Eye Infections and Irritations
What are Tired Eyes?
Tired eye is another term for what is commonly known as eyestrain – when eyes feel achy, weak, or heavy due to intense use. It is not a disease, and does not require medical treatment – but it never hurts to know how to prevent it.
Tired eyes can come from any number of activities. Some of the most common include working on the computer for too long, poor lighting conditions, driving a car for prolonged periods of time, reading for long periods, or any other activity that may require the eyes to maintain intense focus for long periods of time. Other causes might be:
- Out of date / incorrect spectacle or contact lens prescription – difficulty focusing for near work or struggling to see clearly in the distance will cause your eyes to feel tired, and a new eye exam and up to date spectacles and contact lenses may be the most straightforward solution in many cases. Make sure that the lighting you are using is adequate to the task at hand too.
- Contact Lens Discomfort
- Digital Eye Strain
- Air conditioning – Where is the air con unit in the office? Do you sit directly in the air flow? If so, is it possible for your desk to move, or for the air con to be directed slightly away? Ensuring the best general eye health and most suitable contact lenses (if worn) will help here, as well as taking regular breaks from staring at a screen, as research shows that we blink much less frequently during computer use, and this contributes to eyes feeling tired.
- Dry Eye
- Dehydration – Research has shown a correlation between dry eye disease and levels of hydration generally, and it is believed that better hydration plays a part in reducing dry eye, which can be a significant contributing factor to tired eyes.
Treatments for Tired Eyes
Tired eyes are an annoyance more than anything. There are a few ways to prevent eye strain but if they don’t work you may want to talk to your eye care professional. Sometimes, there is an underlying medical cause for eyestrain that requires additional treatment. Some common practices that can reduce the effects of eyestrain are:
- Check your lighting – a high amount of contrast will put more strain on your eyes, so whether you’re reading, watching TV, or working on the computer, make sure you have the room lit evenly, so your eyes don’t have to work as hard
- Take breaks – give yourself regular short breaks from near work tasks, whether this is using a computer or doing fine embroidery
- Ensure that your glasses or contact lens prescription is up-to-date – The prescription of the eye can naturally change over time
Always consult your eye care practitioner for further advice.