Tired Eyes - A Very Real Condition
Most of us will experience periods where our eyes feel tired. Is this a real condition or is it just a normal symptom after a long day?
In fact, it is very real and even has a name. The medical term for eyestrain is ‘asthenopia’.
Symptoms of tired eyes
There are many symptoms associated with tired eyes, they may include:
- Light sensitivity
- Sore eyes
- Dry eyes or sometimes watery eyes
- Blurred vision or burning eyes
- General Fatigue
- Difficulty reading
- Headaches or migraines
What causes eyestrain?
There are many daily routines that may cause our eyes to feel strained such as lack of sleep, exposure to bright light or sunlight, and heating or air-conditioning. Long periods of concentration reading, driving or using a computer are also common causes of this syndrome.
Research has shown that many of the devices we now use almost constantly have a negative impact. Frequent use of smart phones, tablets, laptops, surfing the internet, text messaging, and reading emails all place extra strain on our eyes. Other contributors are exposure to tobacco smoke, pollution, dust in the atmosphere or dryness from air conditioning.
Some prescription drugs can cause eyes to feel tired and, if this is the case, it’s important to seek more information from a doctor to discover if an alternative can be found.
Beyond the effects of everyday modern living, there is a condition called Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition that is associated with rheumatoid arthritis that can also result in very similar symptoms. Almost everyone experiences some degree of dryness in the eyes at some stage in their life. A thorough eye examination by Janine or sometimes referral on to a corneal specialist can sometimes be required to manage the dryness. There are many tear supplements available and other therapy’s which are used to relieve the condition.
Is it time for a new prescription?
Finally, there are vision problems that may be alleviated by something as simple as glasses. If you are experiencing excessive fatigue or headaches in particular it is certainly important to have an eye examination. Some of these symptoms may be relieved by prescribing new glasses. Often excessive glare can be manages with antiglare coatings on lens or good quality polarised sunglasses.
If lifestyle is the cause of eyestrain and tiredness, the first step is to change a few habits – spend less time on the computer, reading fine print or text messages. Or, try to get more sleep. Sometimes just a short break can allow the eyes to recover and alleviate the symptoms. Take care when around air-conditioning and heating to use a good quality tear supplement.
If this doesn’t help, a trip to the optometrist for an eye examination could do the trick.