Eye fatigue, also known as eyestrain or medically as Asthenopia, happens when your eyes hurt, feel tired, or irritated after extended, intense use. It is not regarded as a condition in itself but is a typical symptom associated with overworking your eyes beyond their capacity. The common causes of eye fatigue include:
- Staring at the screen for prolonged periods.
- Driving for too long.
- Straining to see in low light environments.
- Lack of adequate sleep.
- Using incorrect glasses prescription.
With more people working from home following the guideline restrictions instituted to curb the spread of Covid-19, more people have recorded symptoms of eye strain with increased screen time. In a particular study, about 96% of participants had experienced at least one symptom of eye strain caused by increased usage of digital devices due to working from home. Some of these symptoms include:
- Eye pain
- Heavy eyelids
- Redness of eyes
- Watering eyes
- Eye dryness
- Burning sensation
- Excessive blinking
- Vision blurring
- Feeling of foreign body in eyelids
- Increased sensitivity to light.
If you have been working from home for a while or plan to start, there is a 96% chance you may experience these symptoms if you don’t take adequate precautions.
Take Frequent Breaks In recent times
The most common cause of eye strain is staring at a screen for a prolonged time. While working, you should learn to take breaks often. You should not wait till you start feeling pain in your eyes before taking a break. During your break, you can do other things with your eyes like reading, enjoying the natural scenery, or even closing your eyes. Another helpful recommendation would be to follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule advises that you should take a twenty-second break looking at something about twenty feet away from you for every twenty minutes of screen work.
Adjust Your Lighting
If you have to work in the same place for a long time, it is advisable to adjust your room’s lighting or ambiance to an intensity that is comfortable for your eyes. You should also note the direction of your light source when performing a particular task so that the light is not shining directly into your eyes. While adjusting lighting, also remember to reduce exposure to glare. You can add a glare filter to your monitor to absorb excess glare and prevent eye strain.
Adjust Your Work-Station
Avoid eye strain while working by setting up your workstation to reduce stress on your eyes. For example, you can adjust your monitor to be around 20-26 inches away from your eyes and adjust your font to pick out words easily. You can also invest in a document holder next to your screen to reduce how much your eyes need to readjust and prevent head or neck pain from excess motion.
Use Artificial Tears and take a specific supplement
If you experience dry eyes during work, you might want to invest in over-the-counter artificial tears to keep them well lubricated and relieve your symptoms. You can also use artificial tears as a preventive measure by applying one or two drops to your eyes between work hours. Dr. Michael Lange or any of the doctors at the Lange Eye Institute can take care of you and choose the best eye drops for you. He can introduce you to different supplements to improve your vision and health. Dr Lange developed a supplement called Fortifeye Focus that is being used by patients and recommended by doctors all over the world for eye strain and eye fatigue. Dr Michael Lange also recommends either Optase, Fresh Kote or Oasis Tears as a good unpreserved artificial tear to use prior to and during any near point tasks. .
Wear Proper Eyeglasses
Another way to get rid of eyestrain is to invest in eyewear specifically designed to accommodate working on a computer or phone screen. These could either be anti-fatigue eyeglasses or contact lenses. But, again, your optometrist would be in the correct position to choose the right eyewear for you. Dr Lange and the Lange Eye Institute recommend using a blue filtering lens like Blue Light Defense, Blue Light Shield or Tru Blu while working on a computer or using any digital device.
If you are experiencing eye fatigue symptoms since you started working from home? You can book an appointment with Dr. Michael Lange at the Lange Eye Institute to receive eye strain treatment, including eye fatigue glasses, supplements, eye drops and contact lenses.