Asthenopia is a condition in which you experience symptoms such as eye strain and blurry vision. It is a common issue which many people experience, especially those who spend a lot of time looking at digital screens. Learn more about this condition and how to relieve your discomfort.
Asthenopia is that feeling you may get where your eyes feel sore, achy, or tired. It is often experienced after spending an extended period of time looking at a computer or phone screen. Long periods spent reading, driving, or working on an intricate project can also cause asthenopia (essentially anything requiring long periods of focus from your eyes.
This occurs because of prolonged use of the muscles which control the movement of your eyes, and pupils.
Someone who has dry eyes or suffers from a vision problem and doesn’t use corrective lenses to correct problems like farsightedness, nearsightedness, or presbyopia, may be more likely to experience asthenopia.
In addition to the obvious fatigue due to eye strain, asthenopia can cause several other symptoms. These include:
You may also experience shoulder or neck pain since the physical positions which lead to eye strain can also strain certain muscles.
Very often, you will notice the symptoms of asthenopia yourself, though at times you might not notice them until you take a break from the activity causing the eye strain.
The effects of asthenopia generally only last for a short period, but they can linger for as long as a few hours. If this occurs often, it is advisable to consult with our eye doctor to try and determine if there is an underlying cause, or if there is something you can do to alleviate the symptoms. A comprehensive vision exam will detect if there is more going on than simple eye strain.
Frequent bouts of eye strain can lead to future instances that may see the symptoms develop faster, more often, and for longer periods.
Eye strain typically doesn’t cause any permanent damage or negatively affect your vision, but it can be troublesome enough to lower your quality of life, especially if you tend to spend a great deal of time looking at screens.
In most cases, simply giving your eyes a rest and generally taking care of them will minimize and alleviate your eye strain.
You can also try adjusting the brightness of your computer or phone screens, or adjusting the overall light level in the room.
However, if there is an underlying cause leading to regular eye strain, then treating that condition will be the key to preventing further regular eye strain. If your eye strain is being caused by something like farsightedness or nearsightedness, then wearing the proper corrective lenses should mitigate the effects. If it is dry eye causing your asthenopia, then treating that condition should similarly relieve your eye strain.
Limiting your time in front of a screen and taking breaks, or sitting a bit further back from the screen, will relieve some of the stress on your eye muscles.
Vision therapy, performed by neuro-optometrists, can also be an effective treatment for asthenopia. It can help treat some underlying problems which may cause regular asthenopia, and, by improving your vision skills to better control eye movement, you can learn to prevent your eyes from straining as much.
Aesthenopia is a relatively common problem which has become more prevalent as we spend more time in front of screens. While it is a relatively minor condition, it can still have a negative impact on your quality of life, and should be addressed. If you are experiencing frequent symptoms of asthenopia, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit to schedule an eye exam. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.