What is eye strain and why do I need to consider it before deciding to have laser vision correction?

By Kristina Oneill on December 08, 2013

We all have days where we feel like we just want to close our eyes and rub the dryness and discomfort away.  Frequently patients ask us about dry eyes and frequent headaches when using the computer all day.  Patients often are concerned about how LASIK and PRK will contribute to the eye strain that they sometimes already find a nuisance preoperatively.  The truth is that eye strain can be controlled to some degree by monitoring external environmental situations such as using artificial tears frequently such as ever two hours.  You should turn off ceiling fans to control your eyes drying out due to direct air blowing in them.  When you notice that your eyes are getting tired at your computer, simply walk away for a few minutes, use your tears and give yourself a break.


According to a study, Mayo Clinic.com article defines eye strain as when a person’s eyes get tired from intense use caused by driving a car, reading, or working at a computer for extended periods of time. Although uncomfortable, the condition is generally not serious and will subside once the eyes are rested. Symptoms of eye strain include: sore or itchy eyes, watery eyes, dry eyes, blurred or double vision; shoulder, neck, or back soreness; and increased light sensitivity. Since most cases are not serious, it is often easily prevented or treated. Some remedies can be applied at home or work and can prevent eye strain. For example, make sure to have a good, bright light source when doing work that requires close-up vision or when reading. For computer work, it is better to position the monitor directly in front at eye level at least 20 inches away. Increasing font size can also help when extensively reading documents. Position the monitor so that the brightest sources of light are at a right angle to the monitor and consider turning off some or all of the overhead lighting, as problem light sources generally come from above or behind and include fluorescent lighting and sunlight. It is also advisable to blink often and take breaks from staring at monitor throughout the day. Most importantly, be sure to visit an optometrist frequently to make sure glasses or contacts are the correct prescription.



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