Eye fatigue is a common complaint of many patients. Symptoms can vary from burning and irritation to drooping eyelids. There are several causes for tired eyes, and the treatment needs to be directed to the specific risk factors.
One of the most common causes of eye fatigue is ocular dryness. Most people with dry eyes will complain of burning, stinging and blurred vision, especially with prolonged use at the computer.
Others have symptoms when a fan is blowing or air is blowing from riding in a car. In colder temperatures, the wind can cause a lot of eye irritation. When dryness is the cause of eye fatigue, we need to find out if the dryness is caused by decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation.
Treatment is different for each cause, but both are effectively managed. Sometimes eye fatigue is from increased stress on the focusing system like when reading, driving or watching TV. This can easily be fixed by prescription lenses to improve vision.
The goal is to provide lenses that improve clarity and to make sure both eyes are focused together at the correct focal point. Sometimes special lenses called prisms are needed to reduce eyestrain because the eye muscles aren’t working to move each eye toward a target.
Another cause of eye fatigue is inappropriate lighting. Adequate lighting is achieved when shadows are reduced. Overhead lighting can produce shadows or glare which means the eyes have to work more than necessary to see clearly.
A final cause for eye tiredness is glare from headlights and electronic devices. Glare can arise from a number of causes like cataracts, poor eyeglass lens materials, scratched eyeglass lenses, ocular dryness and near- or farsightedness.
Be sure to tell your optometrist about your symptoms of eye fatigue, the treatment is usually very straightforward and easy.