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How to Prevent Dizziness from Eye Strain

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A man sitting at a desk with his laptop and holding his glasses in his right hand as he rubs his eyes.

In our digital age, where screens are everywhere, eye strain is a common and often ignored eye concern, which can lead to unwanted side effects like dizziness. It’s an issue that many of us may face daily, particularly as work and leisure merge into a technologically tethered existence. Some things you can do to prevent dizziness from eye strain by resolving it include:

  • Maintain proper lighting in your environments
  • Taking regular breaks when using screens or doing intense focus work
  • Adjust screen settings and use filters
  • Practice good posture

These are all great practices that can help prevent and alleviate symptoms of eye strain, but there are several additional exercises you can try, which we’ll cover below. 

It’s important to note that if you’re experiencing persistent eye strain that isn’t relieved by some of the tips below, you should book an examination with your eye doctor. They can examine your eyes to rule out underlying causes that could contribute to your eye strain symptoms.

Understanding Eye Strain

Eye strain is an uncomfortable and common condition caused by intense eye use—for example, reading fine print or staring at a digital screen for extended periods. Devices with screens are notorious culprits, thanks to the visual demands they place on the user’s eyes, which leads to the common term of digital eye strain.

Eye Strain Causes

When you spend too long focusing on something, your eyes’ muscles can become fatigued. Digital screens are a significant contributing factor to this nowadays, but other things that can result in fatigued and strained eyes include:

  • Driving
  • Reading
  • Doing work that requires intense focus, such as sewing, writing, or crafting
  • Inadequate lighting in your workspace
  • Not blinking enough
  • Underlying eye conditions that encourage eye fatigue, like uncorrected vision or eye muscular imbalance

Eye Strain Symptoms

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for symptoms of eye strain because it can vary from person to person and by severity of the strain or fatigue. Some common symptoms include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Burning or itching eyes
  • Difficulty keeping your eyes open

Your eyes aren’t the only part of your body that can be affected by eye strain. Some common symptoms that you can experience in your body include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Difficulty concentrating

Although not always listed as a “common” symptom, eye strain can also result in dizziness. This could result from a combination of other symptoms happening with your strained eyes.

Tips to Prevent Eye Strain

Prevention is always better than cure when possible, and this is especially the case with eye strain.

Maintain Proper Lighting

Make sure your desk has indirect lighting that does not reflect off your screen, and avoid sitting with windows or bright lights directly facing you. These things can help reduce the amount of glare, which can reduce how hard your eyes have to work.

Take Regular Breaks

The golden rule is the 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This helps relax the focusing mechanism in your eyes and can reduce the likelihood of dizziness and headaches.

Adjust Screen Settings

Modify your device’s brightness, contrast, and font size to find comfortable settings for your eyes. Dark mode may look cool, but it’s also easier on the eyes and may help reduce fatigue.

Practice Good Posture

Strain sets in when we move our heads to accommodate the screen. Keep your screen at eye level or just below. Position your chair approximately an arm’s length away from your screen to minimize the strain.

Exercises for Eye Relaxation

Just as our bodies need regular exercise for health, so do our eyes. Here are a few exercises to stretch your eye muscles:

Eye Rolling & Blinking Exercises

Close your eyes and roll them up, then down three times. Then, move them to the right and left three times. Completing these movements slowly and with control can help reduce eye strain symptoms. Try blinking a few extra times to help replenish your eyes’ natural moisture, an often neglected action when staring at screens.

The Palming Technique

The palming technique is an old technique that may offer some symptom relief when your eyes are strained and tired from a long day on the computer. Take a mini-break by covering your eyes with your palms without applying pressure. Open your eyes in the complete darkness of being covered and move them around a little. This not only relaxes the eyes but the entire body as well.

A male optometrist using a medical device to examine the eyes of a female patient and look for potential eye problems.

Get the Relief You Need

Dizziness from eye strain doesn’t need to be an inevitable side effect of our modern tech-heavy lifestyles. It’s a signal from our bodies telling us it’s time to refocus on our well-being. You can significantly reduce the impact of screen time on your visual health by adopting some preventive approaches.

There isn’t always immediate relief found, if this happens to you, it’s crucial to see your optometrist for an eye examination. They can offer you personalized advice on how to find relief.

Contact us today at Total Vision Pasadena to book an exam. One of our eye doctors can sit down and discuss your symptoms and help you get the relief your eyes need.

Written by Total Vision

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