Everyone gets eye strain from time to time, but it can be a serious problem if not dealt with promptly. Here are the seven most common causes of eye strain and what you should do about them:
1) Too much screen time
Our eyes were never designed for hours of staring at screens. Digital eye strain is a thing and it’s becoming more and more common as digital devices like mobile phones and laptops gain in popularity. Consider reducing your computer or phone use by an hour each day and see how you feel. Soon, you’ll be able to reduce your screen time further.
2) Being exposed to extremely bright light
When you’re outside on a hot, sunny day, your eyes can get very dry and irritated. If you’ve been exposed to bright light for too long without sunglasses or shade, it will cause strain.
3) Being exposed to poor lighting
On the other hand, if you’re in a dark room for an extended period of time, your eyes will have to work hard to adjust. This can cause strain and fatigue. Note that your eyes need good light to work properly. What you want to do is to make sure your office has plenty of natural light, or invest in some lamps that give off enough brightness without creating glare on the screen.
4) Not resting your eyes when reading
If you’ve been reading for more than 15 minutes, give your eyes a rest by looking up and focusing on something far away.
5) Driving long distances
When you’re driving for long periods of time, your eyes are constantly focusing on different distances, which can cause strain. Make sure to take breaks every few hours and give your eyes a chance to relax.
6) Existing eye condition
If you already have an eye condition like near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism, it can cause strain and make your eyes work harder to see. If this is the case for you, it would be good to consult an experienced optician about corrective lenses that might help ease some of the discomfort.
Near-sighted people tend to turn their head in order to see what they want to see clearly, whereas far-sighted individuals struggle with closeup objects, such as a book or phone screen.
7) Feeling tired or stressed
When you’re feeling tired or stressed, your eyes tend to take on more work and can easily become strained. Make sure to get enough rest and relaxation each day if you want to avoid eye strain. Stress has a lot of different effects on the body, one of which is making it harder for the eyes to focus.
One of the most important things you can do to avoid eye strain is to take breaks. Make sure your screen brightness isn’t too high and that the monitor is at a good distance from your eyes. Remember that these measures will help minimise any potential harm on both the short-term and long-term health of your vision.
If you’re worried that you may be spending more than the right number of hours per day staring at screens, talk to your trusted eye doctor to know what’s best for you.