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Measures to treat an eye strain

Eye strain is a common condition that happens when the eyes become tired from intense use such as staring at computer screens and other digital devices for a long time and driving long distances. The condition can be annoying but it is not serious and eventually subsides when the eyes are rested.

Symptoms of eye strain

  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Sore, tired and burning sensation or itchiness of the eyes
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Severe sensitivity to light
  • Sore neck, shoulders or back
  • Feeling that there is difficulty opening the eyes
  • Difficulty in concentrating


Eye strain

Sore, tired and burning sensation or itchiness of the eyes

  • Reading without pausing to rest the eyes
  • Looking at digital device screens
  • Exposure to bright lights or glare
  • Stressed or fatigued
  • Driving long distances and engaging in other activities that requires extended focus
  • Straining to see in a very dim light
  • Exposure to dry moving air from a fan, heating or air-conditioning system
  • Suffering from underlying issues with the eyes or incorrect treatment of vision or refractive error.


  • Massage the eyelids every day to improve the circulation of blood to the eyes and relaxes the muscles around the eyes. It will also stimulate the tear glands in preventing dry eyes. Using the fingers, gently massage the eyelids and muscles above the eyebrows for at least 10-20 seconds and = massage the lower eyelids against the lower bone for at least 10-20 seconds and the temple and the upper cheeks bones. Perform this procedure at least 1-2 times every day. A few drops of olive oil or a cream for the eye can be used when massaging the affected areas.
  • Palming is a way of relaxing eye strain especially when reading or spending a lot of time in front of a computer or TV screen. Palming helps the eyes rest and prevents them from becoming tired. Sit straight in a comfortable position and warm the hands by rubbing them together vigorously. Close the eyes and place the warm palms over the closed eyes without putting pressure on the eyelids. Relax and enjoy the darkness for at least 30 seconds and then slowly open the eyes. Perform this procedure at least 3-5 times every day.
  • Apply the prescribed over-the-counter artificial tears to prevent and minimize the dryness of the eyes. Use artificial tears even if the eyes feel fine to make them well lubricated and prevent recurrence of the condition.
  • Using cold water relieves a mild strain in the eye. It improves blood circulation in the area, lessens the swelling and puffiness of the eyes and relaxes tired muscles around the eyes. Splash cold water on the face with closed eyes when the eyes feels strained or tired. Another way is to soak a wash cloth in cold water, wring out excess water and place the washcloth on the closed eyelid for at least a minute several times every day as needed. If there is puffiness of the eyes, apply an ice pack on the area. Wrap ice cubes in a small towel and place it on the affected eye for at least 5-10 minutes to minimize the puffiness of the area.

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