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4 Steps To Reduce Eye Strain

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If your patients are looking for ways to reduce eye strain, they're not alone. According to the Vision Council, nearly 70% of Americans experience some type of digital eye strain. Most certainly, the proliferation of televisions, e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and laptops have been a key contributing factor to the increase in eye strain. 

When you experience regular eye strain or digital eye strain, it can be uncomfortable to read, watch TV, or do much of anything. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent and reduce eye strain. At Keeler, we've outlined a few of the top steps your patients can take to reduce eye strain and increase comfort. Continue reading to learn more about actionable steps your patients can take today to reduce eye strain. 

What Is Eye Strain?

Known medically as asthenopia, eye strain affects millions of people each year and is best described as the result of overworked nerves or muscles in the eye, resulting in discomfort. Your eyes are constantly working to move, focus, and adjust to light. When that workload increases, the muscles and nerves must work harder.

The result is eye strain. Some of the most common symptoms of eye strain are:  

  • A burning sensation
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Headache
  • Eye twitching
  • Difficulty seeing due to blurriness

Your patient may also experience pain around the eyes that goes away with rest. Some people also experience difficulty concentrating.

What Causes Eye Strain?

A number of different activities can lead to eye strain. Most cases of eye strain today are the result of long hours spent looking at electronic screens, and our constant use of cell phones has made the problem worse. If your ophthalmologist has diagnosed you with eye strain despite a lack of work-related screen use in your life, the problem is likely a result of computer or phone use. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce eye strain. 

1.Adjust Screen Brightness to Reduce Eye Strain

Part of the problem with digital eye strain is the intensity of the light. Dimmer screens at a greater distance can be easier on your eyes. Most devices have brightness settings that can be reduced, resulting in less strain on your eyes. It might take some adjustment, but soon you'll find that you have adapted to the lower intensity and no longer notice the difference.

2.Give Your Eyes a Break to Reduce Eye Strain 

Even with many hours of daily screen time, you can still reduce eye strain with rest. You may have noticed that some of your symptoms fade quickly when you get away from the monitor or phone for a little while. The more breaks you can create, the less digital eye strain you will experience.

The muscles in your eyes are no different from those in your body. They need rest when they're working hard. That's why it is so important to shift from computer work to paperwork for a little while or take that 15-minute break you always seem to work through. One excellent solution is to practice the 20-20-20 rule, which suggests you look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds. 

3.Create Better Conditions to Prevent and Reduce Eye Strain

You can proactively attack eye strain before it even happens by making some simple modifications to your work routine. Straining to read small fonts on computer screens makes it worse, so magnify documents or the whole monitor to give you a bigger view without making printed documents larger.

Eye irritants can also compound eye strain, with dust topping the list. As these tiny particles land on your eyes, you blink to move them away. The friction created by the irritating particles and the blinking contributes to eye strain. You can address this by having air filters replaced and by dusting your work area more frequently.

4. Seek Treatment to Reduce and Treat Eye Strain

When these steps don't relieve your eye strain, you should seek treatment with your ophthalmologist. He or she will recommend some combination of behavioral adjustments and medication to help your eye strain.

Remember that whatever solution your doctor recommends, you'll need to stick with it in order to see results. Using eye drops or taking breaks will only be a temporary fix if you go right back to your bad habits. 

Questions? Contact Keeler today!

We have been manufacturing diagnostic ophthalmic equipment for eye care professionals for over 100 years in our vision to contribute to a world without vision loss. We have a large inventory of ultrasonic and diagnostic equipment as well as a pharmaceutical and PPE line. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call our toll free number at 1-800-523-5620 or email us at [email protected]

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.