The hidden secret behind eye strain: Are you making these mistakes?

In an increasingly digitised world, where our lives are intertwined with bright screens, eye strain has become a common but underestimated problem. Many of us experience eyestrain without fully understanding why. In this post we’ll uncover the secret behind eye strain and provide essential tips to alleviate and prevent this discomfort. Find out how you can say goodbye to eye strain with simple but effective lifestyle changes.

What is eye fatigue and why is it a problem?

Eye fatigue, also known as asthenopia, is a condition characterised by symptoms such as dry, itchy, red, blurred vision and a feeling of heaviness in the eyes. We often underestimate its impact, attributing these symptoms to stress or lack of sleep. However, eye fatigue can significantly affect our quality of life and visual performance.

Hidden factors contributing to eyestrain

Inadequate lighting:

Improper lighting can put additional strain on our eyes. Low-light environments can cause us to strain our eyes, while excessive light and glare can cause glare. Adjusting the ambient lighting, using soft lamps and avoiding direct light on the screen, can make a difference. It also helps to use products such as anti-reflective screens to help reduce glare.

Prolonged use of devices:

We spend hours in front of computer, tablet and phone screens. The blue light emitted by these screens can cause eye fatigue and affect sleep quality. Incorporating short breaks and the use of blue light filters can help reduce strain. It is also advisable to adjust the brightness and contrast settings on your devices to make them comfortable for your eyes.

Unadjusted displays:

Incorrectly setting the brightness, contrast and text size on our screens can contribute to eye fatigue. Displays that are too bright or too dark can be harmful. Adjusting these settings according to our visual preferences and work environment can make a difference in visual comfort. Also, selecting an appropriate text size and a screen background with soft colours can help reduce eyestrain.

Absence of flicker:

Staring at the screen without blinking enough is another condition that can lead to dryness and eyestrain. We should try to remember to consciously blink and use artificial tears to help keep our eyes moist and hydrated. Another good tip is to adjust the position of the screen so that it is at eye level, thus contributing to more natural and frequent blinking.

Improper positioning:

Incorrect height and distance between us and our screens can put additional strain on our eyes and neck. Adjusting your position to maintain proper distance can prevent eye strain and postural problems. Also, make sure the screen is at eye level to avoid unnecessary bending and twisting of the neck that can lead to severe muscle pain.

Lack of breaks:

Working for long periods without breaks can overtax our eyes. The ‘20-20-20’ rule suggests taking a break every 20 minutes, looking out 20 feet (6 metres) for at least 20 seconds. These short intervals allow the eye muscles to relax and reduce fatigue. Also, use these breaks to stretch your body and relax your neck and back muscles.

Essential tips to avoid eye fatigue

Strategic breaks:

Incorporate short breaks into your routine. Look up from the screen and focus on a distant point to relax your eyes. Set alarms or use apps that remind you to take regular breaks. These breaks will allow your eyes to relax and stay fresh, reducing accumulated eye fatigue.

Adjust your lighting:

Opt for adequate lighting in your work environment and avoid glare on your screen by adjusting the position of lamps and blinds. Soft, diffused lighting is preferable to reduce the contrast between the screen and its surroundings. Also, if you work in a daylight environment, position the screen perpendicular to windows to avoid annoying reflections.

Blue light filters:

Consider using blue light filters on your devices to reduce exposure to blue light, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. Blue light filters help minimise the amount of blue light reaching your eyes, which can improve sleep quality and reduce eye fatigue. There are apps and screen settings that allow you to programme blue light reduction automatically.

Conscious blinking:

Remember to blink regularly to keep moisture in your eyes. If necessary, use artificial tears to provide additional hydration. Also, perform eye relaxation exercises, such as closing your eyes tightly for a few seconds and then slowly opening them. These exercises help maintain moisture and stimulate tear production.

Ergonomic positioning:

Adjust the height and distance of your screen to minimise eye strain and maintain proper posture. The top of the screen should be at eye level, and the recommended distance is about an arm’s length. Use stands to raise or lower the screen as needed. Also, make sure the screen is at eye level to avoid unnecessary bending and twisting of the neck.

20-20-20 rule:

Apply the ‘20-20-20’ rule to give your eyes a rest and prevent fatigue. This simple exercise helps to relax the eye muscles and reduce the fatigue accumulated during prolonged use of devices.

At Clínica Oftalmológica Castanera, we are aware of the importance of taking care of your eyes beyond the consultation. Our commitment addresses both the diagnosis and treatment of any eye problem, as well as educating in prevention to avoid the onset of many pathologies and at the same time promoting healthy practices to preserve your vision. Eye fatigue is a growing concern, and we are here to provide you with practical solutions and expert guidance.

Conclusion: Give your eyes the rest they deserve

Eye fatigue should not be ignored. Implementing these practical tips into your daily life can make a big difference to the health of your eyes. If you experience persistent symptoms, it is essential to seek professional advice. Luckily, at Clínica Oftalmológica Castanera we have the best professionals and all the medical devices necessary to remedy any visual problem.