Eyestrain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, such as driving a car for extended periods, reading or working at a computer.

Although eyestrain can be annoying, it usually isn't serious and goes away once you rest your eyes. In some cases, signs and symptoms of eyestrain can indicate an underlying eye condition that needs treatment. Although you may not be able to change the nature of your job or all the factors that can cause eyestrain, you can take steps to reduce eyestrain.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Eyestrain signs and symptoms include:

  • Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headache
  • Sore neck
  • Sore back
  • Shoulder pain
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty focusing

Computer use or the use of other digital electronic devices can cause many of these symptoms.

When to see a doctor

If home treatments don't work to relieve your eyestrain symptoms, see your eye doctor. See your doctor if you have ongoing symptoms that may include:

  • Eye discomfort
  • A noticeable change in vision
  • Double vision
  • Headache

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