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4 Tips to Prevent Eye Strain

While eye strain is not often a serious condition, it can be frustrating, especially for contact lens wearers. Our Calgary eye doctors provide comprehensive dry eye care services to keep your vision clear & comfortable. 

Eye strain is a very common condition that occurs when your eyes are used for a prolonged time or under difficult conditions including reading, writing, computer work and driving.

It is associated with many uncomfortable symptoms including:

  • Sore, irritated or dry eyes
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision

At Market Mall Optometry, we offer a wide range of services including dry eye care, eye exams and contact lens fittings to help reduce eye strain and keep your vision healthy, comfortable, and clear.


What Causes Eye Strain?

Eye strain is a common eye condition and, while it can cause discomfort, it isn’t usually serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. However, understanding the cause of eye strain can help you avoid many of the frustrating symptoms and keep your vision clear and comfortable.

Some of the most common culprits of eye strain include:

  • Prolonged hours of exposure to digital devices such as computer screens, smartphones and video games
  • Extended periods of reading, writing and driving
  • Various eye allergens including dust, wind, mites and smoke
  • Exposure to bright light
  • Straining to see in dim lights
  • Natural aging
  • Side effects of medications including antibiotics, anti-depression and blood pressure medication
  • Wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time

How to Prevent Eye Strain

Usually, eye strain can be prevented or reduced by making simple changes in your work habits or environment, including:

1. Having regular eye exams

Regular eye examinations are essential for clear, comfortable vision. Your optometrist will check the health of your eyes and look for signs of any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the strain.

In addition, our eye doctors can provide a comprehensive dry eye care service to help determine the cause of your eye strain and recommend possible treatment options to restore the clarity to your vision.


2. Taking frequent breaks from your computer

If you are constantly on your computer, taking short (and frequent) breaks from your desk is key to reducing your risk of developing eye strain, as well as back, shoulder and neck pain.

Throughout the day, you should:

Blink More Often

Blinking is very important when you are working at a computer as it moistens your eyes and prevents dryness & irritation.

Exercise Your Eyes

Another cause of eye strain at the computer is fatigue. To prevent this, try looking away from your desk at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.

Most eye doctors call this the 20-20-20 rule.

Get Up More Often

One of the simplest ways to avoid eye strain when on the computer is by taking at least 4 15 minute breaks throughout the day.

Not only will this make your vision more comfortable, it will also increase your productivity!


3. Wearing your eyeglasses

If you wear contact lenses, you may want to consider wearing eyeglasses when you’ re on your digital device, given that contact lenses can become dry and uncomfortable during sustained computer work.

Blue-Light Lenses

The blue light emitted from digital devices such as smartphones and computers contributes greatly to eye strain. Not only that, but it can also have some serious eye health effects including:

  • Increased risk of developing macular degeneration
  • Retina damage
  • Blurred vision

If you do spend a significant amount of time on your computer, talk to your optometrist about adding a blue light coating to the lenses of your eyeglasses to reduce your exposure and protect your vision.

Choosing Glasses Lenses


4. Adjusting your computer display settings

Adjusting the display settings on your computer hardly takes any time but can greatly reduce eye strain and fatigue. To care for your dry eyes, you should consider changing your computer’s:


Adjust the brightness of your display so that it is approximately the same as that of your surrounding workstation.

Text Size & Contrast

If you are reading or composing long documents, a larger black print on a white background is the best combination for comfort.

Color Temperature

Reducing the color temperature on your display lowers the amount of blue light emitted, leading to higher long-term viewing comfort. 


Call Today

To find out more about how we can help you prevent eye-strain through services including dry eye care and contact lens fittings, contact our Calgary eye doctors today at 403-286-4884 or book an eye exam today.

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We are located next to Milestones by the North entrance of Market Mall.
Our knowledgable and professional staff can answer all your questions. Call us today at 403-286-4884 or fill out the form below:

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