Spending a lot of time in front of a screen whether for work or entertainment may lead to tired eyes. While using a computer does not cause permanent eye damage, it is a demanding visual task which may cause discomfort to your eyes after long periods of time (1). In addition, you tend to blink less while focused on a screen. This may lead to your eyes drying out.
Other activities that may be hard on your eyes include reading, driving long distances, and detailed work like sewing (2). You may also tire your eyes out from straining to see when the lighting in the environment is bad, or being under very bright or harsh lights. You may also tire out your eyes by not wearing, or wearing incorrectly graded glasses or contact lenses (3).
Tired eyes can lead to eyestrain. The symptoms of eyestrain include sore, burning, or itching eyes, blurred or double vision, watery or dry eyes, and headaches. You may also have an increased sensitivity to light, find concentrating difficult, and have trouble keeping your eyes open (4).
Tips to avoid tired eyes
Here are some ways to avoid eyestrain:
You may spend hours looking at a screen, or focused on detailed work that is taxing on the eyes. Give your eyes a break by looking away every now and then (4).
To avoid eye strain from looking at a digital screen, it is helpful to remember the 20-20-20 rule. This means that every 20 minutes, you can take a 20-second long break to look at something 20 feet away from you (2).
Use eye drops
Lubricating eye drops are available over the counter and can help relieve dry, tired eyes. However, avoid using eye drops that are designed to treat eye redness, as these may make dry eye symptoms worse (4).
Adjust the lighting
If you are reading or doing detailed work, it helps to keep the light shining from behind you so it falls directly on what you are looking at. On the other hand, when you're watching television, you may want to keep the rest of the lights in the room low (3, 4).
When looking directly at a screen, it may also help to reduce the glare. Bright lighting can strain the eyes. You may also put an anti-glare filter over your device's screen (4).
Supplementation for healthy eyes
Certain nutrients may also help support better eye health. While these nutrients are best taken in through a healthy, balanced diet, we aren’t always able to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from what we eat. In these situations, it may help to take supplementation. Among the supplements that may support eye health are:
There is a large amount of this trace element present in eye tissue. Deficiencies in zinc have been connected to chronic eye conditions (5).
Astaxanthin supports eye health by countering some of the factors that may lead to ocular problems. These include oxidative stress and other kinds of inflammation (6).
DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, can be found concentrated in the retina of the eye (7). DHA supports nerve conduction which is required for eye health (8).
Omega-3 fatty acids can usually be found in fish oil. However, if your dietary requirements prohibit the consumption of fish oil, Vitable’s Veg Omega is a vegan alternative, containing omega-3 fatty acids sourced from algae oil.
While our eyes regularly come under strain because of work, or other everyday activities, practising good eye habits and taking in the proper nutrition helps you steer clear from visual fatigue and keep your eyes healthy.
Vitable Australia provides you with daily vitamins specifically chosen for your health needs. Get your personalised vitamins through our vitamin subscription service in Australia, and have them delivered to your doorstep through our vitamin delivery service.
Find out more about other supplements that can support eye health:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Better Health Channel. "Eyes - common problems". Better Health Channel. Last reviewed April 2015 on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/eyes-common-problems. Accessed January 22, 2022.
- Cleveland Clinic. "Eye Strain". Cleveland Clinic. Last reviewed June 2019 on https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21059-eye-strain. Accessed January 22, 2022.
- HealthDirect. "Eye strain". Health Direct. Last reviewed April 2020 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/eye-strain. Accessed January 22, 2022.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Eyestrain". Mayo Clinic. Published August 2020 on https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eyestrain/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372403. Accessed January 22, 2022
- Grahn, B., et. al., "Zinc and the eye". J Am Coll Nutr. Published April 2001 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11349933/. Accessed January 22, 2022.
- Vitable. “Astaxanthin”. Vitable. Published n.d. on https://research.vitable.com.au/astaxanthin. Accessed January 22, 2022.
- Vitable. “Veg Omega”. Vitable. Published n.d. on https://www.vitable.com.au/products/veg-omega. Accessed January 22, 2022.
- Harvard Health Publishing. " Omega-3 for your eyes". Harvard Medical School. Published August 2012 onhttps://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/omega-3-for-your-eyes. Accessed January 22, 2022.