Burning, itchy, and watery eyes are a significant distraction and inconvenience. They might even cause you plenty of stress. Most of the time, however, tired eyes are no big deal. Uncomfortable and irritating, yes, but generally not a signal of more significant problems.
In fact, most of the time you can restore comfort in your eyes in a few simple steps.
The symptoms of tired eyes, like itching, burning, and dryness are generally a result of eyestrain. Reading, writing, driving, or staring at screens are some of the biggest causes. One estimate even suggests that computer/screen-related eyestrain leads to ten-million eye doctor visits per year.
Digital devices can put you on a fast track to tired eyes. Staring too long at the bright lights can lead to eyestrain, as is the likelihood that you blink less while looking at them. Under normal conditions, people typically blink about 18 times per minute. However, estimates suggest that number is slashed in half when in front of a computer or other digital screen.
Of course, technology isn’t the only thing that can tire out your eyes. You can also experience eye fatigue if you spend a lot of time in dimly lit areas, or those that are incredibly bright. In any event, here is how to take care of it so you can go on about your day.
- Keep computer screens about 20-16 inches from your face and slightly below eye level.
- Ensure screens are regularly cleaned and dusted.
- Use a screen shield
- Change lighting to reduce glare and reflections.
- Every 20 minutes, divert your eyes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 minutes—20-20-20 rule.
- Put a blink reminder on your computer screen.
To ease the symptoms, take a washcloth soaked in warm water and place over the eyes. Artificial tears, better lighting, and increasing humidity in the room can also help your eyes stay moist. Lastly, getting better sleep can also help keep your eyes moist and rejuvenated.
If these tips don’t help and eye pain gets worse, or symptoms are more extreme, call your doctor.