After a long day at work, do you notice that your eyes feel tire and sore, you have difficulty focusing and they are unusually sensitive to light? If so, you could be suffering from eye strain.
If you spend a large part of your work day reading, writing or using a computer, you are especially prone to eye strain. These activities require intense use of the eyes, and in the case of computer use, expose your eyes to excessive dim light. Typically, eye strain isn’t a serious condition and it can be relieved by taking proper precautions before using your eyes excessively, and with by following simple procedures after it sets in.
Preventing and Treating Eye Strain
The best way to avoid straining your eyes when you are working is to take proper precautions. By doing so, you can avoid straining your eyes and prevent the headaches, soreness, difficulty focusing and other symptoms that are associated with eye strain.
Some effective prevention methods include:
- Adjusting your computer: If your eye strain is caused by computer use, modify how you use your computer. Move the screen so that it is at least 20 inches away from your eyes and so that it sits below your eye level. Clean dust and fingerprints off of the screen, as they can reduce the contrast and aggravate problems with glare and reflections. Applying a glare filter over the screen can also help.
- Changing your work environment: The environment you work in can lead to eye strain. Dim lighting or lighting that causes glares and reflections can cause you to strain your eyes, so adjust the lighting accordingly.
- Modify your work habits: How you use your eyes while you are working can strain them. Make sure you give your eyes plenty of breaks throughout the work day. The 20-20-20 rule is particularly effective for eye strain that is caused by excessive computer use. It involves looking away from your computer screen and focusing on something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Doing so relaxes your eyes and by letting them focus on something other than the dimly lit screen that is directly in front of them. Also, whether you use a computer, write or read excessively at work, put your work aside, get up and walk around so that you aren’t tempted to look back at your work when you are trying to relax your peepers.
Effective post-eye strain treatment tips include:
- Applying a warm, damp washcloth after work. This will rest your eyes and rehydrate them after you have been using them for a prolonged period of time.
- Use eye drops to refresh and replenish the moisture in your eyes whenever they start to feel dry.
- Use an air purifier to filter dust out of the air.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Of course, routine eye exams also play an important role in ensuring your vision stays in tip-top shape and can help prevent more serious problems before they develop.