Whether it’s work, entertainment, or staying connected, our eyes are glued to digital devices now more than ever before. However, it isn’t just digital screens that can cause eye strain – reading, driving, and other activities may also contribute to this issue. The good news is there are several steps you can take to prevent and relieve eye strain.
Symptoms and Triggers of Eye Strain
Eye strain tends to manifest as dryness, redness, blurred vision, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain. It’s often caused by prolonged screen time, inadequate lighting, or straining to see in dim light. Before delving into prevention and relief methods, it’s important to recognize these symptoms early to take appropriate action.
Staring at screens reduces our blink rate, leading to dryer eyes. Furthermore, the blue light emitted by digital devices can contribute to eye fatigue. Proper lighting and regular breaks can significantly reduce these symptoms.
- Prolonged use of digital devices
- Incorrect vision prescriptions
- Glare on a computer screen
- Reading in dim light
- Driving long distances
- Exposure to dry air
- Medical conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness
Preventing Eye Strain
Making simple adjustments to your daily routine and work environment can go a long way in preventing eye strain. Fortunately, many of these adjustments are easy to implement and don’t require a major lifestyle change. The next time you are using a digital device or performing an activity that may cause eye strain, keep the following tips in mind:
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
The 20-20-20 rule is a practical method to prevent eye strain. It suggests taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. This habit helps alleviate eye strain by allowing your eyes to rest and refocus, thereby reducing fatigue. Regularly practicing this rule may lead to less dryness and discomfort. Try setting a reminder on your phone or computer to help you remember to follow this rule.
Use Blue Light Lenses
If you spend lots of time in front of digital devices or work under harsh lighting conditions, blue light lenses can be beneficial. These special glasses have a coating that filters out harmful blue light, reducing strain and fatigue on your eyes. They are available with prescription lenses or as non-prescription glasses. You can also opt for blue light filters for your computer screen.
Exercise Your Eyes
Just like any other muscle in our body, our eyes also need exercise to stay healthy. Eye exercises help improve blood circulation and relax the muscles around our eyes. Simple eye exercises like focusing on distant objects or rolling your eyes in a circular motion can be done at home or work, making it easy to incorporate into your routine. Take short breaks between tasks and use these exercises as a quick break for your eyes.
Adjust Your Lighting
Dark or harsh lighting can cause eye strain. Whenever possible, try to use natural light instead of artificial light for reading and other tasks. If you are working on a computer, avoid glare by adjusting your screen’s brightness and contrast settings. Using a desk lamp with adjustable lighting can also help reduce strain. Additionally, position your computer screen in a way that minimizes reflections and glare.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye exams are crucial in preventing and reducing eye strain. An eye doctor can check for vision issues that may contribute to eye strain, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism. They can also recommend appropriate glasses or contact lenses based on your specific needs. It is recommended to get an eye exam at least once a year or more frequently if you are experiencing eye strain.
Relieving Eye Strain
If you start experiencing the symptoms of eye strain, the following tips may help you find temporary relief:
- Apply the palms of your hands gently over your closed eyes for a few minutes to give them a rest. The darkness and warmth can be soothing.
- Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes if they feel dry.
- Consciously increase your blink rate, which can help naturally refresh your eyes.
If your symptoms persist, it’s essential to consult with an eye care provider for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Embrace Healthy Vision at Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
Don’t let eye strain compromise your well-being or reduce your productivity. At Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, we’re committed to helping you maintain healthy vision. Our experienced team is ready to assist you with comprehensive eye care, personalized advice, and cutting-edge solutions tailored to your unique needs. Take a step toward healthier eyes and a brighter future. Schedule your appointment with us today and experience the difference professional eye care can make in your life.