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EYE STRAIN: Let's get rid of it!

Eye Practice
EYE STRAIN: Let's get rid of it! Eye strain (also known as Asthenopia) is a common eye condition. As manifest in its name, it involves a condition where the eye gets too tired from intense use. This can be brought about by activities like driving, reading or computer use. While eye strain should not be a cause for alarm, we should still endeavor to avoid having this condition as it can lead to more serious eye problems. Here are some tips that can help you avoid this condition:

•    Other Conditions. Consult your OPTOMETRIST to make sure that your symptoms are not due to underlying eye conditions.
•    Glasses. If you are currently wearing eye glasses or contact lenses, check with your doctor if you need a different set of glasses or lenses to address or reduce your eye strain. You might also need a higher prescription or a prescription that is optimized for computer work.

•    Light. If you are doing close-up work like using the computer, the light should be directed on what you are doing and your light source should be bright. If you are reading, your light source should be behind you and directed on your material. If you are watching the television, use soft lighting as this will be more comfortable to the eyes.


•    Computer Use. Observe proper usage of computer to avoid further aggravating your eye strain. Your monitor should be at least 60 cm away from your eyes. You can increase font size to make reading easy on your eyes. Avoid computer glare. You can also adjust the settings of your monitor to suit your needs. Keeping your monitor free from dust can help maintain proper contrast that will avoid glare and other reflection problems. Your keyboard should be placed in front of your monitor. Your reference materials should also be placed near your monitor so your eyes do not need to readjust constantly.

•    Breaks. Whenever you engage in an activity that is strenuous to the eyes like reading or using the computer, make sure to take sufficient breaks to give your eyes time to rest and refocus. For every 20 minutes of activity, rest for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away (6 metres). Blink as often as you can to keep your eyes moist and lubricated.

•    Eye Drops. If your eyes suffer from dryness due to eye strain, you can use artificial teardrops to relieve your eyes. Avoid using drops that have preservatives and those that address redness.

•    More Air. Make sure that there is good ventilation and air quality to keep your eyes from getting tired.

•    Exercise. Like other parts of our body, our eyes also need some exercise to keep them healthy and free from eye strain. Using your bare hands and fingers and with a warm towel placed over your closed eyes, you can massage your eyelids and the muscles over your brow, upper cheek and temple once or twice a day, for 10 seconds each time. Simple relaxation exercises will also help.

While this condition is common, it should not be taken lightly either as it can lead to more serious problems. When your symptoms persist despite following the tips above, you should consult your optometrist for further assessment of your eye strain.

We specialize in alleviating eye strain at The Eye Practice.  Call us on (02) 9290 1899 or BOOK AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE.
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