Published on April 04, 2023

Eye fatigue: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Eye fatigue or eye exhaustion is a feeling of weariness, strain, or soreness in the eyes. It occurs when the eyes are exposed to bright light for extended periods.

In order to help mitigate eye fatigue and eye strain stress, we’ve put together some helpful information about the causes and possible treatments. You’ll also find tips to alleviate eye strain symptoms. 


Causes of eye fatigue

Here are some significant causes of eye strain:

1- Prolonged use of digital devices

The use of digital devices such as computers and smartphones can cause eye fatigue because they require users to focus on them for long periods. This can lead to eye strain, headaches, and muscle tension.

2- Poor lighting conditions

Poor lighting conditions can cause eye fatigue, eye strain, and headaches. The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve the lighting in your rooms, such as: Opting for natural light, using different ambient light sources at different intensities and avoiding direct lights.

3- Focusing on nearby objects for an extended period

Eye fatigue can be caused by staring at a computer screen for too long, reading printed text for too long, watching TV or movies for too long, or even driving for too long.

Symptoms of eye strain

These are the most common symptoms of eye strain:

  1. Sore, tired eyes
  2. Itching or burning eyes
  3. Blurred or double vision
  4. Sensitivity to light 
  5. Sleepy eyes that want to close

Eye strain can also cause headaches, sore necks, back and shoulders, and difficulty in concentrating.

Tips to reduce eye fatigue

These are our top tips for mitigating eye fatigue and strain.

1- Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen

The first thing to do is adjust your computer monitor's brightness and contrast. This will help reduce eye fatigue and allow you to read comfortably at night. Ask your optician to tell you more about the bluelight lenses. This technology can help reduce eye fatigue.

2- Position your computer screen correctly

You spend a lot of time in front of your computer, so it's essential to make sure that you position it correctly. Consult the wealth of information available online for proper desk ergonomics. 

3- Use the 20-20-20 rule

Try this simple trick to reduce eye fatigue. To reduce eye fatigue, you can use the 20-20-20 rule. It's a simple idea that makes a huge difference with less effort.

For example, if you are looking at a computer screen for two hours straight, you should take a 20 seconds break for every 20 minutes of work by focusing on an item approximately 20 feet away. This is because your eyes need to rest to focus on the screen and absorb information. If you don't take breaks, your eyes will become tired and feel pain or strain.

4-Blink frequently to keep your eyes moist

Eyelids are the first defense against dry eyes. When you blink your eyes, they help clear out any dirt or dust in your eyes. Unfortunately, if you blink too often, it can lead to dry eyes and even eye fatigue.

You can get help for eye fatigue

Remember that if you experience prolonged symptoms, you should immediately talk with your optometrist about them. The sooner you get diagnosed and treated for eye fatigue, the sooner you will feel better and start functioning at 100% again.

Suffering from eye strain? Make sure you talk to one of our experienced optometrists.  Book an appointment today.

Jacinthe Laurendeau Opticienne