We all know the feeling. It’s the end of the day and for some strange reason that pounding headache just won’t go away. You’ve tried everything to find relief but it still feels like a suitcase is weighing on your head. To make matters worse, someone may as well be shoveling sand into your eyes considering how much you need to rub them. These symptoms are all too familiar to many people these days, and unfortunately, they often have a root cause which easily goes unnoticed. That is, eye strain.

Eye strain is a series of symptoms which afflict people who exert their vision excessively. Symptoms of eye strain include: blurred vision, redness, headache, and irritation that feels like dryness. It’s easy for people to ignore eye strain because its indications are usually subtle. However, pushing through signs of physical discomfort is an unhealthy habit because when symptoms are left untreated, injuries can occur. Moreover because of how much we use screen-technology today, people are generally more susceptible to eye strain given that we expose our eyes repeatedly to electronic displays and rapid imagery. Here are five common-sense techniques to prevent and eliminate eye strain before it becomes problematic:

1. Visit an Optician:

If you ever happen to experience discomfort with your sight that causes any concern, your fist step should always be to consult professional medical help in order to treat the problem. Visiting an eye-doctor, especially when symptoms are still early, can prevent any unknown disorders from deteriorating into serious conditions.

2. Rest your Eyes:

The underlying cause of a majority of eye-strain cases is fatigue. Much like every other muscle system in our bodies, once eye-muscles become exhausted they need rest to heal and rejuvenate. Eye muscles are resilient, but they aren’t indestructible. A healthy dose of sleep is necessary to relax our eyes and the complex tissues that facilitate sight. Additionally, don’t use screen-technology for extended periods of time without taking breaks to look at natural objects in natural light.

3. Stretch your Eye Muscles:

Busy schedules may not always allow for a good-night’s sleep, but that doesn’t mean that people are powerless to find ways of relaxing eye-muscles. Stretching for instance is an effective way to relieve strain by loosening muscle-tension. At regular intervals of the day, make sure to take a brief moment and gently stretch your eye muscles specifically so as to eliminate rigidity that would otherwise turn into fatigue.

4. Don’t Sleep With Makeup or Contact Lenses On:

People who wear cosmetics or contact lenses routinely have foreign bodies in direct contact with their eyeballs. In the short-term this contact has no significant effect. However if such interaction is allowed to happen over a long period of time, it can end up irritating or even perforating the surface of an eyeball. This is why it’s important to always make sure that your eyes are clean if you either wear makeup or use contact lenses. Never fall asleep with contact lenses on.

5. Take your Vitamins:

Rest and relaxation are the most effective behavioral ways to remedy eye strain. Beyond changing our activities, healthy nutrition is also a good approach towards preventing or treating strain. Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals supplies our eye muscles with nutrients that are essential for healing and metabolism. A wholesome diet keeps eyes lubricated and strong.

Learn to always listen to your body whenever symptoms of strain or pain manifest. Even when discomfort is slight, taking some time to investigate if it has a root cause reduces the odds of experiencing injury or infection in future. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.