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Eye strain

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Eye strain is a common problem, especially for people who spend long hours working at a computer.

Marshfield Clinic Eye Care Specialists diagnose and treat all conditions and diseases of the eye.

The following are the most common symptoms of eye strain. These may be attributed to prolonged computer screen viewing. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Red, watery, irritated eyes

  • Tired, aching, or heavy eyelids

  • Problems with focusing

  • Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid

  • Headache

  • Backache

Symptoms of eye strain are often relieved by resting the eyes, changing the work environment, and/or wearing the proper glasses. The symptoms of eye strain may resemble other eye conditions. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis.

How is eyestrain avoided?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided the following helpful suggestions for making the appropriate workstation changes to help avoid eye strain:

  • Position the video display terminal (VDT) slightly further away than where you normally hold reading material.

  • Position the top of the VDT screen at or slightly below eye level.

  • Place all reference material as close to the screen as possible. This will minimize head and eye movements and focusing changes.

  • Minimize lighting reflections and glare.

  • Keep the VDT screen clean and dust-free.

  • Schedule periodic rest breaks to avoid eye fatigue.

  • Keep the eyes moist (by blinking or using moisturizing eye drops) to prevent them from drying out.

  • Keep the VDT screen in proper focus.

  • Talk with your ophthalmologist or optometrist, as some individuals who normally do not need glasses may need corrective lenses for computer work.

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If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

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Do You Know How to Preserve Your Eyesight?

Can you harm your vision by sitting too close to the TV? Why is vitamin A good for your eyes? Who is at risk for cataracts? Find the answers by taking this quiz.

1. Which of these habits harms your vision?
2. Healthcare providers advise people not to look directly at the sun. What is it about sunlight that damages eyes?
3. Getting too little of this vitamin can cause problems with night vision. Which one?
4. Safety experts recommend wearing safety goggles during which of these activities?
5. Which of these diseases is a major cause of blindness among older Americans?
6. Which of the following is true about glaucoma?
7. What causes cataracts?
8. AMD is the most common cause of vision impairment in Americans ages 60 and older. How does it affect eyesight?
9. Research shows people can reduce their risk of AMD and cataracts by eating which of these?
10. A 7-year study found people with AMD slowed progress of the disease by taking which of these nutritional supplements?