Some of the info in this post will be helpful, but in all honesty I must say I wrote this post about three years too soon! To find out the three main things that have truly helped me deal with chronic eye strain, click here for my updated post.
Since taking a computer programming class as a senior in high school, I have had a love-hate relationship with computers. When I developed severe eye strain in early December a few years ago, the hate part became really intensified.
Symptoms of eye strain
The easiest way to tell if you have strained your eyes is this: if you think you have, you’re right! Pain and irritation can’t lie. That being said, you may be one of those detailed-oriented people who would nevertheless appreciate a more comprehensive list of eye strain symptoms.
No problem! Here goes:
- Bruised/sore feeling behind the eyeballs
- Itchy eyes
- Pain around eyes, such as eyebrows and temples
- Abnormal sensitivity to light
- Eyelids feel heavy
- Feeling like the muscles behind your eyeballs have been shredded
- Blurry/double vision
- You hurt so bad you wonder if gouging your eyes out with a blunt instrument would be less painful
I’m not being sarcastic on the last one. I felt that way many times during my l-o-ong bout with eye strain. But because of my suffering, I am now able to teach others how to heal severe eye strain, and even give tips on how to prevent it in the first place. There is a silver lining around this cloud.
(Before we move on, I have edited this post since the original posting, and so some of the comments below may not make sense because the content of this post has changed.)
When Internet Marketing/Blogging Hurts
If you have found this article, chances are good that, like me, you have strained your eyes from overuse on the computer. You may be frustrated because you cannot work on your online business like you want, or do so with painful consequences.
That has been my story. For over two years, I suffered with severe eye strain. I tried eye exercises, splashing ice water on my eyes, applying essential oils to my eyebrows, and taking computer fasts. I stopped reading books and couldn’t take my son outside on sunny days. An official diagnosis of dry eyes two years after my first severe episode sent me to the homeopathic eye drops.
These and other remedies worked somewhat, but I obviously was not getting any better. Like any other muscle strain, I had done some damage and every time I went back to computer work, reading or spending time outside, whatever healing I thought I had received regressed.
The root cause of eye strain: not what you may think!
In my Kindle book, Heal Severe Eye Strain: My Story, Your Hope I tell my entire story. After almost exactly 2.5 years of dealing with the eye strain, I realized I had a little-known condition that was at the root of not only my chronic eye strain, but also of my life-long inability to read for more than thirty to sixty minutes at a time, constant fatigue and dire need for sunglasses outside since my early twenties.
I have Irlen syndrome. Grab your copy of the book to find out what an incredibly positive difference this made in my life.
In the meantime, you may take measures to prevent further eye strain.
Preventing eye strain
Trust me, you do not want to go through what I have. Here are a few ideas to prevent eye strain:
1. Take a break from the computer every 30 minutes.
If you are at home and have been working on the computer for half an hour, go doing something else for fifteen to thirty minutes, or longer, if you can. If you have to work on a computer all day long, get in the habit of looking away from the computer every fifteen minutes and rolling your eyes. See if you can break your computer work up so that every thirty minutes to an hour, you can perform another part of your job that doesn’t involve looking at the computer.
2. Enlarge the text size whenever possible.
3. Minimize the brightness of the screen.
On my computer, I do that by hitting the “FN” – or function – key, while hitting the “F6″ key.
4. If you’re typing, as I am as I compose this blog, look away as often as possible.
Even when I was struggling with the worst of the eye strain, I could last a lot longer on the computer if I was typing rather than reading something online.
5. Do the eye exercises daily.
You only need about five minutes. Totally worth it, especially if you wear corrective lenses and you find yourself needing a weaker prescription after a few weeks!
6. Keep your eyes an arm’s length from the computer screen.
This is also recommended for reading books, although I find it hard to keep a book that far away. Just know that if your nose is literally in a book, you are increasing your risk of eye strain.
Parting words of encouragement
Please – don’t suffer for over two years like I have. I finally can drive on a sunny day, read to my son, read for myself, read other blogs, and enjoy the great outdoors.
I finally have my life back.
You can get yours back, too. It is possible to get healed from severe eye strain. :)