due to work commitments, it is best to get blue light glasses. They have a blue light filter that blocks this light and prevents the visual discomforts associated with screen-viewing.
If you don’t have a prescription, you can safely buy glasses online. You will find a world of different frame styles and colours so you could wear your blue blockers as statement glasses.
Symptoms of eye fatigue
Eye fatigue ranges from severe to mild. If you also spend the majority of your time reading or looking at a digital screen, here are the major symptoms of eye fatigue that will have to deal with:
- Blurry or double vision
- Feeling dryness in the eyes
- Redness in your eyes
- Your eyes feel sore
- Frequent headaches
- Watery eyes
How to treat eye fatigue?
The causes of eye fatigue are lifestyle-driven. Therefore, making a few lifestyle changes can help you get relief from this problem. Here is what you can do:
- Take regular breaks from devices, especially when your eyes start to hurt. You can either follow the 20-20-20 rule or take a long break of 10 minutes every hour.
- Make sure the lighting around is proper to reduce glare. Reposition the lights so they are not causing glare and hampering your field of vision. You can also activate the glare filter on your monitor.
- Make sure the top of your screen is slightly lower than your eye level and the screen is placed at least 25 to 28 inches away from you.
- Wear anti-glare or computer glasses. They will cut down the bad lights and make screen-viewing more comfortable for you.
Eye fatigue is normal but if you’ve been putting up with it for too long, it’s time you have an eye test and see what is causing the problem. Wearing specialised glasses that are meant for computer work will help a great deal in bringing relief from eye fatigue and its symptoms.
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