Eye Fatigue

EYE FATIGUE

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview

Eyestrain or eye fatigue is a very common condition, especially in today’s times when we all tend to spend hours staring at computers, smartphones or television screens whether for work or recreation. Most of us have experienced dryness in the eyes or a blurring of vision after having spent a long stretch of time doing activities like reading, typing or even playing computer games. Usually, this is a temporary and harmless condition. It can be addressed by giving our eyes good rest either in the form of sleep or by diverting ourselves with activities that do not involve visual engagement. In some instances, eyestrain can be a sign of more serious problems.

 

What is Eyestrain or Eye Fatigue?

EYE FATIGUE disorderEye fatigue or eyestrain occurs as a result of prolonged engagement in activities that involve the intense use of the eyes. This includes reading, watching television, working at a computer or spending vast amounts of time staring at a smartphone screen.

When using computers, the main reason that the eyes become tired out is that we tend to blink less when staring at the screen. Blinking helps keep the eyes lubricated and refreshed.

Reduced frequency of blinking ends up making the eyes dry, red and itchy. You may even experience blurring or double vision. Eye fatigue has also become very common among young children as a result of spending long hours watching television or playing games on digital devices. While it can be disturbing, this is a temporary condition and does not leave any long-term damage.

 

How Does It Happen?

Our vision is crucial in enabling us to perform most tasks that we undertake. This includes everyday activities right from grooming in front of mirrors to cooking to following street signage while driving. Tasks involving intense visual engagement include reading, writing, watching television, programming or even playing smartphone games. Certain professions call for prolonged eye involvement in minute tasks such as embroidery or examining biological specimens under a microscope. Over time, such individuals will begin to feel a strain in their eyes accompanied by other symptoms of general fatigue such as a headache, shoulder aches and an inability to concentrate.

There can be a multitude of possible causes for eye strain. The list below enumerates some possible scenarios leading to eye fatigue:

  • Exposure to bright lights.
  • Neglecting to wear corrective glasses for common vision defects such as near-sightedness, long-sightedness or astigmatism.
  • Impaired binocular vision.
  • Lack of adequate restful sleep.
  • Stress.
  • General fatigue.
  • Exposure to dry air from fans or air-conditioning.
  • Holding books or screens very close to the eyes or at wrong angles while reading or performing other visual tasks.
  • Poor contrast between text and background while reading.

 

What are Identifying Features of Eye Fatigue?

EYE FATIGUE screenEyestrain is a symptom rather than a disease or disorder in itself. It is generally a temporary condition that can be relieved by taking simple corrective measures. Allowing the eyes to rest and relax for some time will usually resolve this condition. Eye discomfort is typically accompanied by other signs of fatigue such as a headache, shoulder and back aches, inability to concentrate and the constant shutting of the eyelids. It should be taken seriously if this is a frequently recurring condition and if it is accompanied by pain or loss of vision.

Typical indications include:

  • Sore, itchy eyes.
  • Watering of the eyes.
  • A headache.
  • A backache or aching shoulders or neck.
  • Vision changes including blurring and double vision.
  • Difficulty in concentrating.
  • Inability to keep the eyes open.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.
  • Feeling lightheaded.

 

Can There Be Any Complications?

Although the blurring of vision or dryness in the eyes can be alarming, eyestrain does not generally produce any serious long-term consequences. It is a short-lived condition and can be resolved by taking simple steps to rest and refresh the eyes. If this is a recurrent condition, the patient should approach an ophthalmologist to determine the underlying cause. For instance, the patient may, in fact, be suffering from an uncorrected vision defect such as near-sightedness. Obtaining a diagnosis and wearing spectacles with appropriate lenses will help resolve the eyestrain and prevent worsening of the underlying condition.

 

How Do We Detect It?

Eye fatigue is a common condition and can be diagnosed easily by an ophthalmologist by performing routine tests. The patient will describe their work habits and working environment and this can give a sense of where the problem lies. If a refractive eye condition such as long-sightedness or short-sightedness is detected, then the patient will be asked to wear spectacles with corrective lenses from then on to correct their vision. This will automatically reduce eye fatigue.

 

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment 

  • EYE FATIGUEResting your eyes for 15 minutes after every 2 hours of using the digital device.
  • Looking away from the digital devices’ screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Enlarging the text size on the digital device.
  • Reducing the glare from the light source nearby.
  • Using contact lenses or glasses prescribed to meet the unique visual demand for computer use.
  • Using a programme for visual therapy for those who have a problem with eye focusing or coordination.

Prevention 

  • Location of your computer – Generally, people are more comfortable viewing their electronic devices downwards. Optimally, the computer screen should be 15-20 degrees below eye level (4-5 inches)
  • Reference material – This material should be placed above the keyboard and below the monitor. If this is not possible a document holder can be used behind the monitor to keep your reference material.
  • Lighting – Position your computer in such a way that there is no glare from the lighting above or window nearby. Use blinds or drapes on windows to replace the light bulb in the desk lamp.
  • Anti-glare screens – If there is no way to minimize the glare from the light source, consider using an anti-glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light coming from the screen.
  • Seating position – Chairs should be comfortably padded and comfortable for the body. The height of the chair should be adjusted in such a way that your feet rest flat on the floor. If your chair has arms, they should be adjusted to provide arm support while you are typing and your wrists should rest on the keyboard.
  • Rest breaks – To prevent eye strain, try to rest your eyes when using the digital device for too long. Rest your eyes for 5 minutes after every 2 hours of continuous computer use. Also look away from your computer screen for 20 seconds in every 20 minutes so as to get your eyes to refocus.
  • Blinking – To minimize the chances of getting dry eyes, try and blink frequently. Blinking keeps the front surface of your eyes moist.

Facts

  • More than 2 out of every 5 Americans report using digital devices for more than 2 hours per day and more than half the population uses two digital devices at the same time.
  • Due to eye strain, the eyes tend to get watery or dry.

Facts

  • 50% or more computer users are said to experience CVS (computer vision syndrome) or computer eye fatigue.

Facts

  • Based on a study conducted in England by the age of 3, 69% of the children regularly used a computer and 54% undertook an online activity.
  • A study conducted in 2016 showed that more women (65%) experienced digital eye strain than men (60%).

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Get an annual exam done to check your eye sight.
  • Get filters installed in your room, in case you prefer reading in the dark.
  • Follow the prescribed eye drops course regularly.
Don'ts
  • Sit too close to the television and make sure that your children are at a reasonable distance from the television.
  • Stare too long into any electronic devices.
  • Use the computer for long durations of time.

 

 

 

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How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Epley maneuver: Why is this the best protection from the symptoms of vertigo? Epley maneuver is an exercise that can treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  It was…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
chloride test
Chloride Test A chloride test of the blood checks the level of chloride in body, an important factor governing the…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
sodium blood test
Blood Sodium Test A blood sodium test measures the amount of sodium (an important electrolyte) in your body. It is also…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…