Many individuals struggle with tired or sore eyes, which are often referred to as eyestrain. This typically arises at the end of the day or after completing a detailed, time-consuming task. Eyestrain develops most in people who work with computers or read a lot. Our eye doctors in Loveland can help you find relief from your symptoms and can identify if your tired eyes are due to stress or if an underlying eye condition such as glaucoma or dry eye syndrome is at fault.
Schedule your eye exam at Kirk Eye Center in Loveland today by calling970-669-1107 or complete the form located on this page. Our Loveland office serves patients in Loveland, Windsor, Fort Collins and surrounding areas of Northern Colorado.
Some of the most common questions we hear about eyestrain include:
How Does Eyestrain Occur?
A number of factors can cause eyestrain including:
- A vision problem such as farsightedness or eyes that don’t properly align and make it difficult for the eyes to work together.
- Working on a task for a long time without taking any breaks (for example, a long drive, computer work or reading). This causes the muscles responsible for moving and focusing the eyes to tire of staying in one place.
- Eyestrain could be caused by an improper workstation set up. Computer screen glare or glare from a window, as well as low lighting, can become an issue for eyestrain.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of eyestrain may include:
- Sore eyes
- Tired eyes
- Blurred vision
- A headache near your eyes or at the back of your neck
- Squinting your eyes
You may have just one or any combination of the symptoms listed above.
How Is Eyestrain Diagnosed?
Eyestrain is usually diagnosed during an eye exam. Our eye doctor will ask you to share any difficulties you’ve had with your vision including any eyestrain symptoms. Dr. Kirk or Dr. Colvin will ask how long your eyes have been hurting, what you are doing when your eyes hurt and how often it happens.
They will then carefully test your distance and near vision. Tests of your eyes’ ability to focus and work together will also be done. Our eye doctors will check the health of your eyes to make sure that the symptoms are not caused by a more serious medical condition as well.
How Is It Treated?
If your eyestrain is caused by a vision problem, our eye doctors will probably give you a new prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- If you are over 40, you are probably developing presbyopia, the natural loss of ability to focus on close objects. When this happens, we will prescribe either reading glasses or a type of bifocal lens.
- If your eyes do not work together very well, glasses can help here too. You will need glasses that can help direct your eyes where they should be looking. Some eye doctors may also prescribe eye exercises called vision therapy.
If doing a task for a long time is the cause of your eyestrain, you should take short breaks to let your eyes rest. You can follow the 20/20/20 rule and take a break every 20 minutes to look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
If your eyestrain is caused by your computer workstation, you will want to make some adjustments.
- First, put your monitor 22 to 28 inches from your eyes. Then, make sure the top of the screen is not higher than the level of your eyes.
- If you need to look back and forth between your paper and your computer screen, use a paper holder that holds your paper next to the computer screen (at the same distance and height as your computer monitor).
- Try to keep the room lighting at about the same brightness as the computer screen. Avoid having a bright window in front of you or behind you. This really helps cut glare and reflections.
How Can I Take Care of Myself?
The best way to take care of yourself is to have your eyes examined every year. Many people think it is normal for their eyes to hurt after a long day, but it is not. If you have symptoms of eyestrain, see one of our eye doctors. Don’t wait until your yearly eye exam.
If you're experiencing the symptoms of eyestrain, please call Kirk Eye Center in Loveland at 970-669-1107 or complete the form on this page to schedule an appointment. We are located in Loveland and serve communities including Fort Collins, Windsor and more.