Today, Saturday, November 28, 2020

Tips for Minimizing Eye Strain

Eye strain is a common condition that affects millions of people on a daily basis.  It is caused by everything from excessive computer use to regular exposure to bright light.  It can range from mild to severe. Normal and everyday activities can cause some form of eye problem. Studies have revealed that vision problems and symptoms are the most regularly occurring health issue among Video Display Terminals users. So if eye strain is so common, how can a person minimize it?

What is Eye Strain?
When eyes become tired from constant and intense usage, asthenopia, more commonly referred to as eye strain, can occur. Certain activities that are performed for an extended period of time can lead to strain, including reading, sitting in front of a computer, watching television, driving and exposing eyes to bright or dim light. Usually treated by resting the eyes, a strain is not a permanent condition, but it is disruptive and uncomfortable. Although some factors that can cause strain to the eyes can not be avoided, steps can be taken to reduce the occurrence of it.

Causes and Symptoms
The common symptoms a person experiences with eye strain are:
•    Tired, sore, burning or itching eyes
•    Watery or dry eyes
•    Blurred vision
•    Headache
•    Heightened sensitivity to light

Sometimes the symptoms of strain to the eyes are a sign of an eye condition that is much more serious and needs medical attention. Therefore, it is important to see an eye doctor if the temporary resting of the eyes does not relieve the symptoms of eye strain. Because a person's vision may have changed and the eyes are straining to see clearly, eye strain is sometimes an indication that eye glasses or contact lenses are needed. Likewise, a strain could simply indicate tired eyes. Regardless the cause, it is always best to identify the cause and learn how to correct it.

Remedies and Prevention
Simple adjustments to one's work habit and environment can help relieve or even prevent strain to the eyes. While performing tasks that often lead to eye strain, the positioning and intensity of lighting plays a large roll in reducing it. When reading or completing work up-close, an individual should position the light source behind him or her and face the light directly onto the page or work. This prevents the light from shining directly into the individual's eyes and causing strain. Also, viewing the material from as great a distance as possible while still being able to see or read it easily will reduce chances of eye strain.

Watching the television is another activity that often causes strain to the eyes. If watching the television in the dark, the contrast between the television screen and the surrounding environment is hard on the eyes. Simply keeping the room softly lit while watching the television eliminates the occurrence of strain to the eyes.

Other general tips to minimize eye strain include:
•    Take frequent vision breaks to relax eye muscle
•    Focus eyes in a different direction every 15 to 30 minutes
•    Wear sunglasses to protect against ultraviolet rays
•    Wear a wide-brimmed hat to reduce glare
•    Use artificial teardrops or blink to prevent eyes from becoming dry

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
With a majority of the population having a desk job, sitting behind a computer is the most common cause of eye strain, one of the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. According to a study by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in America, more than 90% of those surveyed reported eye strain and other visual problems associated with regular computer use. Looking at the words, numbers and images on a computer screen for a mere three hours each day is likely to cause strain to the eyes. And, for the average working person, three hours is only a third of the working day. So, it is only logical that working at a computer for nine hours greatly increases the risk for developing eye strain.

Those who suffer from eye strain due to Computer Vision Syndrome can easily make some changes to reduce the symptoms. An individual can begin by setting up the work area to fit his or her needs. Sitting directly in front of the computer screen, approximately 20 to 24 inches away, an individual should position his or her chair at a height where his or her eyes are level with the top of the monitor and are able to look beyond it.

Prevention of Eye Strain
It is beneficial to position the chair at a higher level because more of the eye surface is covered by the eyelid when looking down. Position the chair at this level helps with dry eyes since it results in blinking more often to provide lubrication to the eyes.

Similar to reading or watching television, the glare and room lighting can make a difficult to see and strain the eyes. Sitting at the computer with the screen turned off can show what lights hits the screen causing the glare. Make some adjustments to correct the problem, such as tilting the screen, closing blinds or curtains to reduce the amount of sunlight shining onto the screen, moving objects that are causing the glare, or using a glare-reducing screen. Another helpful tip to cut down on the glare is dusting regularly and keeping the monitor clean. Dust adds to the contrast and contributes to reflection on the screen.

A quick fix that is not always feasible in a work setting is reducing the amount of bright fluorescent lighting. If possible, turn off or dim some fluorescent lights and opt for a desk lamp that requires a 100-watt bulb.

The statistics for eye strain are dismally high. Although eye strain is very common, it is also very preventable with some simple changes. So, people do not have to suffer with the annoying and uncomfortable symptoms that come along with the strain. They can make a conscious effort to change their work, reading and television environment to make it more conducive to healthier eyes. And remember, visiting the eye doctor can assist in identifying the underlying problem and finding ways to fix it.

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