eye fatigue causes symptoms treatments

Eye Fatigue: Causes, Symptoms and Things You Can Do to Relieve It

Eye fatigue is a very common problem and it’s something that so many of us live with day-to-day. Eye fatigue or eye strain can happen at any time of day but particularly at night when you’ve had a long day at work and your eyes are in need of rest. Generally, eye fatigue is not something that most of us need to worry about; there are many things we can do to help prevent, reduce and eliminate the problems of eye strain and most people will find it easy to manage their symptoms.

But sometimes, eye fatigue can be a sign of bigger underlying problems. For instance, if you have extreme discomfort, get bad headaches or you experience changes in your vision, it could be something much worse than just generalised fatigue. Read on to find out everything you need to know about eye fatigue and eye strain.

Symptoms of Eye Fatigue

The most common symptoms of eye fatigue include the feeling of tiredness, sore eyes, dry eyes, watery eyes, itchy eyes, burning or increased sensitivity to light. If your eyes are in need of rest, you will perhaps feel a strong feeling of strain around the eye area and this could even be felt around the temples. Symptoms should go away with some rest or some simple eye exercises; if they persist and do not go away, it could be time to visit your doctor or optician. Other symptoms which could be a sign of something worse include:

  • Dizziness or blurred vision / double vision
  • Other dramatic changes to your vision
  • Persistent headaches
  • Extreme discomfort in / around the eyes

If you have any of the symptoms above together with your eye strain, booking an appointment with your GP and/or opticians is recommended.

Causes of Eye Fatigue

The cause of eye fatigue will vary from person to person. But any activity which requires us to use our eyes for long periods of time or anything that requires to use our eyes intensely for a period of time can cause strain to our eyes. So generally, every day tasks such as reading, writing, driving, using our phones, using a computer or carrying out any close-up tasks can cause us to feel tired around the eye area. The most common causes these days for working professionals is the extended use of digital screens such as our laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones; these electronic devices have become a part of our everyday working lives and using them for long periods of time can lead to something called Computer Vision Syndrome.

computer vision syndrome fatigue

Using digital screens can also create a problem with tiredness and fatigue because of the user’s tendency to blink less which dries out the eyes over time. Although it’s almost impossible to avoid using these digital devices in day-to-day life, there are many ways we can treat or manage the problems.

How to Treat It / Manage It

The best form of treatment is always prevention. So if you can prevent the eye fatigue from happening in the first place, you will suffer a lot less. Using our eyes for intense periods of time – whether it’s for daily tasks such as driving or long hours of staring at a computer screen – can cause strain on our eyes. To prevent this from happening, it’s important that we remember to take regular breaks. Having breaks is extremely important and will a huge difference to your comfort levels at the end of the day. You can also do regular eye exercises between tasks and you should make a concerted effort to blink to keep your eyes hydrated with natural tears.

To treat eye fatigue, you can try the following methods:

  • Rest your eyes by closing them
  • Dim the lights and use low lighting to relax in
  • Use lubricating eye drops (such as Systane Lubricating Eye Drops) to sooth your eyes
  • Use a hot eye compress (such as this microwaveable Eye Mask) every nightcompress for eye fatigue eye strain

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