You might be suffering from eye fatigue without even realising it. Read more to know about the easily ignored causes that result in Eye Fatigue and how you can avoid them!

As you are probably aware, eye fatigue constitutes a series of symptoms that leave you with tired, troubled eyes. Though not a major cause of concern to your health, repetitive stress on your fatigued eyes could leave you rather drained and negatively impact your productivity. However, preventing the onset of eye fatigue can be easily done by applying a few simple rules and lifestyle changes. Let’s first take a look at the causes of eye fatigue.

Causes of eye fatigue: 

Eye fatigue happens due to activities that require intensive use of the eyes such as driving, reading or using the computer for long periods of time. The following are the other causes of eye fatigue:

  • Fixated staring - When we focus our eyes on one particular thing such as computers, mobile phones or televisions for a long period of time, the eyes get exhausted - not only from long hours of staring but also from the bright light which, with time, causes the eyes to squint. This type of eye strain is sometimes referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome and is estimated to be the most common eye problem examined every year1
  • Inadequate sleep - Although many people associate the need for better sleep with physical and mental health, they tend to forget that the eyes also benefit from adequate sleep. You or rather your eyes need sufficient sleep to replenish the nutrient supply in the eye so as to function when you wake up. Inadequate sleep can also lead to eye dryness which could be a more severe eye condition.
  • Exposure to extreme light conditions - The human eye has proven to be vulnerable to many substances and extreme light is one of them. When light gets into contact with the retina, light sensing cells are stimulated, releasing chemicals that send signals to the brain. However, when exposed to extreme light such as too much or dim lights, these chemicals can be overproduced, causing damage to the back of the eye. Lights such as screen light from computers, mobile phones, televisions or video games may contain harmful UV light that can cause damage to the eye.
  • Infrequent blinking - Infrequent blinking can be caused by focusing on one activity for a long period of time. This could be driving, reading or watching television. The fact that the eyes focus at one point, especially at a close distance, minimizes eye movement and therefore the eye is not well moisturized. This may cause dryness.



Preventive measures: 

Sometimes, making a few changes in your home and work environment can reduce the risk of eye fatigue or dry eye. These changes include:

  • Adjusting your computer lighting - Ensure optimal brightness and contrast settings of your monitor so that the light from the screen is not harsh on your eyes.
  • Using a glare filter over your computer or TV screen.
  • Applying the 20-20-20 rule whereby you are advised to look 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
  • Reminding yourself to blink by sticking blink reminders on your working surface. Blinking ensures the eyes stay moisturized to avoid dry eyes.

Other preventive measures involve taking good care of your eyes by using a warm washcloth or cool compresses to relax the eyes. Also remember that getting enough sleep is essential in preventing eye fatigue.

An awareness of the preventive measures can help avoid eye fatigue and other related conditions. But should you ever be in a situation where your eyes feel fatigued and weary, you can follow some simple remedies that can alleviate the tiredness. This article gives you a comprehensive idea of the symptoms of fatigued eyes and the remedial measures. (Link to EYE FATIGUE: CAUSES AND PREVENTION)


References:
1Miljanovic B, Dana R, Sullivan DA et al. (2007) Impact of dry eye syndrome on vision-related quality of life. Am J Ophthalmol 143, 409–15

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