A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Eyestrain
I had a question the other day about eyestrain.
Eyestrain happens when your eyes get tired from intense use, like driving a car for extended periods, reading or working at a computer.
Although eyestrain can be annoying, it usually isn’t serious and goes away once you rest your eyes.
Sometimes eyestrain means you have an underlying eye condition needing treatment.
Although you may not be able to change your job or all the factors causing eyestrain, you can take steps to reduce eyestrain.
Eyestrain signs and symptoms include:
>Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
>Blurred or double vision
>Increased sensitivity to light
Computer use or the use of other digital electronic devices can cause many of these symptoms.
Common causes of eyestrain include:
>Extended use of a computer or digital electronic device
>Reading for extended periods
>Other activities involving extended periods of intense focus and concentration, like driving a vehicle
>Exposure to bright light or glare
>Straining to see in very dim light
Using a computer for long periods is one of the most common causes of eyestrain.
This type of eyestrain is called computer vision syndrome.
In some cases, an underlying eye problem like eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision can cause or worsen computer eyestrain.
Eyestrain doesn’t have serious or long-term consequences, but it can be disruptive and unpleasant.
It can make you tired and lower your ability to concentrate.
In some cases, it may take days for all eyestrain symptoms to go away after you’ve taken steps to change your activities or environment or treated any underlying cause.
Generally, treatment for eyestrain consists of making changes in your work habits or your environment.
To deal with eyestrain it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Taking eyebright in capsule or tea form can be helpful. Eyebright tea can also be used to rinse your eyes.
*Include the following in your diet: broccoli, raw cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, green vegetables, squash, sunflower seeds, and watercress.
*Eliminate sugar and white flour from your diet.
*Lie down, close your eyes, and place a cold compress over your eyes. Relax for 10 minutes or longer, replacing the compress with a fresh one as necessary. This often helps alleviate discomfort. You can also try using a wet tea bag or cold cucumber slices. The cold shrinks your swollen blood vessels.
*Take measures to avoid eyestrain. Try to vary your tasks so your eyes change focusing distance every so often. When doing close work for prolonged periods, take periodic “focus breaks.” Every 20 minutes or so, look away from your work and focus your eyes on something in the distance for a minute or two.
*If you work with computers for long periods of time, take a 5- or 10-minute break every hour. Focus on distant objects as often as possible. Position the computer monitor to reduce glare from all light sources. Try a glare-reduction filter with a seal of approval by the American Optometric Association. If possible, use an active-matrix LCD flat display, which is sharper and brighter than a typical CRT-based display.
*Get enough sleep. Fatigue promotes eyestrain.
*If pain is severe and comes on suddenly, and especially if vision is disturbed or the pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, seek professional help at once. This may be a sign of an acute glaucoma attack.
*Avoid smoke-filled rooms.
*Eliminate toxic cosmetics, eye care, and personal care products.
*Eliminate chlorinated shower/bath water, which could be irritating.
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