How to Reduce Eye Strain
Our eyes get fatigued often these days, thanks to all the digital equipment we use throughout the day. Right from the morning when we start staring at our mobile phone screens and then do our work on computers or watch TV and play games on digital devices, our eyes are at work and strain themselves too much! However, eye fatigue is often not a serious condition and you can take simple steps at home and office to save yourself from the annoying condition brought on by eye strain.
Let’s first have a look at the causes of eye fatigue.
What causes eye strain?
From intense activities requiring eyes to bright light, there are many causes of eye strain:
- Sewing, embroidery or such other works that need eyes to strain a lot for seeing minute details.
- Exposure to bright light
- Trying to see in dim light
- Staring at digital devices for a long time such as computer and smart phone screens, video games etc.
Symptoms of Immense Eye Strain or Fatigue
So, when do you come to know that it is not just normal tiredness of eyes but eye train or eye fatigue?
- Sore and irritated eyes
- Difficulty in focusing the vision on something
- Dry eyes
- Watery eyes
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, or back
Lack of sleep can also sometimes strain your eyes because it is during sleep that our eyes get replenished with the essential nutrients.
Tips to Relieve Eye Strain
Whatever the reason for your eye fatigue, give your eyes some rest, strengthen them and relieve eye strain with the following remedies.
1. Give your eyes a relaxing massage
You make them work so much! So, why can’t you give your eyes some relaxation everyday by massaging them for a while! Massage improves blood circulation in your eyes as well as helps relax the muscles surrounding your eyes. Massaging your eyes will also stimulate tear glands. It means you won’t have dry eyes and thus no fatigue too.
How to massage your eyes?
- Using your fingers, gently massage your upper eyelids after closing the eyes. Also, massage the area lying just above your eyebrows. Do this for about 20-30 seconds.
- Gently massage the area below your eyes, along the bone that you can feel under the eye socket. Massage with gentle outwards strokes for about 20-30 seconds. This will help you get rid of puffy eye bags too.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day to reduce eye strain
2. Palming your eyes reduces eye strain
Palming can be understood as covering your closed eyes with your palms. This is actually a technique borrowed from Yoga. After a yoga session is complete or when the eye exercises for yoga are concluded, both the palms are rubbed against each other and then eyes are covered with these warmed up palms to relax not only the eyes but also the whole body and mind. Once you do this, you will yourself come to know how effective this technique is.
How to do palming of eyes?
- Sit in a relaxed position, either on ground or chair
- Rub your palms against each other for few second to a couple of minutes until they become warm.
- Close your eyes and cover the closed eyes with your warm palms while putting only a gentle pressure.
- Breathe deeply while you stay in this position for a few seconds or a minute.
- Repeat the steps for 2-3 times or more if you wish to.
- You can palm your eyes as many times a day as you want. In fact, whenever you feel strain in eyes, just rub your palms and hold them against your eyes for few seconds.
3. Trataka Yoga for eye strain
When talking about yoga, there is yet another very powerful remedy for eye strain other than palming of eyes. This is called ‘Trataka’ which means Yogic gazing and is, basically, a practice for those who aspire to meditate. However, it is also very effective in treating various eye disorder including weak eyesight. Apart from resolving the problem of eye strain and weak eyesight, Trataka also improves concentration. While doing Trataka, gaze is fixed on an object for some time. After that, the object is visualized clearly with closed eyes, as an inner image, at the eyebrow center. When doing to learn meditation, Tratake is done best by fixing your gaze at a flame but when it comes to reduce eye strain, you can use your hands to fix your gaze.
How to do Trataka for reducing eye fatigue
- Stretch and hold your arm straight out in front of your face.
- Focus your vision on your thumbnail for few seconds.
- Now change the focus and fix your gaze on the tip of your own nose for few seconds.
- Again stare the thumbnail and then the tip of your nose.
- Do this several times to give exercise to your eye muscles.
- After doing this for about 3-5 minutes, rest your eyes by palming method described in the previous remedy for eye strain.
4. Sun bath for strained eyes
Sunbathing has many positive effects on your body. Why not think about sun bathing your eyes too! In fact, in many countries, it has been a traditional healing technique for eyes. Heliotherapy traditionally refers to treatments that use natural sunlight, including the treatment for eyes. It was believed that when eyes were exposed to sunlight, it stimulated secretions of vital elements in the eyes and benefited the brain in a major way. Modern scientific evidence also talks about the relation between the sunlight entering the eyes and the secretion of pituitary and pineal glands in the mid-brain. Sunlight also gives you the essential vitamin D for the whole body. If you are worried about the harmful effects of UV rays, expose your eyes to the sunlight in the morning or evening hours when sun rays are not that strong.
- Stand in the sun in a way that direct sunlight falls on your eyes.
