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Restrain that EYE STRAIN!

Eye Strain is an eye condition that takes place when your eyes get exhausted due to intense and prolonged use. This can occur from prolonged driving, computer use or reading.

 

Eye strain is a common eye condition that is rarely serious. Most of the time, its symptoms disappear after your eyes get sufficient amount of rest. However, if your symptoms persist or if they keep on recurring, you should consult an eye doctor immediately as you may be suffering from a more serious underlying eye or medical condition.

 

The nice thing about eye strain is that it can be prevented. Here are some steps you can do to avoid developing this eye condition:

 

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of eye strain, you should have your eyes checked as you may have developed a vision problem. If you have already been diagnosed with one, you may need to change your glasses or lenses. You might need to change your prescription or to use a specific type of glasses or lenses for computer work.

 

  • Prolonged computer use can cause your eyes to dry up. Blink often to produce tears that will lubricate and moisten your eyes to avoid developing this condition.

 

  • Take breaks from prolonged computer use. For every 20 minutes of use, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to allow your eyes to relax. You can stand up and move around or you may opt to close your eyes for a few seconds. This can also apply to other activities that require extended use of your eyes.

 

  • An improved air quality can help prevent eye strain. You can do this by avoiding smoke, turning down the thermostat and using a humidifier.

 

  • You may use eye drops to help relieve your symptoms. Drops without preservatives can be used as often as may be necessary, while those with preservatives should not be used more than four times a day. Eye drops with redness remover should be avoided as they can worsen your symptoms.

 

  • You can massage your eyelids, the area around your eyes, including the muscles over your temple, upper cheek and eyebrows once or twice a day, for around 10 seconds each time. The massage will help your muscles relax, stimulate your tear glands as well as reduce your symptoms of eye strain.

 

  • Eye strain can be indicative of stress. Thus, apart from taking eye breaks and massaging the area around your eyes, you should also endeavor to practice relaxation in order to reduce or even remove your symptoms. You can engage in relaxation exercises that will ease tension in your muscle. One thing you can try to do is to take deep breathing exercises. You have to close your eyes and to take a deep breath through your nose. Hold your breath for four seconds then you can exhale. You can do this breathing exercise several times a day, for about 15 to 30 seconds each time.

 

  • What has been described up to this point is natural and non-invasive. Unfortunately Eye Strain is often not that simple.  Probably about 20% of the population suffers from eye strain that is induced by heavy levels of reading and computer work.  In many cases a customized pair of eye glasses or spectacles are required.  Adding a customized tint to these is extremely helpful as well.

 

  • If you are suffering from eye strain why don’t you send us an enquiry using the TAB at the top right corner of this page?

 

  • In Sydney we would be happy to see you. If you are not from Sydney maybe we can refer you to someone that manages your type of eye condition.

 

 

About the Author

Dr Jim Kokkinakis (Optometrist) graduated in 1983 from the Optometry School University of NSW. He is currently a Senior Lecturer there and regular speaker to both Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in Australia and Internationally. He has a specialist clinical practice in the Sydney CBD with interests in Eye Strain, Computer Vision problems, Treatment of Eye Diseases and complex Contact lens Fittings.

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