Eyestrain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading or working at a computer.
Although eyestrain can be annoying, it usually isn't serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. In some cases, signs and symptoms of eyestrain can indicate an underlying eye condition that needs treatment. Although you may not be able to change the nature of your job or all the factors that can cause eyestrain, you can take steps to reduce eyestrain.
Eyestrain signs and symptoms include:
Computer use can cause additional eyestrain symptoms, including:
When to see a doctor
Common causes of eyestrain include:
Using a computer for long periods is one of the most common causes of eyestrain. This type of eyestrain is called computer vision syndrome. In some cases, an underlying eye problem such as eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision can cause or worsen computer eyestrain.
Risk factors for eyestrain include:
Eyestrain doesn't have serious or long-term consequences, but it can be disruptive and unpleasant. It can make you tired and reduce your ability to concentrate. In some cases, it may take days for all eyestrain symptoms to go away after you've taken steps to change your activities or environment or treated any underlying cause.
Preparing for your appointment
If you have eye discomfort, headache or vision changes that don't improve with self-care, make an appointment with your doctor.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Below are some basic questions to ask a doctor who is examining you for eyestrain. If any additional questions occur to you during your visit, don't hesitate to ask.
What to expect from your doctor
Tests and diagnosis
Your eye doctor will ask you questions about factors that might be causing your symptoms. Your doctor will do an eye exam to check for eye problems, including testing your vision.
Treatments and drugs
Generally, treatment for eyestrain consists of making changes in your work habits or your environment.
Lifestyle and home remedies
A few simple adjustments in how you read, work or surf the Internet can give your eyes a much-needed rest. Consider these simple tips to reduce eyestrain.
Tips for computer work
Last Updated: 2010-07-10
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