Eye Strain from Screens: What to do?
Do your eyes hurt when you stay in front of a screen for a long time? Does your vision deteriorate after long sessions in front of your TV or computer?
Eye strain has become a particularly common phenomenon, especially among people who use screens frequently.
Televisions, computers, tablets and phones are all affected.
Do you know the best treatment for eyestrain and what to do to prevent its symptoms?
What is Eye Strain?
Eye strain, also called visual fatigue, is not a pathology but rather the consequence of having demanded too much of the eyes.
It appears after having made an excessive accommodating effort. The eye muscles are more or less relaxed when viewed from a distance, for example when looking at the horizon.
But when you focus closely, you have to do more work (make an effort).
If you spend a lot of time reading or looking at a screen, this muscle becomes tired. Visual fatigue also occurs when an activity requiring constant and consistent changes are performed.
For example, when driving, the eyes must frequently switch from close-up view (dashboard, mirrors...) to distant view (road).
In bright or low light conditions, the eyes are also forced to make a greater effort to focus, which can cause this annoying eye strain.
It is important to note that eyestrain becomes more common after the onset of presbyopia or tired eyesight, as the accommodation mechanism begins to be more difficult after age 45, more or less.
What are the most common Symptoms?
The manifestations of visual fatigue are very varied, as are the causes that produce it. In addition, each person can be affected differently, depending on their morphology and visual habits.
In general, the person suffering from eye strain feels:
- Discomfort in the eyes
Normally, these are internal sensations, which do not manifest themselves externally, although there may be exceptions.
Sometimes the redness associated with eye strain is the result of rubbing the eyes to relieve the discomfort.
The above discomforts may be localized in the eyes and also in the eye area, the bridge of the nose or the eye socket.
Headaches also appear as a consequence of having made a great visual effort.
They are different from other headaches (tension headaches, migraines...) because they are located at the level of the eyes or the forehead and radiate towards the back. Moreover, they are not felt on only one side of the head.
- Swelling and redness
Sometimes, this sensation of "swollen eyes" has an external manifestation that is usually accompanied by watery eyes.
This is a mild swelling that is not usually confused with allergic or infectious episodes, because in the latter cases the manifestations are much more serious.
- Blurred vision
It is not common for eyestrain to be accompanied by visual difficulties, although there are times when sufferers may perceive images less clearly.
If you are no longer in front of your screen and you rest, the blurred vision disappears immediately.
How to protect the Eyes?
If you want to protect your eyes and delay the onset of eye strain, it may be important to follow these tips:
- Be careful with blue light
Make sure you get the blue light you need for the activity you're doing: too much or too little will make it harder to concentrate.
- Take breaks
When you start to notice that your eyes are bothering you, take a break for a while and do another more relaxing activity that doesn't require as much strain on your eyes. After the break, you can return to your screen.
- Look for new approaches
Take a few minutes to change the objects in the environment (move your screen a little farther away, for example) and look at something that is a long distance away (more than 20 feet).
If you are working with a screen, take the opportunity to check if the brightness is adequate and increase the size of what you are looking at (letters, pictures...).
- Get a pair of Blue Light Blocking Glasses
A must-have solution, blue light glasses are particularly appreciated by gamers, designers and computer scientists.
They allow you to filter the blue light emanating from your screens while protecting yourself effectively, and all in style!
You can also try one of these 7 techniques to rest your eyes while making them more resistant.