Eye Strain: What Causes It & What You Can Do About It

eye strainEye Strain is no longer an ailment that is reserved for bookworms and university professors.

Due to the rise in our use of technology, the frequency with which we are glued to screens of some sort or another, and the lack of real breaks in between periods of use, more and more people are experiencing varying levels of eye strain.

Now, we all know that when computers first became something that everyone had access to we were told that after 20 minutes we should have a 5 minute break from our screens and then come back to it.

However, with a majority of people’s work being on computers these days, having a 5-minute break every 20 minutes is simply inefficient, and thus, nobody really sticks to it.

In offices, many people are staring at their screens for hours before looking up and taking a break, and even then, on their break from work, they may be on their phones checking their Facebook feeds or updating their Twitter.

I don’t know if it’s the demand for an acknowledgement as soon as you post something, or email someone, the feeling that you’re going to miss something, or the addictive nature of being plugged in, but it’s making our eyes work twice as hard leading to eye strain.

Technology is therefore having the same effect as reading small text in low light for a prolonged amount of time.

So, what can we do about it?

Maybe taking a break from your computer every 20 minutes is inefficient and not really doable when you’ve got lots and lots to do, however, looking up isn’t.

Taking a break from your computer screen doesn’t have to mean getting up and walking away from your work. Simply closing your eyes for 10 seconds, or looking in another direction for a minute or two works wonders.

Make sure that you are going outside on your breaks.

Too much artificial light and not enough natural light isn’t great for our eyes (or for your general wellbeing), so make sure that you take a step outside and embrace the sun every now and then.

Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep is really important for lots of our bodies functions, not least our eyes.

When we lose out on sleep our eyes become overly sensitive to light and can therefore become more painful and strained than normal if we aren’t taking breaks or looking after them!

Do you have any tips to share?