Asthenopia, or eye strain, can occur in one or both eyes. Eye strain generally goes away with rest but can also be a sign of a larger, underlying problem like a refractive error, or eye muscle imbalance. If you are experiencing strain frequently, you should see your eye doctor to check for additional problems.
The leading cause of eye strain is computer vision syndrome, but eye strain can also be caused by performing visual tasks in dim lighting, focusing too long on written words, or failure to blink. Performing eye exercises while using a computer or visually intensive work can greatly reduce eye strain.
In addition to tired, strained eyes, other symptoms of eye strain include:
Eye strain can also lead to an overall feeling of exhaustion, and may enhance feelings of irritability and an increased inability to concentrate.
The best way to prevent eye strain is to take frequent breaks from your computer. Making sure you perform eye exercises every 20 minutes, closing your eyes for a few moments, and ensuring you are blinking frequently will also help reduce instances of eye strain. For frequent eye strain, an eye exam to detect other potential causes may result in eye glasses, contacts, or eye drops to treat the underlying problem. Your ophthalmologist will best be able to determine if your eye strain is caused by over use, or if there is a larger cause.
If you are suffering from eye strain, or are interested in learning more about ways to prevent eye strain, please contact an experienced ophthalmologist in your area to schedule an initial consultation.