We all get tired eyes now and again; whether it’s a boring meeting, a long film, or simply at the end of a hard day you probably know that feeling of wanting to close your eyes to soothe them a little.
However, if you’re experiencing this more than occasionally, you may be suffering from eye strain. Eye strain tends to affect those who work on a computer regularly, if you read or write a lot, watch television for long periods of time, and even if you drive long distances. In fact, it’s more common than you might think to suffer with eye strain.
While it’s not likely to do any long-term damage, eye strain can be extremely uncomfortable and affect your productivity, which isn’t ideal if you’re at work or particularly busy at home. Your eyes may become sore and irritated, they may water more or be drier than usual, your vision may blur, and you may even become more sensitive to light. As well as this, you can suffer with headaches, neck ache, or shoulder ache, all because of the bad posture that eye strain can lead you to hold.
At Eye Emporium, we often see patients suffering with eye strain and typically, they think it’s something far more serious. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent eye strain from becoming a problem, or to rid yourself of the symptoms once they’ve developed.
If you work with computers make sure the screen is clean and clear at all times and adjust the height of the monitor so that it’s around half a metre away from you and just below eye level. If glare is a problem, reposition your monitor or consider using a glare filter to prevent headaches. Try to ensure there is no light source directly above or behind your screen.
One great tip we like to recommend is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes focus on something that is 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This helps to prevent eye strain by readjusting your focus every 20 minutes. You should also ensure you take regular breaks from your computer; make your colleagues a cup of tea or stretch your legs outside for 5 minutes.
If you find your eyes feeling tired and irritated after a day in the office – or even after binge-watching your favourite TV show – there are some steps you can take at home to soothe them. Try soaking a flannel in warm water and laying it across your (closed) eyes for 20 minutes. You could also try using artificial tears if your eyes feel particularly dry at the end of the day. Most pharmacies will stock these, or your optician can recommend the best type for your eyes.
If you think you may have eye strain you’re very welcome to come and speak to our experts at Eye Emporium. We will be able to check it’s nothing serious and make sure your current eyewear is suitable for your lifestyle. A lot of people put off seeing their optician for fear they have an untreatable eye condition, but usually we’re able to help you treat the issue – don’t be scared! Simply give our team a call on 0800 020 9202 today and we’ll happily book you in for an eye examination.