Tired Eyes: Why Do My Eyes Feel Tired?

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Tired Eyes: Why Do My Eyes Feel Tired?


Tired eyes have become a common concern with the growing usage of digital media. Hours of consistent and focused sitting in front of laptop or computer, kids and adults tirelessly using mobile phones, gaming for hours are some of the most common reasons leading to tired eyes.


Common causes of tired eyes

The condition of tired eyes can be caused by several activities that require high focus and extreme concentration of the eyes. Activities like:

  1. 1. Extensive reading
  2. 2. Long driving
  3. 3. Long hours of focused writing
  4. 4. Long sessions with concentrated attention on screens
  5. 5. Too much exposure to bright light
  6. 6. Too less or very dim light

These are some of the common causes that may lead to tired eyes. Looking at the laptop or computer screen for a long time can lead to irritated and tired eyes. This condition is also referred to as computer vision syndrome wherein prolonged exposure to a gaming console, or laptop or computer may lead to eye strain and fatigue.


What to do when your eyes feel tired? 

In most cases, tired eyes are an annoyance if you need prolonged focus for reading, driving, using the screen, etc. The drivers might find it difficult to focus on the yellow line on the road or sky due to extensive focus requirements.

Since having tired eyes is not generally a serious issue, few lifestyle changes can help in reducing eye fatigue.

If your eyes feel tired, you can:

  1. 1. Take a regular break between work. Most opticians suggest taking a 1-minute break after every 20 minutes. You can simply look away from your screen, focus on a far point, roll your eyes up and down and sideways, and then close them to help them recover. Avoid scrolling through your mobile phone in this 1 minute.
  2. 2. Reduce the brightness level of your screen to a minimum or to the level that is comfortable to your eyes. Make sure you do not work at the maximum brightness of your screen.
  3. 3. Use anti-glare lenses or blue light lenses to reduce the effect of blue light on your eyes. Even if you do not have a vision problem, wearing a zero prescription anti-glare eyeglass can reduce the strain on your eyes to a great extent and provide comfort during those long working hours.
  4. 4. Use a humidifier. Generally, when we work continuously in front of the screen, we forget to blink, and the number of blinks reduces. This leads to dryness in eyes and ultimately, fatigue. Other reasons for dry eyes like dust, allergies, change of season, etc. may also lead to tired eyes. Also, prolonged sitting in an air-conditioned space can reduce the humidity and lead to dry eyes. Using a humidifier maintains the moisture level in your working space and reduces the dryness. 
  5. 5. Use general eye drops. There are several over the counter eye drops available in the market for general usage. These can help in reducing eye fatigue and remove dust and dirt from the eyes. Consult your optician before using any medicine or drop.

Most importantly, you need to reduce or limit the amount of time spent in front of the screen. Though it is important to work and that cannot be compromised, you can considerably reduce the time you spend in front of your television or mobile phone or any other gadget. Engage in exercise for quicker healing and use dedicated glasses like anti-glare lenses, blue light lenses, or computer glasses to reduce the strain on eyes.


Should you visit an optician?

If the condition of your eyes is persistent and there is no improvement even after adopting the aforementioned lifestyle changes, then you must see an optician for expertise. Your optician may recommend certain eye exams that are important to understand the actual condition of your eyes. The optician can help you select the right lenses – anti-glare, blue-light, computer glasses, etc., for your specific vision issue.

Sometimes your eye condition may be a result of some underlying disease or allergy that needs to be treated at the earliest. The optician might suggest a consultation with an ophthalmologist for further diagnosis and treatment.



When are tired eyes or eye strain is serious?
Persistent eye strain may indicate an underlying disease or allergy that needs immediate attention. It may be due to astigmatism, allergy, uncorrected vision, weak muscles, or any other disease. It is always better to consult the doctor in case of a persistent problem.


How to relieve tired eyes?
Relieving tired eyes is quite easy. Following these routine checks and adopting some lifestyle changes can help relieve eye strain.

  1. Get enough sleep. Overwork and inadequate sleep can lead to tired eyes. To ensure that your body rejuvenates and refreshes, getting an ample amount of sleep is important.
  2. Take regular breaks between work.
  3. If you wear spectacles, get your power checked. Even if you do not have prescription glasses, take an eye exam to be sure of the vision.
  4. Make sure there is ample of light around your working space.


Why do my eyes feel tired even after sleeping?
Though sleeping means resting of the body, but that is not exactly the case with eyes. The eyes do get some rest while you are asleep, but for a major portion, they are actively working, which is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM). While the brain remains active across the entire sleep cycle, your eyes may be resting when you sleep a non-REM sleep. In REM sleep, your eyes keep fluttering and move side to side, which leaves them tired even after a goodnight’s sleep.


What are the symptoms of tired eyes?
The initial symptoms of tired eyes are pain behind the eyes, burning and itching in the eyes, and an urge to close them often. These are some signs that indicate that your eyes need rest and proper care. Eye strain and muscle weakness are common after-effects of prolonged screen time. There are some other factors like less sleep or allergies that contribute towards the consistent eye strain and tired eyes.

General symptoms include:

  1. Tired, burning and, itching eyes
  2. Dry or watery eyes
  3. Poor vision
  4. Problem in focusing
  5. Headache