Why do my eyes feel so tired? Causes, symptoms, treatments.
Tired eyes result from overwork: anything from reading intensively or in poor lighting, to driving or using a computer for long periods of time. Our eye health expert, Lindsay Morag, explores what causes tired eyes, what the symptoms are and how it's treated.
An introduction to tired eyes
‘Tired eyes' occurs when the ciliary muscle (a muscle in the eye which controls your ability to view objects at different distances) becomes overworked. It is not generally a serious ailment, but it can be uncomfortable and if left untreated could begin to affect your vision or lead to headaches.
What are the causes of tired eyes?
There are various causes of tired eyes. These are mainly activities in which the eyes are focused intensely for a long time such as:
- Trying to maintain focus in dim light, or very bright light
- Using a computer – eye strain is often associated with ‘computer vision syndrome’. Estimates suggest that up to 90% of people who use a computer for more than three hours a day are affected. This is expected to become more frequent as the use of smartphones becomes more commonplace
Occasionally, tired eyes are a result of an underlying health condition, such as stress, allergies or disorders giving rise to double vision.
Tired eyes can also often be a symtpom of the menopause.
What treatments are there for tired eyes?
There are some logical precautions which should help relieve the symptoms of tired eyes. If you know that your tired eyes are as a result of a specific factor then you should try to tackle this.
For example, if spending hours in front of a computer leads to your eyes becoming tired, limit the amount of time spent with this activity. Taking regular breaks from highly focused tasks should also help your symptoms.
If your tired eyes are a result of an underlying health condition (see above), then you must consult your doctor.
Most people suffering from tired eyes find relief from:
When should I go to a doctor with tired eyes?
Most people suffering from tired eyes find that their symptoms come and go without the need for any medical attention. However, it will be advisable to visit a doctor if:
- Your tired eyes are unexplained or if you are worried about your condition
- You find that your vision is affected – blurred or double vision which does not go away
- You think that your tired eyes may be the result of another medical condition.