How To Heal Severe Eye Strain

by emily on July 12, 2010


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:

  1. Bruised/sore feeling behind the eyeballs
  2. Itchy eyes
  3. Dizziness/lightheadedness
  4. Fatigue
  5. Headache
  6. Pain around eyes, such as eyebrows and temples
  7. Abnormal sensitivity to light
  8. Eyelids feel heavy
  9. Feeling like the muscles behind your eyeballs have been shredded
  10. Blurry/double vision
  11. 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.  :)


Christine Holroyd July 12, 2010 at 9:41 am

I’ll be bookmarking this post. Thanks :-) My eyes have deteriorated rapidly after having and respecting my 20/20 vision all my life. My Optician assures me that it has nothing to do with computing, but as much as I respect her, I don’t believe it. I’ve worked more intensely on computers over the past couple of years and I started having problems not long after. Too coincidental for me to ignore.

I do believe we can heal many things, eyesight being one of them, naturally and with exercises. I’m glad you have found some relief. Headaches are no picnic. Great post!
.-= Christine Holroyd´s last blog ..Renovations =-.

emily July 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

You’re welcome. I hope some of these suggestions will help you! It took me a while to find the solutions that worked for me. Most of what you find online about eye strain is for mild cases. May you begin to recover quickly! :)

Alan July 30, 2010 at 7:17 am

Thanks for writing this article on severe eyestrain. I am currently dealing with this problem. I get it badly at times, where the eye fatigue and related symptoms last beyond a good night’s rest. I usually experience it after several hours of intense work in front of the pc. I get dizzy, lightheaded and nauseas sometimes. Also, headaches felt right in the eyes or above the eyes. As far as eye exercises, is there a chance that working your eyes with them would worsen the eye strain? I’m not sure exactly how that works. Also, which one of the 3 main methods to heal that you described here worked the best for you. I greatly appreciate your time!

emily July 30, 2010 at 8:18 am

If you do the exercises just until you feel a gentle pull, I don’t think you’re going to make them worse. But I’m just speaking from my own experience–I abdicate any claims to treating or curing eye strain. If you’re afraid the exercises might make them worse, try taking a serious break from the computer for a week or so, then do the exercises when your eyes and head feel somewhat recovered.

I honestly believe that all three methods work synergistically to help; however, if you have to pick just one it would be forcing yourself not to even turn on your computer for two weeks to a month. I know that’s really hard when you’re trying to make money online, but you have to ask yourself what’s more important, my eye health or making a few extra dollars which loss I can make up for later?

Thanks for visiting my blog, and HTH!

Alan July 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Thank you for your detailed, prompt response!

Alan October 6, 2010 at 8:04 am

One other question, if you don’t mind. You said when you did those exercises, the headaches stopped. Which exercises did you do? The free ones? Or did you pay for the full program? Was there any one in particular that stopped the headaches? Thanks!

Becky November 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

Hi there, I have had bad eye strain for the past 6 months and it is really interfering with my work. I hope you have seen an improvement in your eye strain. I just wondered how you are getting on now as the post was in 2010 and what you found most beneficial? Becky

emily November 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Becky, thanks for visiting! I have seen an overall improvement, but I still can’t read for very long on the computer. The recovery is taking its own sweet time, and the main thing that works for me is to know my limitations and keep within them. When I go over the boundaries, so to speak, I regress in my healing. Taking the homeopathic eye drops are great to keep my eyes feeling more lubricated, and I couldn’t do anything without the computer vision glasses I bought on

I would recommend you take some time off from the computer – as long as you dare – and limit your time to perhaps 10 or 15 minutes on the computer, then take a break for at leas that long. And remember to do a lot of blinking and looking away from the screen as much as possible.

Hope you recover quickly – I completely empathize! ;)

Janet December 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

Hi Emily! I’m reading your post and I can recognize myself. I used to have exactly the same problem. There was a time when I couldn’t read even 1 email without tears in my eyes. And the reason was my computer work. And here’re the things I did: eye exercises, diet, and relaxing. Just like you, as you can see:)). And it does help. But it takes some time and patience to have constant results. That’s the “bad side” of this method (and most natural methods in fact). One of the things I do now to prevent that painful situation is blinking breaks. It works perfect for me as blinking is like a moistening massage for the eyes.

emily December 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Janet, thanks for confirming! I actually recently discovered that a couple of drops of almond oil on each eyelid 2-3X/day works wonders at bringing the moisture back…which in turn has considerably reduced the Computer Vision Syndrome.

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