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Definition of Eye Strain
Eye Strain – the sensation of tiredness and irritation of the eyes, often accompanying long periods of time involved in performing the same task such as reading, computer work, watching television, playing video games, and assembly work.
Eye strain generally results from overuse of the muscles that move the eyes. The overuse tires the muscles, which become less responsive to the focusing needs of the eyes. The difficulty generates temporary vision disturbances such as blurring, and may also cause muscle tension headaches. Insufficient blinking, which causes the eyes to become dry and irritated, often accompanies the overuse.
These Measures Can Help Relieve Eye Strain
- Blink frequently.
- Use artificial tears to improve the moisture content of the eyes.
- Make sure lighting is of the appropriate intensity and placement.
- Reduce glare and reflection.
- Look away from close tasks every 10 to 15 minutes to focus on objects in the distance.
- Wear reading glasses or corrective lenses to accommodate presbyopia.
- Wear eye protection when in environments that are dusty or windy, and when in the sun.
Contrary to popular belief, eye strain (such as reading in dim light) does not cause permanent vision impairment. However, eye strain may result from undetected vision impairment, such as astigmatism and hyperopia, that affect the eye’s ability to focus on near objects. An ophthalmologist or optometrist should evaluate eye strain that persists despite efforts to improve the visual environment.