If you use a computer for hours a day, there’s a good chance you know what it’s like to have eyestrain or dry eyes. Maybe you experience tension headaches behind your eyes or even get blurred vision. With some tweaks to your routine and simple habits, you can counteract eyestrain and keep your eyes going all day long.
Dry Eye Causes
- Not blinking enough, which we often do when looking at screens
- Your eyelids not fully closing when you sleep
- Side effect of certain medications
Eye Strain Causes
- Brightness of the blue light in screens causes squinting
- Squinting for other reasons, like being in the sun
- Blood flow restriction from eye muscles holding the same position (not moving sideways or up and down), such as during long computer use
How to Revitalize Dry, Strained Eyes
There could be a range of reasons for experiencing tired, achy eyes. Following the tips on this list can help you rule out whether you need to see an eye doctor about your condition. If you have acute pain from eyestrain, try a cold compress on your eyes. The following eight methods for countering eyestrain and revitalizing dry eyes are best done regularly to prevent dryness and eyestrain.
- Wear a Sleep Mask to Bed
Sleep with an eye mask if you’re suspicious your eyelids aren’t fully closing; usually, it’s because there’s a gap in the inner corners of the eyes. Especially with air conditioning and heating in the home, dry air can be blowing at the eyes, and they have a hard time staying lubricated.
- Massage Around Your Eyes
Use your fingertips to gently massage around your eyes and on your temples periodically or when you start to feel your eyes getting tired. You can also find devices that go on your head and massage around your eyes. Alternatively, try using a face roller around your eyes and on your entire face to revitalize your eyes.
- Do Eye Movement Exercises
Spend a minute gently looking up, down, left, and right with your eyeballs without moving other muscles, just like you would roll your neck. Those little muscles need to be stretched so the tension can go away.
- Become Self-Aware of Staring without Blinking
While blinking is a subconscious habit, try to consciously blink more, especially when using a screen. We tend to stare a bit longer before blinking while looking at screens, so be aware of it and get in the habit of blinking frequently when using the computer or other screens.
- Use a Blue Light Filter on Your Screens
Many devices today have a display setting option for filtering out blue light on the screen. You can also place a physical blue light filter on your screen. These come as invisible stickers you can find fitting various screen sizes.
- Use Blue Light Filter Glasses at the Computer
If you can’t put a blue light filter on your screens at work, or if you want to double down on blue light filtering, opt for glasses or contact lenses that filter out blue light.
- Get Your Omega 3s
Omega 3 supplementation has been shown to reverse eye dryness in people deficient in omega 3. If you don’t eat fish very often, try it. Fish has a high amount of omega-3, whereas it’s only found in plants in smaller amounts, in a less bioavailable form. You can also take fish oil supplements to ensure you’re getting enough omega 3s to keep your eyes well-lubricated.
- Take Eye Breaks
Especially if you work on a computer, take breaks for your eyes throughout the day. Look away from your monitor and get your eyes focused on something else. Use the “20-20-20 rule:” Every 20 minutes, look at something that is at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Avoiding Eyestrain and Eye Dryness
There are several approaches to overcoming eyestrain, and the ones you use depend on the cause of your eyestrain. If you work all day on a computer, it may help more to block out blue light from screens and do eye exercises and massaging throughout the day. If you’re waking up with dry eyes and think your eyes are drying out in your sleep, wearing an eye mask may help. The solution could even be nutritional if you’re deficient in omega 3s. Whatever the cause, running through this list of solutions can hopefully find you an answer.