ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eye Strain: Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment

Updated on January 17, 2018
cclitgirl profile image

Cynthia is a digital marketer, writer, and artist. She writes about a variety of topics, especially digital marketing, languages & culture.

Looking for ways to reduce eyestrain.
Looking for ways to reduce eyestrain. | Source

What Is Eye Strain?

Eye strain is the overuse of the eyes to the point where you begin to have symptoms such as blurred vision or an inability to focus.

Find out if you are at risk to getting eye strain, what to do and how to prevent it.

You Can Prevent Eyestrain

Not too long ago, I began working on my computer for extended lengths of time. After several hours of working, I started noticing that sometimes it was hard to focus on objects farther away. It also felt like I had itchy, dry eyes – symptoms of eye strain.

I began to worry a bit. I am blind in one eye, so I want to be doubly sure that I’m treating my good eye with the respect it deserves.

I definitely don’t take my vision for granted. After doing a little online checking, I decided to check with my eye doctor to be sure that not only I could treat my eye strain, but that I could prevent it, too.

I found out all sorts of things! I had no idea how effective an anti-reflective coating could be or that I could use eye drops as an eye strain preventative.

Indeed, eye strain won't cause you to go blind, but it can hinder you from seeing and feeling your best.


Systane Lubricant Eye Gel Drops, 10-mL (Packaging May Vary)
Systane Lubricant Eye Gel Drops, 10-mL (Packaging May Vary)
I use these eye drops and put them in BEFORE I start working on the computer. I tried different brands using trial sizes from my eye doctor and this particular brand made my eyes feel the best.
 

Eye Strain Risk Factors

You are a potential candidate for eyestrain if:

  • you spend more than four hours per day in front of a computer screen
  • you engage in other activities that make the eyes work hard, such as reading for extended amounts of time, or even watching too much TV
  • you live in a dry climate
  • you haven’t checked with your eye doctor to see if you need a refraction - basically an eye exam - for mid-length vision.

Computer glasses can guard against eye strain.  You can also use a present pair of glasses and get an anti-reflective coating put on the lenses.
Computer glasses can guard against eye strain. You can also use a present pair of glasses and get an anti-reflective coating put on the lenses. | Source

Eye Strain Symptoms

I knew that when it was hard to focus after I looked away from my computer that I was experiencing mild eye strain.

There are lots of possible symptoms including any or all of the following:

  • itchy, dry eyes
  • sore neck or even a sore back
  • blurry vision after working at a computer
  • headache associated with eye fatigue
  • sensation of burning in the eyes

These are some of the trial sizes I got from my eye doctor. I like the gel lubricant eye drops the best.
These are some of the trial sizes I got from my eye doctor. I like the gel lubricant eye drops the best. | Source

Have you been refracted for mid-length vision?

See results

Eye Strain Treatment

The following are remedies you can try at home. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to be sure you are receiving the care you need for your eyes.

At Home:

If you spend a lot of time at the computer:

  • Reduce overhead lighting and try to use more natural light. Harsh light is hard on the eyes.
  • Turn the backlight down on your computer so that it your monitor isn't at its maximum brightness.
  • Clean the dust off of your screen/monitor. Dust on the screen can make it harder to see and read on your computer.
  • Lower your computer screen so that you actually look down at it, especially if you wear bifocals (or progressive lenses). This way, you can reduce the stress placed on your neck and back by not craning your head to see what you are doing.
  • Invest in a pair of computer readers. Many dollar stores and office supply stores have glasses with a special coating on them for the computer (an anti-reflective coating). Be sure you know your prescription, however. You really should check with your eye doctor or optician if you are at all in doubt.
  • Take breaks about every 20 minutes or so. This can mean that you look away from your screen for half a minute, or that you get up and walk around a bit before returning to your work.

Other eye strain remedies:

  • Do different eye exercises. Begin by squinting each eye one by one, and moving your eyes in circles several times daily. You can also try closing your eyes and and then moving your eyes around with the lids closed.
  • Make sure to blink frequently to replenish the tears in your eyes to keep them moist.
  • Eat lots of eye-healthy foods including carrots, pumpkin, blueberries, and even taking fish oil and vitamin C supplements (but be sure to check with your eye doctor to be sure what you’re doing is right for you). Bilberry and chromium are great sources for helping the eyes.
  • Get over-the-counter lubricant eye drops and put the drops in your eyes before you start working.
  • Drink plenty of water while you’re working. Staying hydrated will help your eyes stay moist as well.
  • Humidify the air around you if you live in a dry climate or if the air is dry. Use a humidifier or let the steam accumulate from a shower.

Glasses made with polycarbonate plastic filter UV rays and may also help with reducing eye strain.  You can also take them to an optician to get an anti-reflective coating put on the lenses.  That coating helps to reduce eye-strain.
Glasses made with polycarbonate plastic filter UV rays and may also help with reducing eye strain. You can also take them to an optician to get an anti-reflective coating put on the lenses. That coating helps to reduce eye-strain. | Source

At the Eye Doctor:

When you make an appointment, be sure to tell your doctor that you would like to have a computer refraction.

According to an optician at the Colorado Springs Eye Clinic (where I recently received an eye exam), most people who go to the eye doctor get refractions for distance or for reading up close. Most do not get a mid-distance refraction.

  • Seeing the doctor when you suspect eye strain will also help you to rule out any other underlying conditions that may contribute to eye strain.
  • I mentioned getting computer readers above. You have another option: computer glasses. This is the route I took because I already wear glasses. I had previously been refracted for distance and my mid-distance prescription was actually different.
  • When you get computer glasses, keep the following in mind:
  1. Try to get polycarbonate lenses (or another high-end plastic). These help block out some of the UV rays that your computer monitor can emit, according to my optician at the Colorado Springs Eye Clinic.
  2. if you happen to have Transitions lenses, these can help with lowering the light intensity that you experience from your computer monitor. Even when they’re completely “clear,” they still have a slight tint that can help reduce glare - just a little bit, though.
  3. Get the anti-reflective coating, commonly called anti-glare coating. This not only helps reduce glare, but allows the maximum amount of light through the lenses which will help the eyes to see better. Glasses without this coating only let about 90% of light through the lenses, which can make it more difficult to see.
  4. A good rule of thumb is that if you are involved in eye-intense activities (think mid-distance activities such as computer work, reading, writing, or even watching TV) for more than 4 hours per day, you should really get checked for your mid-distance vision.

Most cameras today also have anti-reflective coating on their lenses.  This greatly helps to reduce the risk of unwanted glare in photos.
Most cameras today also have anti-reflective coating on their lenses. This greatly helps to reduce the risk of unwanted glare in photos. | Source

© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)