How to tell if you’re straining your eyes

After a long period of intense focus on an activity such as working at a computer screen, reading a book, or driving, your eyes may become fatigued or irritated. This is referred to as eyestrain.

Eye strain is a widespread problem. In this digital age, it’s becoming even more common. Computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain, is induced by the usage of digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Common eye strain symptoms

The most common symptoms of eye strain are:

  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Discomfort and dryness
  • Vision is blurry and fuzzy.
  • Back and neck pain
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Light sensitivity, both natural and artificial
  • Feeling tense in the temples and on the top of my head
  • Migraines

If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms regularly, chances are you may be suffering from eye strain. But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to relieve your symptoms.

What causes eyestrain?

To understand how we can relieve eyestrain, we must first understand what causes it.

Ocular fatigue causes eye fatigue (also known as asthenopia in medical terms). Put simply, this is when the eye muscles stay locked on one item or task for an extended amount of time – leading to eye strain. Double or blurry vision, headaches, and/or migraines are all possible side effects of eye muscle strain.

When you read fine print, use a computer at a close distance, read in dim lighting, or squint to view items in the distance, your eye strain complaints may worsen.

Refractive faults in glasses are another element that can cause eye strain. It is strongly advised that you visit your optometrist to have your lenses fixed if this occurs. Eye strain, headaches, and impaired vision are exacerbated by other eye problems such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. 

Eye strain can also be caused by wearing glasses with an inaccurate or outdated prescription.If you have any questions about a potential refractive fault in your lenses, or your prescription, our glasses experts are here to help. Get in touch or visit our glasses reglazing page.

How can you relieve eye strain?

20-20-20 rule

When you participate in a single task for an extended amount of time without taking a break, you may experience eyestrain. Every 20 minutes, you should change your focus away from the activity. You should focus on anything that is 20 feet away and that you will look at for at least 20 seconds. This is called the 20-20-20 rule, and it really does work.

Screen positioning 

Make sure you’re looking at your digital devices from the right angle and from the right distance. The screen should be a few feet or approximately an arm’s length away from your eyes. The screen should be at or slightly below the level of your eyes. This also applies to handheld digital devices like your mobile phone or tablet: they should be read at eye level or lower.

Invest in blue light glasses

Blue light blocking glasses are made to filter away the harmful blue-violet light rays produced by digital screens. Blue light is thought to trigger eye strain, headaches, and sleep cycle abnormalities.

Although limiting your screen time may be beneficial, many people find it difficult to do so. Screens have become an inextricable aspect of our life. Screens have evolved into a source of information, entertainment, communication, and social interaction, as well as a job tool. People are working from home more than ever before, which can put a strain on your eyes.

We can’t just stay away from digital screens. Instead, we must learn to shield ourselves from the negative effects of excessive screen time. You can upgrade any pair of women’s glasses or men’s glasses to blue light lenses which can help to reduce the strain on your eyes. 

That’s right, blue light glasses really can reduce headaches.

Get your eyes tested

When in doubt, always get your eyes tested. Your optician will be able to let you know if your eyestrain is a result of a weak prescription or something else. You can even take advantage of free eye tests at many opticians across the UK.

Try before you buy with Arlo Wolf

If you’re looking for stylish blue light glasses but can’t decide which frames are your favourite, you can choose up to four frames to try on at home before deciding on the look you love the most. Head to our try before you buy glasses page to find out more.

If you struggle with glare whilst driving, read our blog on what are the best glasses for driving and consider investing in a pair of anti-glare glasses – like ours!

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