What Is Eye Strain, or Asthenopia? Why Do My Eyes Feel Tired?
Ohh the dreaded feeling! Eye strain is something that many of us have dealt with, and it's also something we all wish to avoid. Eye strain, otherwise known as asthenopia in the optometry world, can be very nonspecific and is often different for everyone.
So, why do your eyes feel tired after a long day? There are many causes of eye fatigue, but a huge culprit is the technology we're surrounded with daily. Working on a computer or even on your cellphone throughout the day can make your eyes much more tired. This occurs because, when you go to look at something small and close to you, the ciliary muscle inside your eye contracts and changes the focusing system of your eye to allow you to view up close. This small muscle is so important because it controls your ability to focus far away, up close, and at all distances in between!
The longer this muscle has to work, the more eye strain you may feel (the ciliary muscle gets tired just like your other muscles do after a weightlifting session!) Also, working on a computer that emits blue light means that the contrast of what you're viewing is decreased, making it tougher to see clearly.
Other reasons for eye strain can include reading or analyzing small print for extended periods, needing a new glasses prescription, problems with your eye muscles and binocular vision, and even driving at night.
Eye Strain Symptoms
Like I stated previously, eye strain is an annoying condition which often plagues us with vague symptoms. For those who have experienced it, you know this is true!
When someone complains of eye strain, they may complain of blurred vision, pain in or around the eyes, dry eyes, headaches, general fatigue, and even double vision.
When you're trying to work or get things done, eye strain can be a bear to deal with. It can make you feel like you just want to close your eyes and take a nap. Have you been there?
In this day and age with all of the computer and cellphone technology around us, it's safe to say that most of us have experienced eye strain to some degree.
How Long Does Eye Strain Last?
As long as you're continually forcing the ciliary muscle to contract, you're going to experience eye strain to some degree. Just like your muscles are tired and sore after a good workout, your eye muscles will be the same after a long day at work.
Also, the longer you work in a dark environment, whether you're driving or just working in a dark room in front of a computer screen, you're forcing your eyes to work harder to sustain crisp vision.
The dangers of blue light from the cell phones and computers we stare at all day long are starting to come to the surface, and avoiding this prolonged exposure to blue light will ensure that your eyes are staying healthy and avoiding the fatigue and other ocular problems that can come along with it.
How To Relieve Eye Strain | Eye Strain Treatment and Relief
There are quite a few great ways to relieve eye strain. First of all, you need to give your visual system a break throughout your work day or while working on small-print or needlepoint tasks.
We love to employ the20-20-20 Rule. This is how it works...every 20 minutes, look up from your computer (or cell phone, needlepoint project, etc) and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Set a timer! This is the best way to ensure that you're giving that ciliary muscle a rest every once in awhile.
Tip number two would be tohave an eye exam! If you haven't had one recently, you may simply need a new pair of glasses with your new prescription, or you may be having issues with your eye muscles not working together. Both can be diagnosed and treated at your optometrist's office.
Next,adjust the lighting in your work space. Like stated earlier, dark work environments make your eyes work harder, which isn't what you want. Make sure your lighting is good!
Lastly, grab yourself a pair ofblue light blocking glasses (or have blue light technology put into your prescription lenses). This technology helps prevent too much blue light from entering your eyes and can help relieve symptoms of eye fatigue while you work throughout the day. They can also help you sleep better, so that's a welcome bonus!
Computer Eye Strain Glasses | Blue Light Blocking Glasses
If you're in the market for a great way to decrease eye strain while you're working, look into a pair of blue light blocking glasses. The slightly yellow lenses help to absorb blue light from your computer and smartphone screens and protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light.
Blue light not only causes eye fatigue and makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, but studies are also starting to show that excessive exposure can put you at risk for macular degeneration.
To prevent this, we recommend wearing blue light blocking glasses throughout your work day while you're on the computer or your cellphone.
Protecting your eyes is so important...you only get two of them!