Eye Strain is part and parcel of our computer-driven society today. That's just discomfort, right?
But there is compiling evidence that eye strain and myopia are related – in that prolonged, repetitive eye strain can not only cause myopia, but make it worse.
Myopia is often referred to as nearsightedness or short-sightedness. It means that your eye has too much optical power for its length. That means you can see perfectly well when things are up close, but when you look at things that are far away, they are blurry.
Understanding the Eye Strain Connection
There are many layers of anecdotal evidence that show a connection with eye strain and the progression of myopia. Look at people who work with computers for extended periods of time, or who are crafts people who sew a lot, or voracious readers who always have a book or e-book in hand. More often than not, you see they are wearing some kind of corrective lenses – and, when asked, they'll tell you they are nearsighted.
The connection is becoming clear to many of us – the eye strain caused from up close work links directly to the progression of nearsightedness. But this is no longer staying in the realm of anecdotal evidence – more and more experts are beginning to understand that eye strain can not only make myopia worse, but it can be a contributing factor.
The Running Metaphor
A long time ago, a doctor of optometry compared eyestrain and the progression (or worsening) of myopia to walking.
Using your eyes is like using your legs – when you use either one of these parts, it is like exercising. Looking at something far away is like a walk in a garden. It's easy and doesn't stress out your body.
Looking at something closer, like a television, is more like walking quickly. You can do it with very few side effects and hardships on your body. But looking at things up close, like computer screens, is like taking a jog or a run – you can only do it for so long before it wears out your body. Even a marathon runner has to stop and rest sometime.
Your eyes are the same way. Straining them through up-close work wears them out, and makes it harder to focus on distant objects. Keep pushing your eyes to exercise with too much work up close, and myopia will start to blossom.
One of the symptoms we look for when making a diagnosis of myopia is whether or not you've been experiencing eyestrain. We also ask if you've been working with computers and doing other up-close activities. Eye discomfort, squinting, and blurred vision when looking into the distance are all signs of myopia. It is therefore not difficult to see a connection between eye strain and the development and progression of myopia, is it?
Possible solutions to manage this eye condition and slow its progression include:
- Atropine Eye Drops
- Contact Lenses
- Eye Exercises
Only a careful eye examination can reveal what the best and most efficient treatment options will be.