Spending too much time staring on a stationary object, such as book, TV, computer screen, portable gaming gadget and mobile phone can cause eye strain.
Common symptoms of eye strain are tiredness, increased sensitivity to glare, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision as well as back and neck pain. Many youngsters have eye strain and they often ignore early symptoms, causing near-sightedness more likely to happen. Human eyes are designed to see stereoscopically in 3D, which means staring to a flat 2D object for a long period of time can cause damages to the eyes.
Habits Changes to Treat Eye Strain
Most mild eye strain can be treated simply by closing both eyes for awhile or taking a short nap. However, if your eyes are sore for the whole day, then habits modification may provide some relief or complete recovery:
Adjust room illumination and screen contrast
The room shouldn’t be too dark that you can’t comfortably read the book or the monitor makes you squint. The room shouldn’t also be too bright that the light washes the monitor out. Adjust the screen contrast, so you can use the monitor comfortably at moderate room lighting.
Adjust the distance
The distance between your eyes and the book or the computer monitor should be at an arm’s length. You should make an experiment to determine the right distance.
Adjust the monitor angle
Looking down at the computer for a long time may make your neck sore. Make sure the monitor is located straight ahead.
Take a break occasionally
After reading a book or using a computer, you should look at something far away, such as clouds or a distant mount. In there are no windows in your room, you should at least look at the farthest object in the room, such as the corner of the room or wall clock. If you’re not allowed to stand up at work due to the nature of your job, at least twist your neck and look at the farthest point at your field of vision.
They can keep sore eyes lubricated. Blink more often if you have eye strain, especially at work or while reading something. High pressure at work may cause you to open your eyes too long, causing reddening and dry eyeballs, which can aggravate your eye strain further.
Changes on habit are the easiest and safest way to treat mild eye strain, however, in many cases, they are not enough. Especially if have been ignoring your eyes condition for a long time.
Eye exercise can help to calm and soothe tired eyes. It helps bring more oxygen to eye muscles, which can relax them. If you have sore eyes, you can practice these easy exercises for 2 to 5 times a day, especially at moments when close concentrated work is required. During the exercise, you should just move your eyes, breathe steadily, relax your shoulders and keep your head still.
1. Open your eyes widely and look from side to side, up and down, then diagonally. Do both for 10 times each.
2. Look at an imaginary clock and start your focus at 12 o’clock. Move your focus slowly from minute to minute around the clock until you return to 12 o’clock. Close your eyes for awhile and do it again, anti-clockwise this time.
3. Place both palms in the front of your eyes at about 30 cm, with fingers pointing up. It is preferable to do this at edge of the windows. Focus on your palm, breathe in and move your hands apart slowly. Shift your focus to a distant object outside the window Breathe out, bring your hand back together and return your focus to both palms again. Do this for 5 to 10 times.
4. Position your thumb about 30 cm in front of your eyes. Gaze at the thumb for 5 seconds and the look at a distant object beyond your thumb. Repeat this exercise for 5 times.
5. Press the outer edges of your with your finger and close your eyes. Gently message the area around your eyes using repeated circular motions. Repeat this exercise for about 5 times.
6. Rub your hands vigorously until they feel warm. Close both eyes and cup them with your hands for about one minute. Imagine that the warmth flows into your eyes, which make your muscles more relaxed.
These simple exercises can treat mild and moderate eye strain caused by prolonged concentration.
The Long Swing Technique
It is another useful exercise to treat eye strain. It should be performed outdoor and if it isn’t practical, you should do it near the largest window in your home. It can be practiced for 5 minutes and should be performed after you wake up and before you go to bed. The long swing exercise is started by an erect standing posture. Your feet should be about 12 feet apart and don’t square your shoulders. Both arms should hang loosely at your sides and your body must be at ease. Your head must turn with the body and don’t let it move independently. Sway your body easily and slowly from side to side. It should be flexible enough that you can shift all the weight to one foot, but don’t lift the other foot from the flow. When you do this properly, you body will move rhythmically without too much jerking. At this moment, your body should already be fully relaxed.
You should have about 30 swings each minute, which is comparable to the tempo of slow waltz. Many beginners do this exercise too fast, which may make your body less relaxed. To keep your head steady, imagine that the ceiling is so low that it always brushes the top of your head. Although your eyes are open, you shouldn’t stare, in fact don’t try to see anything. To further relieve eye strain, you should blink often during the exercise.
Sometimes a combination of habitual changes and eye exercises can’t treat moderate eye strain effectively. If so, these herbs can be helpful:
Billberry: These berries are commonly used to treat eye strain and enhance vision. It improves blood flow around and in the eye. If you have eye strain, you should take bilberry capsule 3 times per day. Huckleberry, blueberry and cranberry are also effective for eye treatment.
Goldenseal: It is often used as eye compress. The berberine in goldenseal can treat bloodshot eyes by constricting the blood vessels.
Siberian ginseng: This herb can improve mental function and may be useful for combating viral infections. Siberian ginseng is safe for long-term use when taken daily. You should take the capsule form and follow the specified directions.
Astragalus: It is often used as an energy tonic and can help to improve immune system.
Licorice: It has an anti-inflammatory property, which can relieve discomfort caused by eye strain. You shouldn’t take it more than six weeks and should be taken as a tea.