Eye strain: causes and methods of prevention

Eye strain: causes and methods of prevention

Causes eye strain

Like any organ in the body, the eyes are subject to constant stimulation and focus during the day, especially when there is not enough rest.

What are the symptoms associated with eye strain? Which services should be used?

What is eye strain?

The organs of the body work continuously, but after a certain period of time, certain stress-related symptoms begin, such as muscle pain after performing strenuous exercises, for example.

Eye fatigue can therefore be defined as a group of symptoms that appear after continuous visual work without any rest for long periods, such as continuous reading for hours.

This situation may cause discomfort to the patient so that he stops doing the rest of his work, but as soon as he rests and avoids the stressor, the symptoms disappear and the eye returns to its activity.


Symptoms of eye strain vary, depending on the degree of stress, and are usually bothersome, prompting the patient to avoid any visual activity or resort to sleep until the symptoms disappear. This includes:

  • Slight eye pain
  • itching or burning sensation
  • Feeling that the eyes are tired, and that the eyelids want to close
  • A feeling of dryness in the eyes, and tearing may occur, represented by increased tear production
  • Problems focusing the vision at a certain point, and the patient may suffer from double vision, which is seeing shapes in double or blurred vision like seeing through dirty glass.
  • Discomfort with high light and brightness, as the patient often seeks a dark room to stay in

This condition is characterized by the appearance of other non-ocular symptoms, which, with the presence of the previous symptoms, may make the doctor suspect eye fatigue, since the patient may complain of:

  • A headache, the presence of which is very common, is called an eye strain headache
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders and back
  • Digestive symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, may occur
  • Pain and heaviness in the forehead and around the eyes

Causes eye strain

With the help of the cornea, the lens breaks the rays of imagination entering the eye, to place it at the point responsible for receiving the imagination and transfer it to the brain on the retina, to complete the vision process.

And the closer the image is to the eye, the more work the lens does in trying to break the rays, through the muscle group closest to it, which changes the convexity of the lens.

Therefore, when looking continuously and without stopping in front of the computer or any tablet device, or even reading for continuous hours, the lens works continuously during this period, which leads to eye fatigue.

In addition, while focusing on performing a certain task, several times the blinks decrease and thus the possibility of dry eyes due to the lack of full dispersion of the tears, which also affects the lens and increases eye fatigue, increases.

Among the most known causes of eye strain are:

  • Working on the computer or playing video games for hours on end
  • Reading in low light conditions
  • Driving or reading for long periods of time
  • High brightness tablet treatment
  • The presence of eye disease (hyperopia and myopia) will inevitably increase eye fatigue
  • Wearing the wrong glasses or not wearing them when necessary
  • Stress-related symptoms worsen when you don’t get enough sleep

Eye relief

The best way to rest the eye is to avoid any visual activity and stay away from strong light.

But it can be difficult for those whose work requires sitting in front of a computer, or for students who read with concentration for long hours.

Therefore, there are some measures that can be used to relax the eyes during working hours and focus, and they include:

1-hour training

This is one of the most important exercises used to relieve eye fatigue, because you have to imagine a large clock at a distance of meters from eye level.

keep the head still, then move the eyes between 3 and 9 o’clock on the imaginary clock for a period of time of one second to two, then between four and ten o’clock and so on in any two opposite numbers.

This exercise helps to relax the eye muscles due to the movement of the eyes between different focus points.

2- Follow the number 8

The person imagines that he has the number 8 in front of him, but horizontally, and he must try to move his eyes as if he were drawing it repeatedly about 5 times from right to left and vice versa.

This exercise will also relax the eye muscles and relieve symptoms associated with blepharospasm and headaches.

3- focus exercises

Hold the pen in your hand, about a foot from your line of sight, and try to focus on the pen for a few seconds, then move your gaze to another object at the same distance, and repeat the same movement four or five times.

If the vision is blurred during the exercise, the technique should be changed and it is desirable to extend the hand as far as possible and the pen inside, then try to focus on the pen and at the same time bring it slowly towards the face until the vision is blurred, and repeat this movement several times.

4- Palm exercise

Close your eyes, then place your palms on them, then apply light pressure for 30 to 60 seconds, this procedure helps relieve any muscle tension.

How to avoid eye strain

Precautions are very important, as they may help prevent eye strain.

Among the most important guidelines:

1- Workplace

Choose a comfortable chair for sitting so that the back is straight and at the same level as the neck.

The computer screen should be at arm’s length from the eyes, preferably at head level or slightly lower to prevent additional work from the eyes.

2- Adjust the screen brightness

Make the screen lighting suitable for the surrounding environment, for example, high lighting may be suitable outdoors with sunlight.

If the room is dark, try to reduce the brightness, so as not to tire the eyes.

4- Increasing the number of flashing times

The low number of blink times plays a role in eye strain, as the person using the computer blinks about half as often as usual.

4- Take a break

Take a break between work hours with the 20-20-20 technique, which involves taking a 20-second break and meditating about 20 feet away after every 20 minutes of work.

5- Check your eyes regularly

The problem with eye strain may be an untreated range of vision or short vision problems, without the patient realizing it, so it is recommended to visit the ophthalmologist from time to time and examine the eyes to notice changes early.

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