How Long Does Eye Strain Last?

Author: Premier Eye Associates

As more and more tasks are being completed through computers, tablets, and other digital devices, eye strain has become a major problem among working age adults. This is the feeling of fatigue, discomfort, or mild headache that can occur after working on a task closely for an extended period of time. Depending on the cause of the eye strain, it may last only a few seconds or may be prolonged and cause pain for hours when focusing. Fortunately, there are many treatment options which can help alleviate eye strain altogether.


What is Eye Strain?

The eyes work together to see things clearly when reading. This requires the eyes to focus and to converge or turn inward.

Since the eyes have to focus and maintain their posture, if the eyes are not able to comfortably hold this position, it can either lead to blurred vision or eye strain.

If the eyes are able to keep the image clear, it can cause them to experience mild pain and discomfort which is called eye strain.

This eye strain is almost always a dull, aching pain rather than a sharp or shooting pain.


How Long Does Eye Strain Last?

Eye strain can last up to hours, but most of the time, it will only last a few minutes and can be improved by taking a break from whatever near task triggered the eye strain.

The longer you continue to work at the same task – reading, using a computer, or other near task – the longer the eye stain is likely to last.

If you are able to take a break for about twenty seconds once the eye strain begins, it may be possible to mitigate the eye strain to minimal amounts of time compared to having the strain last hours.


Treatments for Eye Strain

While eye strain can last for up to an hour or longer, there are treatments which can help reduce the length of time that the eye strain impacts you and your eyes.

Beyond taking regular breaks during near work, using an appropriate working distance and not holding anything too close to the face and having good lighting can also help relieve eye strain.


Glasses for Eye Strain

If eye strain becomes a recurrent problem, glasses can be prescribed to reduce the frequency and duration of the eye strain.

These glasses may be reading only glasses or may have a bifocal for reading in the bottom of the lenses.

Both of these glasses types can allow you to work at near and read without experiencing as much eye strain.


Eye Drops for Eye Strain

While most eye strain comes from the eyes working too hard to focus and the muscles within the eye becoming fatigued, it can also be due to the eyes drying out.

If dryness is the cause of the eye strain, eye drops can be used to rewet the front of the eye and may help with eye strain.

Even if the dryness is not the only component of the eye strain, it can be beneficial to reduce any amount possible using the eye drops.


Dr. Anthony Spina and the staff of Premier Eye Associates specialize in glasses, soft contact lenses, hard contact lenses, and medical eye exams. Call our eye doctor in Auburn, AL today at (334) 539-5391 or schedule an appointment online if you are interested in learning more about how long eye strain typically lasts and its treatments.  Our optometrist provides only the highest quality eye care services amongst eye doctors in the Auburn Alabama area.

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