Eye strain is a strange and painful sensation. Regarded as an overuse syndrome, we feel the sharp aching and all at once suddenly become aware of this part of our body that we otherwise use every day without real consideration. The eye itself seems to feel sensitive almost suggesting that it’s mere resting place in the eyeball is the root of the pain. There will be those who read the description and also recognise this as the precursor to a migraine, in itself a result of eyestrain and an ailment which brings a worse, intolerable pain.
When an eye becomes strained, it is one of the 6 extra ocular muscles that have been strained causing the pain and discomfort. Most eye strains are caused by a strain to the ciliary body which is responsible for the accommodation of your eye and changing the shape of the lens during the accommodation.
The ciliary body is in constant use, changing constantly to help focus the eye when focused on one thing for a long time fatigue will set in and the eye strain begins. As with a lot of things, eye strain should be treated with prevention or swift treatment. The key to prevention is recognising the cause early on. If you spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen then take some breaks and adjust your lighting.
Perhaps vision correction is required and if ey strain persists to bother you then an eye test is paramount. What starts as a sore head will soon develop into serious eyesight problems. A good rule is 20/20/20. Every 20 minutes stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Photophobia is also prevalent amongst sufferers and is a much more subtle irritant as opposed to a marathon computer session. If your eye has too much light entering it eye strain will occur before you know it and an over stimulation of the photoreceptors will trigger the strain and discomfort. Again, steps can be taken to adjust screen brightness, corrective eyewear can be used and general care when using computers or sitting anywhere for a period of time.
Like any muscles in our body, the extra ocular muscles can be stretched and they can be strengthened. Below are a few measures to help take the strain off our eyes stay healthy:
Massage your eyelids and the muscles over your brow, temple and upper cheek.
Performed once or twice a day this can help stimulate the tear glands preventing dry eyes while also relaxing the muscles. 10 seconds on each section should help prevent any strain occurring.
It can be good to learn an eye relaxation exercise and while there is no verification of such exercises improving visual problems like near or far sightedness there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest they help prevent and relieve eye strain:
Eye strain can be an unfortunate occurrence when we work, perform everyday tasks or enjoy a hobby, but there is no reason to not make a conscious effort in combating it. Simple exercises and a few extra measures can stave off the strain and its unpleasant side effects, leading to a happier work life or even an extra few chapters of our book.