If your eyes hurt during the day and late into the night, you might have a problem called eye strain, or asthenopia. Asthenopia can potentially cause headaches, eye pain, and many other discomforts over time. Here are things you should know about eye strain and what you can do to overcome it.
What's Eye Strain?
Eye strain typically develops when your eyes become overly tired or fatigued. You can tire out your eyes when you read tiny print, expose your eyes to the glaring rays of the sun, or stare at a computer screen for long periods of time. Some people experience eye fatigue when they sew. All of these causes force the muscles of your eyes, face, and jaws to work harder than usual.
Eye strain can cause headaches and eye pain in the individuals if affects. The pain can radiate throughout your face, including your forehead and jaws. It's also possible to experience other eye problems from asthenopia, including dry, itchy eyes. These symptoms develop when your blink reflexes slow down.
Blinking not only keeps your eyes moisturized and clean, it may also allow your eyes to rest. Most people blink around 20 times per minute. However, computer work and other things that require intense focus can potentially decrease your blinking rate to as low as seven times per minute. The more you strain your eyes to see things, the more problems you may experience.
What Can You Do About Your Eye Strain and Other Symptoms?
To combat the issues mentioned above, take frequent breaks whenever you work for extended times. Also, wear protective eyewear when you go out in the sun. If you can't purchase sunglasses that work well in the sun, consult with an eye doctor. An eye doctor can prescribe sunglasses that not only protect your eyes from harsh sunlight, the eyewear can strengthen your them.
In addition, ask an eye specialist about reading glasses. Reading glasses enlarge fine print so that you can visualize it better. However, you should avoid purchasing reading glasses from a local retailer. Glasses sold in stores may not come in the correct strengths for you. Some store-bought reading glasses may also contain imperfections in the lenses that interfere with your vision over time. So, keep this in mind when you speak to an eye doctor.
If you still experience problems with your eyes after following the tips above, tell your eye doctor immediately.