- Symptoms of Eyestrain: Common symptoms include headaches, dry or watery eyes, blurry vision, and neck or shoulder pain, often caused by prolonged screen use or poor lighting.
- Causes of Eyestrain: Key factors include inadequate lighting, prolonged exposure to digital screens and blue light, and extended periods of intense focus.
- Prevention and Relief Strategies: Adjusting your environment for better lighting and posture, following the 20-20-20 rule to rest your eyes, minimizing screen glare, and maintaining eye health with regular blinking and artificial tears.
- Optimizing Eyewear with Zenni Optical: Consider blue light blocking glasses and lenses with anti-reflective coatings or tints for additional comfort and protection against eyestrain.
Spending long hours in front of screens or focusing on close tasks can lead to eyestrain, a common condition that affects many of us. Eyestrain can cause symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. However, with a few simple changes and habits, you can find relief and maintain comfortable vision throughout your day.
Symptoms and Causes of Eyestrain
Eyestrain symptoms can vary from person to person but typically include:
- Headaches – Often a result of straining to see in poor lighting or staring at screens for too long.
- Dry or watery eyes – Caused by reduced blinking when focusing on digital devices.
- Blurry vision – Occurs when your eyes are fatigued from excessive use.
- Neck and shoulder pain – Can arise from poor posture while using computers or other devices.
Understanding the causes of eyestrain is the first step in preventing it. Common culprits include:
- Poor lighting – Working in an environment that’s too bright or too dim can strain your eyes.
- Digital screen use – Blue light from screens can contribute to eye fatigue.
- Extended periods of focus – Tasks that require intense concentration, like reading or driving, can tire your eyes.
Practical Strategies for Relief
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
To alleviate and prevent eyestrain, consider incorporating these strategies into your daily routine:
Adjust Your Environment
- Ensure adequate lighting that doesn’t cause glare on screens.
- Position your screen about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level.
- Choose chairs that support your posture, with your feet flat on the floor and lower back supported.
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. This simple exercise helps reduce fatigue by allowing your eyes to refocus and rest.
Minimize Screen Glare
Glare on screens can strain your eyes. Position your monitor away from direct light sources and consider using a matte screen filter to reduce glare.
Maintain Eye Health
- Use artificial tears or eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated, especially in dry environments.
- Blink regularly to refresh your eyes and prevent dryness.
- Ensure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date.
Optimize Your Eyewear
Choosing the right eyewear is crucial for preventing eyestrain. At Zenni Optical, we offer a wide range of affordable, high-quality glasses that can be customized to fit your needs.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
If you spend a significant amount of time on digital devices, consider blue light blocking glasses. They filter out the blue light emitted by screens, potentially reducing eye fatigue and improving sleep quality.
Lens Coatings and Tints
Anti-reflective coatings and tints can enhance comfort by reducing glare and improving contrast. Discuss with your eye care provider about which options may be best for you. Remember, taking care of your eyes shouldn’t feel like a chore. By making these adjustments and being mindful of your eye health, you can reduce eyestrain and enjoy clearer, more comfortable vision.
About the Author: Dr. Steven Liem, OD, FAAO
Dr. Steven Liem, O.D., F.A.A.O. is an optometrist based in Pasadena, California. After obtaining his doctorate from UC Berkeley’s School of Optometry, he completed his residency in Pediatrics, Vision Therapy & Rehabilitation and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. When he isn’t busy streaming or making Youtube videos about video games, Dr. Liem aims to broaden accessibility to vision health through his involvement in optometric industry and tech.