What is Eye Strain?

Sore, Dry, Tired Eyes, Headaches are all common Symptoms

Eye Strain today is an epidemic.  Is it any wonder, with the amount of time we spend sitting in front of computers, televisions and hand held games?  Whoever designed the human eye never designed it for doing close activities for hours on end and that is where eye strain comes in.  Eye strain is simple to treat and even avoid, therefore it is a problem that no one should have to endure!  A day does not go by that Jim Kokkinakis Optometrist, The Eye Practice Sydney CBD, does not see cases of eye strain that are caused by today’s excessive visual demands.

Eye strain is a form of eye discomfort which occurs when you overuse your eye muscles.  Any muscle held in one position for too long will strain.  When concentrating on tasks such as reading, working at the computer or watching television for prolonged periods of time, your inner eye muscles tighten up causing various symptoms including eye irritation, dryness and discomfort.

Another commonly used term related to eye strain is Computer Vision Syndrome. Computer Vision Syndrome is the combination of eye strain and body muscle strain that is experienced during or related to computer use.  In most cases, symptoms occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual to comfortably perform the task.

If Eye strain or Computer Vision Syndrome are not diagnosed and treated correctly they can have a direct effect your well-being and productivity.  Not to mention wrinkles from having to squint to see clearly!

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Common causes of Eye Strain & Computer Vision Syndrome

  • Prolonged use of the eyes
  • Uncorrected vision defects e.g. the need for glasses
  • Inappropriate glasses prescription for close/computer work
  • Eye muscle imbalance
  • Insufficient blinking
  • Poor lighting
  • Incorrect positioning of computer screens and keyboards or your desk or chair
  • Air-conditioning
  • Dietary problems


Signs and symptoms of Eye Strain & Computer Vision Syndrome

Many people who use computers complain of eye strain. Any action that requires strong use of the eyes for an extended period of time or under difficult conditions such as driving a car for extended periods, reading, or working at the computer, can cause eye strain. Eye Strain is known as “Asthenopia” into medical terms. Tired eye is another term for what is mostly known as eyestrain – when eyes feel achy, weak, or heavy due to intense use. Eye strain not an eye disease, is a symptom. Eyestrain can create eye embarrassment and headaches, although it is uncommon and overrated as a cause of headache. Particularly headache connected with any function limiting activity. Eyestrain is caused by improper focusing like nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatism and when the two eyes are not properly aligned. If you have any eye discomfort caused by looking at something for a long period of time then you are suffering eye strain.

Eye strain & Computer Vision Syndrome is associated with uncomfortable and annoying signs & symptoms, such as:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Sore, tired or itchy eyes
  • Difficulty focusing

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Eye Relaxation Tips and Treatments for Eyestrain & Computer Vision Syndrome

Eye strain is a common & annoying and rarely a serious condition. Tired eyes are an annoyance more than anything. Usually there are a few ways to treatment eye strain by making simple changes in your work habits or environment. If they don’t work you need to talk with your eye care specialists. Sometimes, there is an underlying medical cause for eyestrain that requires additional treatment.
Here are few easy & common treatments that you can take as an eye strain treatment & common symptoms of computer vision syndrome below:

    • Get a comprehensive eye exam by an experienced Optometrist : Get a regular comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to treat eye strain & computer vision problems. Every computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter. You have to provide all the correct information to your optometrist during eye exam so that your eye doctor can test your eyes accurately and get you the best treatment for eye strain.
    • Minimize glare: Glare on walls and finished surfaces and reflections on your computer screen also can cause computer vision syndrome. Installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor and paint bright white walls a darker color with a matte finish as a treatment of computer eye strain. Also cover your window if you cannot reduce outside light. Consider using a computer hood. Change lighting to minimize glare and harsh reflections.

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Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is strain on the eyes. Computer vision syndrome occurs when you use a computer or digital device for extended periods of time. Computer Vision Syndrome is also known as Digital Computer Eye Strain. Research shows computer eye strains are common and 50%-90% of people exposed to prolonged use of computers in school, at work and even at home, it is not surprising that computer vision syndrome is a fairly common eye condition. Anyone who has spent a few hours on the computer has probably experience eye discomfort and vision problems and the level of discomfort appears to increase with the amount computer or digital device use. Computer vision syndrome or computer eye strain is temporary and naturally goes away on its own. On the other hand, the discomfort it causes can be reduced by following a few simple practices.

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Computer Eye Strain?
Computer vision syndrome or digital computer eye strain is comparable to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries at work. Computer vision syndrome occurs when people carrying out the same motion over and over again and also viewing a computer or digital screen often makes the eyes work harder. And thus computer vision syndrome can get worse the longer you continue the activity.
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For more information on Eyestrain and Computer Vision Syndrome including tips and treatment –

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If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of Eyestrain or Computer Vision Syndrome, please contact the Optometrists at The Eye Practice for further advice and an appointment.  The signs and symptoms of eyestrain and computer vision syndrome are often similar to other eye conditions therefore it is important to have your eyes examined by a professional in order for the correct diagnoses to be made and the appropriate treatment to be given.

Call The Eye Practice today on (02) 9290 1899 today to make an appointment with Jim Kokkinakis Optometrist.

The Eye Practice written by Jim Kokkinakis also has a constantly updated BLOG, which includes all Eye issues.  Within this BLOG you will find interesting updates on EYE STRAIN – CLICK HERE to see the BLOG.