Managing Eye Fatigue And Strain: 6 Strategies For Relieving Symptoms

Dr Ajay Sharma, Chief Medical Director of EyeQ, shares six simple tips to avoid eye strain.

Eye fatigue and strain is a prevalent ailment that manifests after extended periods of intense visual concentration on an activity such as reading or driving. Notably, this condition has become increasingly commonplace in the digital era due to the continuous use of tablets, computers, and smartphones. The symptoms of eye fatigue and strain can include soreness, tiredness, stinging or itching, discomfort or pain, dryness or watery eyes, double or blurred vision, headache, and discomfort in the back, shoulder or neck areas. Furthermore, individuals who suffer from eye strain may also experience light sensitivity, difficulties in focusing and reading, and an inability to maintain eye contact.

Risk Factors For Eye Fatigue And Strain

The occurrence of eye fatigue and strain can be attributed to many factors that pose a risk to eye vision. Such risk factors encompass diverse elements, including the nature of the visual task, the surrounding environment, and individual lifestyle choices. One notable risk factor is prolonged optical activity, which involves engaging in a visually demanding job for an extended period. Additionally, engaging in activities that require visual focus without adequate breaks and adjustments can increase the risk of developing eye strain. The lighting conditions in an environment, including excessive glare or insufficient lighting, can also contribute to eye strain. In addition to these external factors, individual factors such as ageing, pre-existing visual disorders, and lifestyle habits such as inadequate sleep, poor nutrition, and lack of physical activity can exacerbate the risk of developing eye strain.

Dr Ajay Sharma, Chief Medical Director of EyeQ, shares six simple tips to avoid eye strain:

  1. Be Aware of Irritants: To mitigate the onset of eye discomfort and related reactions, abstain from exposure to various irritants and triggers, such as smoke, pollen, dust, chlorine, or pet dander. Suppose an individual is uncertain about the underlying cause of ocular itching. In that case, they should seek consultation with an eye specialist, who can perform diagnostic tests to identify the precise allergens causing these symptoms. This proactive approach can help the patient to implement a targeted treatment plan and avoid future exposures to allergens that could worsen their eye-related discomfort.
  2. Hand Wash Frequently:To safeguard ocular health and reduce the risk of potential infections or irritations, it is imperative to refrain from touching the eyes except after thoroughly washing the hands. Furthermore, employing clean sheets and towels daily is recommended, as this can mitigate the accumulation of bacteria and other pathogens that could compromise the eyes. By adhering to these hygienic practices, individuals can help preserve their eyes’ health and vitality and avoid potential complications that could negatively impact their visual well-being.
  3. Drink Plenty of Water: To maintain optimal ocular hydration, it is recommended to consume ample amounts of water, which provides a refreshing sensation and promotes invigoration of the body, particularly during the warm summer months. Furthermore, water intake has been shown to bolster immune system function, which can contribute to overall ocular health and resilience. By prioritizing hydration through adequate water intake, individuals can support their visual health and reduce the likelihood of ocular strain and related discomfort.
  4. Use Artificial Tear Drops: Utilize over-the-counter artificial tears, a type of eye drops that alleviate eye irritation and help eliminate allergens from the eyes. Administer these drops up to four times daily to achieve the desired effect. However, individuals who frequently rely on artificial tears are advised to opt for preservative-free versions to avoid any potential side effects that could arise from the chemicals found in typical eye drops.
  5. Eye Exercises: Incorporating brief yet consistent eye exercises in one’s daily routine bolsters the strength and resilience of the muscles in and around the eyes. These exercises not only promote ocular health but may also help to alleviate stress and related tensions. Eye exercises typically involve eye rolls, focusing on distant objects, and shifting the eyes in different directions.
  6. Cold Compress: Use a cold compress or soft cloth soaked in cool water several times throughout the day, then drape it over closed eyes to help alleviate eye fatigue and strain symptoms. By providing a soothing sensation, this method promotes the relaxation of the eye muscles, thus facilitating the recovery of the eyes from the stresses and strains of daily activities.

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