Eye Strain – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Eye strain is medically referred to as asthenopia, and it occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use. It normally means you’re working too hard, spending hours hunched over your computer screen without a break. But it can also occur from driving long distances and other every day activities such as reading, so it’s an important condition to be aware of.

Wearing glasses with an incorrect or outdated prescription can also cause eye strain, so it’s vital to make sure you’re not skipping any appointments with your optician.


Eye strain usually begins to go away once you finally rest your eyes. However, in some cases, eye strain can be an indicator for an underlying condition – here are the symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Tired, burning, itching, or sore eyes
  • Double vision or blurred vision
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating on objects
  • Sensitivity to both natural and artificial light
  • Frequent headaches or migraines
  • Feeling a tight sensation in the temples or forehead
  • A sore back or neck

How To Avoid Eye Strain

As you can see, eye strain can cause problems beyond the eye itself, so it’s really important to make sure that you’re taking care of your eyes and vision. There are a number of things you can do to avoid eye strain.

Headaches can be caused by a number of problems, so it’s a good idea to visit your optometrist if you’re experiencing frequent headaches to rule out eye strain. Your optometrist will be able to help you and assess whether your headaches or migraines are caused by an issue with your eyes.

  • With many of us working from home, the key thing to remember is the 20-20-20 rule. After twenty minutes of close work such as staring at your screen, look at something twenty feet away and blink for twenty seconds.
  • Take a moment to close your eyes for a few seconds every so often in the day.
  • Try to work in natural sunlight whenever possible, and avoid working in poor lighting.
  • Set your screen brightness on your laptop and phone to an appropriate level for reading.
  • Get enough sleep and try and find ways to reduce your stress levels. Being fatigued and stressed are common factors that contribute to eye strain.

If you are concerned about any of the symptoms above or worried that you are experiencing eye strain, David Paul Opticians is here to help. Our experienced optometrist will listen carefully to you and help you recover from eye strain. If you’d like to book an appointment, get in touch today.