It’s no secret that we live in an advanced technological world. From smart phones to laptops to workstations, devices constantly surround us. While all this technology has made certain parts of our lives easier, it’s also created a new set of problems as well. We’ve become more and more dependent on our devices for even the most mundane tasks. The notion of “work-life balance” has become almost obsolete thanks to technology. Plus, a medical condition has even been created in large part to our over-dependence on devices – eye strain.
What is Eye Strain?
As its name suggests, you tend to put extra strain on your eyes when you stare for long periods of time at a screen. Your eye contains six external muscles, as well as something called a ciliary body, outside of the lens. Generally, the ciliary body performs many functions (each for a short period of time). However, when you spend an inordinate amount of time looking at a screen, the ciliary body will begin to get fatigued just like any other muscle. Likewise, strains on any of the other six muscles can also lead to visual fatigue.
It can be tricky to tell if you have this condition because many of its symptoms mimic those of other ailments.
Still, you should take note if you experience any of the following:
- Back or neck aches
- Spasms around the eyes
- Dizziness / lightheadedness
- Blurred or double vision
- General fatigue
- Inability to concentrate
If a brief period of rest does not eliminate these symptoms, it may be time to contact your eye care professional to see if you’re experiencing visual fatigue.
We’ve noted how eye strain is the result of certain muscles in our eyes getting tired. These same muscles can also become fatigued from other activities such as reading, driving, and watching TV for long periods of time. Also, poor lighting from either the room or your screen can contribute to eye fatigue. Finally, consider if you need to change your eye wear prescription or start wearing glasses or contact lenses. Let Northside Eye Care help you determine the changes you may need to make based on your lifestyle.
It’s encouraging to know that eye fatigue usually goes away on its own when we simply rest our eyes for a little bit. Still, there are ways to help prevent and treat this condition when rest isn’t enough. You should check and adjust the glare and contrast of your devices to more optimal levels. It’s also a good idea not to get too close to your screen when working or viewing. Finally, you can perform relaxation and stretching exercises specifically for your eyes. All these tips prove that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Our constant use of electronic devices seems unavoidable. But, one thing that can be avoided is getting eye strain to begin with. Remember, rest is often the only remedy you need to prevent this condition in the first place. So, if you’re reading this article on your laptop or phone, just make sure you take some time to gaze your eyes away from your screen to a more pleasing landscape!