If your eyes ache, burn, or blur periodically during the day, you might blame it on intense allergies or a respiratory infection. Although allergies and respiratory illnesses can affect your vision, there may be another reason for your discomfort. You could have eye fatigue. Learn more about eye fatigue, including how it makes your eyes feel and what you can do about it, below.
What's Asthenopia and How Does It Affect You?
Eye fatigue (or asthenopia) can affect anyone, including working adults and college students. The condition normally develops in people who overwork or strain the extraocular muscles in their eyes. The muscles are very important for many reasons.
The extraocular muscles allow you to move your eyes in multiple directions, including from side to side and up and down. Although the muscles of the eyes are strong, some activities can work your extraocular muscles too much, such as staring at your laptop or studying in poor lighting. The extra strain placed on your extraocular muscles can lead to a number of symptoms, including fatigue, pain, and redness.
Your vision may also change with asthenopia. You might become extraordinarily sensitive to light, or you might experience blurriness in one or both eyes. If your eye muscles become too tired, you may develop severe head, face, and/or neck pain.
Although the symptoms of asthenopia can improve on their own, the symptoms can become significantly worse in some individuals. The individuals often need to see an ophthalmologist to relieve their symptoms.
How Do You Overcome Asthenopia?
The most important thing you want to do now is find out why you have asthenopia in the first place. Some eye diseases and problems can cause excessive eye fatigue in people, including individuals who are farsighted. Age-related vision loss may also cause eye fatigue over time. An eye doctor needs to check and diagnose your eyes thoroughly before they can rule out or confirm the reason behind your vision problems.
If an eye condition did cause asthenopia to occur in your eyes, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the appropriate or best treatment for it. Your vision treatment may include corrective eye surgery, ocular training, or medication therapy.
If your employment, lifestyle, or study habits caused problems with your eyes, a doctor may ask you to:
- use better lighting when you read text
- cut back on your computer or electronic usage
- get more sleep at night
You may also need to consider wearing eyeglasses to improve your symptoms. An eye doctor will let you know if you need eyeglasses during your exam.
For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Idaho Eye and Laser center.