What is eye strain?
Eye strain, in simple terms, means intense use of eyes without a break, which may cause discomfort to the eyes. When one uses computers, workstations, mobile phones, other digital devices, reads or drives long distances, they are more likely to experience eye strain. The eyes become tired of being open for a long span of time. The term ‘digital strain’ applies to eye strain caused by digital products like tablets, and laptops, phones, and other such smart devices.
How digital devices cause eye strain?
It has been found that when people use computers for a long time, they do not blink their eyes more often because of which the eyes become dry and irritated. Blinking eyes frequently keeps the tear glands active and the surface of the eyes moist thus keeping it clean and safe. Since everyone has started using digital gadgets, including young children, the rate of eye strain has gradually increased. Eye strain is more harmful to victims that already have muscle imbalance and uncorrected vision errors.
What are the common symptoms of eye strain?
Well, one can easily develop eye strain and realize when these symptoms show up:
Headache, dry eyes, watery eyes, neck and shoulder pain, unclear or blurred vision, burning sensation in eyes, difficulty in concentrating, sensitivity towards light (brightness), itchy eyes, a challenge to keep eyes open, fatigue, doubling of the vision, soreness, redness, and pain in the eyes.
Eye exercises to keep digital strain at bay
A simple eye stretching exercise. You need to face straight, turn your eyes upwards, and then downwards without shifting your head. Similarly, roll your eyes to the right and then to the left. This exercise strengthens your ocular muscles. Repeat it at least 10 times a day.
- Trace the number 8:
Sit in front of a blank wall, the distance between the wall and you should be around 10 feet. Try tracing the path of number 8 with eye movements without moving your head. Doing this for a minute will enhance the flexibility of the muscles.
One of these reasons why you get eye strain is the lack of blinking while using digital gadgets. A burning sensation in the eyes after glaring at the screen for a longer period is caused because of not blinking repeatedly. Blinking after every 5 seconds for the next two minutes will help to keep eyes wet and calm.
- Rolling eyes:
Rolling your eyes every minute helps to concentrate and reduces strain. While you are on an interval from working on workstations and computers, sit straight and roll your eyes side by side, up and down, and track the path of the figure circle.
- Concentrating near and far:
This exercise is to ease your eye muscles. Sit at a place, bring your thumb near to your face, 10 inches distance would be fine, try focusing on the thumb for a while. Next, try to focus on something that is about 10 feet away from you. Repeat this exercise for 3-4 minutes.
Palming is a very simple exercise that can be carried anywhere. All you have to do is sit in a quiet place and place your palms on your eyes. Make sure that your fingers are resting on the forehead, palm on eyes, and base on cheekbones. You do not need to place your palms tightly, rather keep the palms at a distance where you can blink your eyes easily.
- Warm compression:
A warm compress on the eyes helps to generate tears in the eyes and starts relaxing the delicate muscles. This can be performed either by palms or a piece of cloth. Rub your palms together for 10 seconds and gently place them on your eyes. Repeat this 3 times. Also, you can damp a piece of cloth with lukewarm water; and place them on your eyes.
Yes, yawning is one of the simplest tricks to reduce soreness in the eyes. Yawning does help to trigger tears in the eyes and spreads them over the eyes.
- Rule 20-20-20:
For every individual who has frequent eye strains, after every 20 minutes spent on screen, look away and see something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. This rule is often prescribed by doctors and prevents a condition known as chronic dry eye.
With such simple techniques, it is possible to ensure that you are able to keep eye strain caused by digital devices from affecting your eyes.
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