Causes of Eyestrain
Somes causes of eyestrain include
Extra demands on the eyes by computers and other digital devices
Due to the rising digitization of work, school, and human life in general, the use of digital devices has become the most common cause of eyestrain.
The eyes generally do more work when you are working with your computer or other digital devices than when you are working with papers. They move back and forth, adjust to changes on the screen as it is scrolled up and down, and also tries to cope with the glare and flashes from the screen. These extra demands on the eyes strain them. This often gets worse if other factors such as eye problems and unfavourable digital habits and environmental conditions are present.
Eyestrain due to computer use is often referred to as digital eyestrain or computer vision syndrome.
Staring at digital devices for a prolonged period
While using digital devices, people tend to stare. This reduces the rate at which they blink. Blinking is essential for keeping the eyes lubricated and comfortable, but when it is reduced, the surface of the eyes dry out. Dry eye causes discomfort and can result in eyestrain.
Presence of eye problems
Eyestrain can occur as a result of underlying eye problems. Examples of these eye problems are:
- Refractive errors: These are eye conditions that are caused by the inability of the eyes to focus objects properly on the retina. They include myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. To see better, people who have refractive errors may squint and adopt awkward positions unconsciously. Squinting and staying in awkward positions can stress the muscles of the eyes, face, neck, shoulders, and back, leading to eye strain.
- Binocular vision problems: These are eye problems that occur as a result of the inability of the two eyes to work together. They put a lot of strain on the eyes as people who have them try to avoid double vision.
- Dry eye syndrome: This is a condition in which the eyes are unable to produce adequate tears or the tears produced evaporate quickly. It causes eye discomfort to results in eye strain.
Unfavourable environmental conditions
Environmental conditions that can cause or worsen eyestrain include:
- Inappropriate positioning of workstation: Placing the screen at a wrong distance (too far or too near) or viewing it from an inappropriate angle due to the height of the table or chair can cause discomfort, fatigue, and neck, shoulder, or back pain.
- Poor room lighting and reflections from the screen: Bright overhead lights and sunlight from the windows, for instance, can reflect on the screen causing glare and discomfort to computer users.
- Excessive wind or dry environment: Being in a windy environment or having air from the AC vent or fans blowing directly on the face causes the surface of the eyes to dry out quickly and this can cause eye strain.