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What You Need to Know About Eye Fatigue

Posted on January 2nd, 2016

Just like the muscles in your body, your eyes can get easily strained by sitting in front of a computer, watching TV or using your smartphone. The result is a common yet aggravating condition known as Eye Fatigue, which can often be the sign of a more serious underlying medical condition.

Causes of Eye Fatigue
Eye fatigue is typically caused by activities that require an intense and prolonged use of your eyes, such as reading, working on a computer, driving, watching TV, playing video games, working on a smartphone, and exposure to bright or dim lights.

Eye Fatigue that's specifically related to digital devices (such as smartphones, tablets and laptops) is also known as Computer Vision Syndrome. These devices are particularly hard on your eyes since when we use them we tend to blink less, resulting in dry, tired, itching, and burning eyes. In some cases, patients can develop eye fatigue in as little as 30 minutes after they start using a digital device.

Symptoms of Eye Fatigue
While there are a number of symptoms associated with Eye Fatigue, a few of the most common are:

  • Sore or irritated eyes
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders, or back

These symptoms can be intensified by sleep deprivation, allergies, dry eyes and other issues.

It's also important to note that Eye Fatigue can be the sign of a much more serious underlying disease or condition, so be sure to book an appointment with your optometrist as soon as notice any of these symptoms.

Prevention of Eye Fatigue
In most cases, eye fatigue can be prevented with a few simple changes in your work habits and environment, including:

  • Adjusting the placement of your computer monitor
  • Using a glare filter
  • Use an adjustable chair
  • Use the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds)
  • Take regular breaks from computer or working on your smartphone
  • Apply a warm wet washcloth to closed eyes
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes
  • Use an air cleaner or humidifier to keep the air clean

One of the best preventive measures you can take (particularly if you work in front of a computer for long periods of time) is specialized lenses that are designed to reduce glare and eye fatigue.

Treatment of Eye Fatigue
If you have Eye Fatigue or any eye pain, you should book an immediate appointment with your eye doctor, as it may be related to an underlying condition such as an eye muscle imbalance, or a need for a new eyewear prescription. 

To book your next eye exam and learn more about specialized eyewear solutions that can reduce eye fatigue, contact an FYidoctors near you.