Have you ever found your eyes to be tired after a long day on your computer or behind the wheel of your car? That’s eyestrain. But what is it and what causes it?

What causes eyestrain?

Eyestrain is usually caused by staring at something for long periods of time without blinking. This can cause your eyes to dry. It can also be caused by an incorrect eyeglass prescription or working in an environment with improper lighting.

What are the symptoms of eyestrain?

Signs of eyestrain include sore, tired, burning, itching, watery, or dry eyes; blurry vision; a headache; a sore neck or shoulders; and light sensitivity.

Is eyestrain harmful?

Timothy Saunders, MD

Fortunately, no. It won’t cause any permanent damage, but you’ll still want to care for yourself to prevent any discomfort from happening in the first place, CEENTA Ophthalmologist Timothy Saunders, MD, said.

How can I treat eyestrain?

Make sure to blink regularly when you’re at your computer, and follow the 20-20-20 rule: after every 20 minutes staring at your computer, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It might also be helpful to keep artificial tears by your desk. If the air is dry, use a humidifier.

There are several things you can do if you find yourself getting eyestrain when you drive. If the sky is too bright, wear sunglasses. If you have a prescription, make sure to wear your glasses or contact lenses. Make sure air vents aren’t blowing right at your face, since the air could dry out your eyes.

What if I want a doctor to examine my eyes?

If you need new glasses or are concerned you have more than just eyestrain, one of CEENTA’s doctors would be happy to examine your eyes at any one of 12 locations.

As long as you are aware of the causes and signs, eyestrain doesn’t need to be a problem, and you can drive and use your computer without discomfort.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. Dr. Saunders practices in our SouthPark and Matthews offices. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s eye doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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