Eye strain can be aggravating to endure when you over-exert yourself, but it’s not necessarily something that’s serious to worry about. With our constant use of computers and electronic devices, people are experiencing more symptoms of eye strain than ever before. If you think you’re suffering from eye strain but are not entirely sure, read on as we outline what eye strain is and what causes eye strain to happen.

What Is Eye Strain?

Eye strain is a symptom that is related to the eyes and not an actual disease.  It occurs when your eyes become tired from persistent use and over-exertion, like when you’re focused on studying for an exam or spending a long time staring at a computer screen.

What are the Causes?

Most people report that they experience eye strain after driving a car for extended periods of time, reading small text, seeing in the dark, reading from your mobile phone, and working at the computer for long hours. The strain you experience is caused from clenching your muscles around the eyelids, face, and temples. After long periods of tightening, your muscles will become tired and you will experience symptoms associated with the strain.

What are the Common Symptoms?

With eye strain, you can experience headaches, blurring, double vision, pain in the neck and temples, light sensitivity, focusing problems, and also dry and irritated eyes. Although the symptoms can be uncomfortable they are not usually serious nor will you need medical attention. However, the symptoms can be amplified if you already have an existing eye problem such as an eye correction or eye muscles problem.

What Can I Do to Help?

When you begin to experience eye strain, you should immediately stop the visual task and give your eyes a break. If you are working on a computer, increase the resolution and reduce the lighting to help reduce the glare and strain. Take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest. And make sure to get enough sleep and rest to help relax your muscles and eyes.

You should also try to reduce your stress level as much as you can, as stress will only elevate the symptoms. If the symptoms continue to persist or you experience vision loss, then you should see an eye doctor immediately. There may be other underlying issues at play that only a professional could diagnose.

Eye strain is a common eye symptom that we all experience at one time or another. Don’t panic if you experience any of these symptoms. Just rest your eyes and try to give them more of a break.  If the symptoms get worse or persist after you quit the straining activity, make an appointment to have them checked out by your eye doctor.