SERVING LOVELAND, FORT COLLINS, GREELEY, LONGMONT & AREAS NEARBY IN COLORADO
SERVING LOVELAND, FORT COLLINS, GREELEY, LONGMONT & AREAS NEARBY IN COLORADO
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 calling 970-408-3263 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:
What is Eye Strain?
Eye strain occurs when your eyes are fatigued from intense use. It’s a common condition and usually isn’t serious. Simple modifications, updated prescriptions, and other interventions may help relieve your eye fatigue.
Is Eye Strain Common?
Yes, eye strain is quite common. Many of us use computers as part of our daily lives, and just about everybody uses some kind of digital screen throughout the day. This tendency toward digital device use is often the culprit behind eye strain, but so too are eye problems and unaddressed nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
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 Signs of Eye Strain?
You may have strained, tired eyes if you experience one or more of the following:
- Difficulty concentrating because your eyes are bothering you
- The sensation of dry, irritated eyes
- Sore or achy eyes
- The recurring temptation to rub your eyes
- Eye twitching
- Sensitivity to light
- Feeling like you need to squint in order to see
These symptoms, especially if they occur daily, can interfere with your comfort and quality of life. Our experienced eye doctors are personally committed to helping our patients care for their eyes and alleviate these bothersome symptoms.
What are the Risk Factors for Someone with Eye Strain?
You may experience the symptoms of eye strain as a result of:
- Use of digital devices
- Computer-based professions
- Long distance driving
- Looking at something you are working on for extended periods of time
- Reading up-close for an extended period of time
- Dim lighting when you are reading or working
- Exposure to brightness and glare
- Vision disorders
- Lack of sleep
There may be other contributing factors. If your eyes continue to bother you, contact our experienced eye doctors to learn more about eye strain.
What is the Prognosis of Eye Strain?
The likely course of your eye strain depends on the cause. If your eyes are tired because of screen use, reading, bad lighting, poor posture while working, or other easy-to-manage behaviors, then the strain will likely go away once you have rested your eyes. Take steps to rest your eyes regularly to prevent future episodes of strain.
If your eye strain is caused by an underlying health condition or vision problem, then you will probably continue to experience the symptoms until those issues are addressed. If your attempts at alleviating eye strain on your own are fruitless and the symptoms begin to interfere with your daily tasks, then you should contact our eye doctors. A new prescription or other vision services may be the right way to address your symptoms.
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 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 Eyestrain 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 Do I Prevent Eye Strain?
Preventing eye strain will depend on the cause. Some of the steps you can take include:
- Position lamps so that they aren’t shining into your eyes
- When watching television at night, keep a soft lamp turned on
- Take a break from computer work and reading: look about 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes
- Remember to blink! Many people don’t blink enough when using a computer or reading
- Get an updated prescription if you’ve missed your last eye appointment
- Your computer monitor should be directly in front of you, about arm’s length away. You should be looking at it right at eye level or slightly below eye level
- Reduce glare on your computer screen
- Schedule a checkup with our eye doctors to discuss your symptoms
Oftentimes resting your eyes is the best thing you can do to reduce strain and eye fatigue.
How Can I Take Care of Myself if I Have Eyestrain?
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.
What Are The Symptoms of Eye Strain?
Although it sounds straightforward, eye strain is a complex medical issue. Aside from making it difficult to see, eye strain has a variety of symptoms you may not expect.
These symptoms include the following:
- You have difficulty concentrating
- Your eyes feel fatigued
- You have chronic headaches
- You feel that you cannot keep your eyes open
- You have an increased sensitivity to light
- You have a sore back and neck
- Your eyes are itching, burning, or sore
- You have blurry vision
- You have double vision
If you experience any of these symptoms, it could possibly be due to eye strain.
What Causes Eye Strain?
Eye strain is primarily caused by intensely focusing your eyes while performing a task.
Some of the common causes of eye strain include the following:
- Reading for hours at a time.
- Trying to focus while driving.
- Not blinking enough throughout the day.
- Not having enough light around.
- You are doing a detailed task, like sewing and writing.
People with eye conditions, such as near-sightedness and far-sightedness, are more at risk of experiencing eye strain. Muscle-related issues and dry eyes are also common causes of eye strain.
Are There Any Misconceptions Surrounding Eye Strain?
Yes, similar to other medical conditions, eye strain does have a few myths and misconceptions surrounding it. For example, a common misconception is that eye strain does not affect people who wear the appropriate eyewear. It is true that there are specific types of eyewear that block out potential causes, like staring at a screen. However, they do not outright prevent it; they only reduce the chances of symptoms.
Another common myth is that eye strain is one of those conditions that has no real treatment. This is not true, as eye strain can be treated through vision therapy. Vision therapy has people go through a variety of exercises, such as eye movement skills, eye focusing, and eye teaming. If you have any questions regarding eye strain, it is best to consult with Dr. Kirk.
Schedule an Eye Strain Consult with Dr. Kirk!
If you're experiencing the symptoms of eyestrain, please call Kirk Eye Center in Loveland at 970-408-3263 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. Dr. John D. Kirk looks forward to serving you!