Eye Strain Causes and Prevention

You know you are suffering from eye strain when you have been really overworking your eyes and you feel that they need a good holiday!

You also particularly know it when your best friend (it’s always your best friend) says “You know, you’re looking a bit tired” – just what you wanted to hear.

Perhaps if you knew more about what causes eye strain, it would be easier to prevent it happening. This might not be possible all of the time, but allowing your eyes to recover is essential for good eye sight and just general well-being.

Once you have read this article, why not go to our dedicated Eye Strain Website for more information and tips.

Causes of Eye Strain

A major culprit in causing eye strain has just got to be working at a computer screen for extended periods. Not only does the screen produce glare which affects the eyes adversely, but also the way we work at computers means we are likely to be focussed – staring even – for long periods. Our eyes are just not resting enough. Why there is even a medical term for the condition caused – Computer Vision Syndrome (CSV).

Not knowing whether you need glasses or not could mean you are exacerbating a condition very easily prevented – go get an eye test with an optometrist. If you find that you don’t need glasses, well that’s good isn’t it?

Preventing Eye Strain

Why not practise a ‘5 times 20 Rule’:

Every 20 minutes
• look away from the Screen for 20 seconds –
• then look at something 20 feet (about 6 metres) away.
• Blink 20 times to really lubricate the eyes, and
• walk around for 20 metres.

If you find yourself skipping your regime, then why not put something onto your computer to remind you – there are plenty of downloadable applications that can help you.

If you are using the computer a lot at work or at home, or these days both, then your environment is very important. It’s essential during daytime hours that the computer screen is not in front of a window, however captivating the view might be, as peering through a continual glare is very strenuous on the eyes.

On the other hand don’t darken a room to the extent that the glare from the screen is overwhelmingly brighter than its surroundings.

Treating Eye strain

If you are using a computer during the day in a sunny room, or even strong artificial light, consider wearing glasses that have been particularly prescribed for computer use (between reading and distance) and have an anti-reflective coating applied, as this reduces glare considerably.

If eye strain persists your Optometrist might well recommend lubricating eye drops, after a complete eye examination of course!

Often patients ask whether eye exercises might help. The answer to this depends on the eye examination. The vast majority of eye strain is caused by overuse; similar to a repetitive strain injury. Relaxation is actually what is required. Usually using glasses combined with the “5 times 20 rule”.

Spreading the message

It would be a great help to everyone to be aware of eye strain, and of the simple steps that can be taken to prevent it.

• Start with children by teaching them how to take care of their eyes, especially with computers and watching television.

• Spread the “Five Times Twenty Rule”

Finally the best way to spread the message of good eye use is to look healthy without any tired eyes, and the question to ask yourself is “Will my best friend comment on how good I look?”

Eye Strain is such an important issue these days that we have set up a website dedicated just to the topic. Click Here to go to www.EyeStrain.com.au.

2 Comments

  • by john Posted October 11, 2012 9:09 am

    it’s very helpful and Love this article

    • by Jim Posted October 13, 2012 9:25 am

      Glad to help. Eye strain has become an epidemic due to excessive computer use. Being educated around the pitfalls will allow you to avoid most of the problems. More information can be found on our main website:
      The Eye Practice
      We also have another website that is dedicated to EyeStrain.

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