- Close your eyes and feel the warmth of sunlight over your eyelids and the area all around your eyes.
- Stay there for about 5-10 minutes.
- You can do palming after bathing your eyes with sun rays.
- Do this at least once daily.
5. Blink your eyes and get rid of strain
This is especially effective for those who have to sit in front of computer screen for long times. While you focus on your work on computer screen, your blinking gets decreased. You are so much into your work that you forget to blink! When you don’t blink your eyes, they become dry and debris gets collected due to lack of water in your eyes. Keep blinking to wet your eyes and wash away the debris there to prevent all sorts of eye diseases. This will also relax your eyes.
- It is ideal when you blink slowly for at least 10-15 times per minute. However, we can’t always count or just focus on blinking. Work is important, after all!
- So, make it a habit to blink your eyes after every 10-15 minutes. Take a break of a minute from work and blink your eyes.
- While you do so, concentrate on relaxing your eye muscles.
6. Splash cold water on eyes and face
This is an instant remedy to soothe your tired eyes. Just splash some cold water over your eyes. This helps relax the overworked eye muscles.
- When in office (or home), just splash cold water over your face and closed eyes. Keep doing this for a couple of minutes for getting instant relief from strained eyes.
- When at home, you can also soak a cloth or cotton in cold water and place them on your eyes for few minutes to get rid of eye strain
7. Warm compress for eye strain
If you also suffer from eye pain along with tired eyes, you may consider using a warm compress over your eyes and face.
- Take some warm water and a clean cloth.
- Soak the cloth in the warm water.
- Wring out the excessive water.
- Close your eyes, preferably after lying down, and place the warm cloth over your eyes and if you wish, over all of your face.
- Relax for some time till the cloth becomes cold.
- Dip it again in the warm water and place on your eyes.
- Do this for about 5-10 minutes.
- This will instantly help you get rid of pain and fatigue of eyes.
8. Rosewater for eye strain
Rosewater needs no introduction as one of the best and most used remedies for eye strain. The soothing and aromatic rose water has been used since ages for medicinal and beauty therapies. It has got some magical properties that almost instantly makes you relaxed and not only your eyes.
Ways to use rosewater for eye strain
- Take some rose water and soak two cotton balls with it. Place these cotton balls over your closed eyes and relax for 10-15 minutes.
- Lie down and put 2-3 drops of rose water in both of your eyes. Close the eyes and relax for 10-20 minutes.
How to reduce eye strain from computer
Prevention is the best cure! When you use computer a lot, you know, you have to have eye strain. O, take proper steps to modify all that may give your eyes a lots of strain!
9. Make changes to your computer screen
Position of computer screen as well as its cleanliness matter a lot.
- Place your computer in a manner that its screen remains 20-26 inches away from your eyes. It should also be a little below your eye level.
- Make it a habit to clean the computer screen daily. Smudges on the screen can reduce contrast. This increases problems with glare and reflections leading to eye strain.
- It is better to use those screens that tilt and swivel so that you can adjust the screen’s position whenever you feel your eyes are getting strained.
- Use a glare filter over your computer screen.
10. Make changes to the computer display
Display settings of your computer screen means a lot when it comes to eye strain.
- Adjust brightness so that it is about the same as of your surrounding workstation. It should not be too bright or too dark.
- Keep text size, color and contrast that is easy to read. Usually black print on a white background is the best combination for the comfort of your eyes.
- Reduce the color temperature of your screen. The more blue is the light, the more strained your eyes would be.
11. Make changes to your workplace
You need to bring changes in your surroundings too.
- If you have to work with computer as well as papers and you look at both turn by turn, it may place tremendous pressure on your eyes as the muscles have to be adjusted every time according to printed material and the computer as your eyes once need to look down and then up and so on. It’s wise to use a copy stand placed close to to the monitor. This way your eyes will more or less stay at one height and it would not lead to strain.
- Also take steps to illuminate the copy stand properly. While using a desk lamp seems to be the best option, ensure that it’s light doesn’t shine into your eyes as well as onto your computer screen.
- Sit on an adjustable chair while working on your computer. Always keep the center of your computer screen at about 10 to 15 degrees below your eye level.
12. Use computer eye wear to avoid eye strain
If possible get yourself a customized computer glasses, more so if you wear contact lenses. Eyes tend to become dry and irritated during sustained computer work if you continuously use contact lenses.
If you didn’t know, computer glasses are the prescription eye wear specially designed for people who have to work a lot on computer. When you wear such glasses, you can focus your eyes on the distance of the computer screen, which is usually farther away than reading material. These computer glasses are also anti-glare and thus avoid your eyes from getting strained.
Taking all the above steps will help prevent eye strain. If you still feel strained, use one or the other home remedies for eye strain described earlier in this article.