Asthenopia, sounds like a horrible health condition right?
Well, don’t worry. It is not related to any severe health condition or underlying diseases.
But, that does not mean that you should take it lightly, as it is pretty common in people, especially due to today’s eyes-glued-to-Bluelight-emitting-screens scenario.
So what exactly is Asthenopia?
Asthenopia is a condition of eye strain or fatigue due to intense use or constant focus on objects like a computer screen. It is caused when you try to focus on things for a longer duration in dim lighting conditions.
While this is not a serious issue, it does cause severe headaches and in rare cases can be related to vision errors.
What causes Asthenopia or eye strain?
It is caused due to straining your eyes for longer durations without rest. For example, working on your laptop or staring at your mobile screens without giving your eyes some rest.
It can also arise due to long hours of driving or reading a book. Some other common causes of eye strain are:
- Working under an extremely bright light or dim conditions
- Exposure to glare
- Intensely focusing on things or being stressed
- Exposure to dry or hot air
- Difficult in adjusting to new glasses
Underlying eye conditions like dry eyes, or error in your vision.
Symptoms of Asthenopia or eye strain
The intensity of the symptoms may vary from person to person, however, below are the common ones.
- Dry eyes
- Pain around the eye region
- Watery eyes
- Difficulty to keep your eyes open for long
- Burning sensation in eyes due to tiredness
For a few people, this issue may trigger other severe conditions like migraine or eye muscle twitching and nausea. While this cannot be completely avoided, here are 7 quick remedies to combat it.
Quick Remedies For Eye Strain :
Limit screen on-time:
This may be pretty obvious and straight forward if you are facing eye strain. Since it is the most common cause for it, it is recommended to maintain a healthy screen on-time every day.
If it is impossible to take your eyes of your laptop due to your work requirement, at least limit using your mobile when you take eyes of your laptop screen.
Shift your focus every 20 minutes
As mentioned above, if your work does not allow you to take your eyes of your laptop screen, try shifting your focus for at least 20 seconds on a far away object or scene every 20 minutes.
This allows you eyes to shift its vision away from your screen and the longer focus provides it a chance to relax and refocus.
If you feel that your eyes are dried, especially due to digital strain, try blinking your eyes rapidly (or as a normal human). This helps in opening up the glands in your eyes and relubricating them. You may also use an over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops to lubricate them.
You can use them before sitting down for work, even if your eyes are not dry. However, make sure that they do no contain preservatives as it can irritate your eye.
Adjust lighting conditions
You might already know that working under extreme bright or dim lighting conditions can strain your eyes and also deteriorate your vision health.
So make sure that you have moderate lighting conditions while you work. Place the source of lighting behind you in a way that it is directly shining on your work or while reading a book so that it does not hit your eyes directly.
This goes without saying that you need to take frequent breaks while working. Now, that does not mean that you take a break from your laptop and jump into your mobile phone.
The whole point of taking a break is to give your eyes some rest and time to recover. Even if you are not working on a device, you need to take break if you are reading or driving for longer duration.
You may take a quick walk and focus on far away objects or better yet, take a quick shut-eye.
Proper work ergonomics
Ensure you follow proper ergonomics while working on your computer. Some of them are:
- Place your computer at your arm’s length from you.
- Use a lower brightness on your screen or a blue light filter to ensure your eyes are not strained too much.
- Set the font size of the text so that it is not too large or too small for easy viewing.
Have your eyes checked by an expert
While this is not a quick remedy, it is recommended if the above pointers do not work. It might be a sign that your eyes are getting easily strained due to other underlying vision issues like incorrect vision, or short or far-sightedness.
An ophthalmologist may also suggest you a better remedy or prescribe specific glasses according to your eye condition.