The Meaning of Eye Strain

What is the meaning of eyes are strained?

You may have heard a family member, friend or work colleague mention that their eyes are strained, you may have even experienced the feeling of your eyes being strained yourself, but what does it mean when your eyes are strained?

Eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain or eye fatigue, is actually more common than most people realize and it can occur for a variety of reasons, with one major cause being the prolonged use of digital devices, such as televisions, computers screens, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. If you’re experiencing eye strain often you should consider buying one of the 7 Best Monitors for Eyes

One definition of straining your eyes is “to try hard to see something” and that is exactly what it feels like when you are suffering with eye strain, of course this issue is not always caused by the use of digital devices, there are other reasons, such as working in a dimly lit room, trying to read a font that is too small, or even working without your reading glasses – all not to be recommended. An underlying medical condition can also cause eye strain, for instance, dry eye. This condition is often associated with age; however, it can also be caused by a number of autoimmune diseases or even by the use of antihistamines, dry eye is more common in women that in men.

What Is Eye Fatigue? Everything You Need To Know!

Do your eyes often feel itchy? Or dry after staring at a screen for too long? If yes, you may be experiencing eye fatigue. In fact, about 70% of American adults have reported experiencing one or more symptoms of digital eye strain/fatigue linked to prolonged device usage. So, trust us; you’re not alone!

Now, what is digital eye strain? Wait, what’s actually eye fatigue in general? Are there any associated symptoms and causes? Is there a way to prevent it?

If you have all these questions and more, we’ve got you covered! Let’s dive in and learn everything there is to know about eye fatigue.

What Is Eye Fatigue?

Technically speaking, eye fatigue is a type of discomfort linked to an inability to focus on a particular object. It usually occurs when your eyes are overworked or strained, affecting your vision and overall performance.

In other words, eye fatigue, also known as eye strain or asthenopia, is a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide, especially those that have to look at screens for prolonged periods.

While it’s not a serious condition, it can be quite bothersome and make it difficult to concentrate or focus on anything. Sometimes, it can also lead to headaches, neck pain, dry eyes, etc. Though it typically doesn’t have long-term consequences, eye fatigue can become more severe if left untreated.

What Is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain basically means the same thing, tired eyes. However, it’s specifically used to describe the symptoms caused by extended use of digital devices, such as computers, laptops, smartphones, etc.

As you might already know, digital devices emit blue light; a short-wavelength and high-energy visible light. And while blue light is important during the daytime (as it helps keep us awake and alert), too much exposure to it at night can disrupt our sleep cycle.

This is because blue light suppresses the production of melatonin (a hormone that makes us feel sleepy) in our bodies, making it harder for us to fall asleep.

So, if you’re using your phone or working on your laptop right up until you go to bed, you’re essentially exposing yourself to blue light, thereby pushing back your body’s natural sleep cycle. This can lead to tiredness and fatigue the next day.

Digital eye strain can also be caused by how we use our digital devices. For example, if you’re constantly looking down at your phone, you’re putting a lot of strain on your neck and eyes. Thus, it can lead to headaches, neck pain, and even dizziness.

Symptoms of Eye Fatigue

For a full and detailed of all the symptoms of eye fatigue please check our article but a brief summary is available below, here are some common symptoms of eye fatigue:

  • Sore or irritated eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Red eyes
  • Tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Burning sensation in the eyes

Causes of Eye Fatigue

Simply put, eye fatigue is caused when you overwork your eyes or constantly focus your eyes on something for an extended period of time. This can be caused by several different things, such as:

  • Staring at screens for too long
  • Driving for long hours
  • Reading for several hours (especially in bad lighting or without taking breaks)
  • Stress
  • Exposure to dry moving air
  • Exposure to glare or bright light
  • Underlying eye problem
  • Aging (as our eyesight starts to deteriorate with age)

We have a full article on the causes of eye strain and fatigue available here.

Eye Fatigue – Home Remedies & Prevention

Now that we know what eye fatigue is and what causes it let’s take a look at some home remedies and prevention tips. Link to How to reduce eye strain article

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