If your job requires you to stare at the computer screen for more than 8 hours a day you need to see an eye care professional on the regular. In today’s digital world, almost everyone is hooked on the Internet, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. If this is you, make sure you don’t compromise your eye health. According to a report by the Vision Council, a normal person blinks 18 times every 60 seconds on average but when that person is staring at the screen, the blink rate significantly decreases leading to itchy, burning and dry eyes. Studies also show that people whose work involves the use of computers experience eye strain. What is eyestrain? What are the symptoms of eyestrain and how can this be prevented?
What Is Eyestrain?
Eyestrain is an eye condition that occurs when a your eyes feel tired from prolonged use like when you’re out on a long drive or when you’re using the computer or smartphone. The good news is that eyestrain isn’t considered a serious eye problem and it usually resolves when you try to rest your eyes. There are also other ways to lessen the discomfort. However, there are signs and symptoms of this condition that are indicative of a more serious problem that requires immediate treatment. Let’s learn more.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Eyestrain?
Some of the signs and symptoms of eyestrain include double or blurred vision, dry or watery eyes, sore or tired eyes, itchy eyes, eyes that are sensitive to light, sore neck and shoulders, difficulty concentrating and a feeling that you can’t keep your eyes open.
When Is It Time To Call An Eye Doctor?
Eye doctors recommend that you seek professional treatment if the symptoms do not go away.
What Are The Causes of Eye Strain?
Some of the causes of eye strain include prolonged use of digital screens, reading without pausing, driving long distances, being exposed to bright light, an underlying eye condition like uncorrected vision or dry eyes and being fatigued.
How Can You Prevent Eyestrain?
There are several ways you can protect your eyes from eyestrain.
One, you could adjust the lighting. Like when you are watching TV, it would help your eyes if the room is lightly lit. When you’re reading books, make sure the light source is right behind you instead of directing it on the page. When you’re reading at the table, position the shaded light at your front so that it will not directly hit your eyes.
As much as possible, take breaks. When you’re engrossed with work, set the alarm so you’ll be reminded to rest your eyes. How do you rest your eyes? You can look away for a couple of minutes before going back to work.
You should also limit your screen time especially among children. Establish a rule that they are only allowed to use gadgets for a limited time and that they should occasionally rest their eyes.
You may also use artificial tears. There are artificial tears that you can buy over-the-counter to relieve symptoms of dry eyes. You can use these artificial tears even when your eyes don’t hurt to keep the symptoms away. Eye doctors often suggest eyedrops to lubricate your eyes.
When you’re always in front of the computer, try to blink as often as you can because if you blink less you’ll likely experience dry eyes. Blinking will help create tears that will lubricate your eyes. You should also take breaks from work. You don’t have to go anywhere, you just need to stop looking at your monitor for 20 seconds. Again, whether you exhibit these signs or not, it is imperative that you visit your eye doctor at least once a year to check and monitor your eye health.