Eye fatigue is becoming more and more common. Why? Well, a likely culprit is the screen on which you’re currently reading this article. No, you don’t have to stop reading this article, right this minute. But you need to know that there are side-effects, like eye fatigue, for long term screen use. The proper term for it is computer vision syndrome. It’s also called digital eyestrain. And it affects people who look at screens for more than two hours each and every day. Now, that number, two hours, is going to encapsulate a lot of us. At least everyone who works on a computer, who then answers calls and emails on their cell phones, and who then goes home at night to blow off some steam with Netflix. Try it. Add up your hours of screen time—you will probably be surprised. It’s probably more than two.
Eyestrain has many symptoms that include: tired, itchy and watery eyes, headaches, a sore back or neck or shoulders—although these could also be caused by poor posture (and poor posture is also a cause of eye strain!)—you may also have trouble opening your eyes, or have a difficulty concentrating. Thankfully, however, eyestrain is not a permanent condition.
How do you combat the effects of eyestrain? The simple answer is to use computers less. But that’s not a practical answer for many of us. Many of us have to work around computers all day long. It’s become the new normal. But, we all need to make sure that we’re taking adequate breaks. Our eyes need time away from the screen. Get up every hour or so, look around the room. Blink your eyes closed, stretch the rest of your body—basically, break free from the pervasive long-stare most of us get when we’re absorbed in our work at the computer. Even the hardest worker needs a break from looking at a screen. Even if it’s just for thirty seconds, try looking at something other than the computer screen, let your eyes settle on something else.
If you need any relief from the stresses of your workday or a long week, Central Wellness is always here to help you feel better.