• Is Burning and Blurring Vision Just Eye Strain?


    Question:

    The last few days I’ve been experiencing symptoms such as a burning sensation and blurred vision when trying to focus my eyes on my computer monitor. The few floaters I have seem more visible and my eyes just feel really tired in general. I spend a lot of time on the computer so is this just eye strain or something else? Also, if it is eye strain is there anything besides eye drops I can do to speed up recovery?


    Answer:

    Most people experience some eye strain when working on the computer. First, make sure you are working at a comfortable distance for your age and glasses prescription. Your ophthalmologist can help you decide if you need glasses for laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone — all are different font sizes and function at different distances. People over 40 often require mild magnification for near work.

    Next, make sure that your eyes aren't drying out. Sometimes when we concentrate, we don't think to blink. When your eyes dry out, your symptoms can cause a gritty, sandy, dry, tired, or blurry feeling; some patients tell me "I just want to close my eyes." Blinking, or using artificial tears, will make your eyes more comfortable. A dry office environment from air conditioning or forced-air heat can aggravate dry eye, and some medications including antihistamines can aggravate dry eye too.

    And lastly, don't forget to take breaks. Your eyes get tired focusing on a screen all day. Get up, walk around, make a phone call, and rest your eyes on something far way (out the window) and then you'll feel better when you return to work!


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