Asthenopia or eye strain occurs when your eyes get tired from intense focusing on work like reading or working on computers. Fatigue, blurred vision, pain in or around the eyes, rare double vision and red eyes are some of the common signs of Asthenopia.

Detailing medical condition Asthenopia:

Eye strain or Asthenopia is an eye condition in which a person feels irritated and finds difficulty focusing. The condition happens when intense focusing work is done like working on computers, reading books, driving a car for extended periods, and many more. These factors tend to cause tightening of the ciliary muscle, resulting in irritation of the eyes.

Asthenopia can be annoying, but doctors say the condition disappears after having some rest. Although eye strain is not often a serious medical issue, in some cases it could be a symptom of an underlying problem. As per the medical science, providing the eyes a chance to focus on a distant object after an hour usually alleviates the issue.

Signs and symptoms of Asthenopia:

There are numerous signs of Asthenopia to look out for, and these are as follows:

  • Soreness in the eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Burning or itching eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain in shoulder
  • Headache
  • Dry eyes
  • Sore neck or back
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty in focusing


If you are prolonged user of a computer, then you may also notice symptoms such as:

  • Afterimages when looking away from the monitor screen
  • Difficulty focusing when looking for paper to monitor screen

Causes of Asthenopia:

Working on computers for prolonged hours is one of the most common causes of eye strain. The condition of eyestrain is also known as the computer vision syndrome. In some cases, eye problems like eye muscle imbalance or uncorrected vision can cause or worsen computer eye strain. There are other causes of eye strain, which are as follows:

  • Reading for extended periods
  • Extended use of digital electronic devices
  • Other activities like focusing on driving a vehicle for a long period
  • Exposure to bright light or glare
  • Straining to see in very dim light
  • Insufficient blinking

Eye strain can lead to other problems:

There are enormous issues related to eye strain. These are as mentioned below:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Photophobia
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Burning sensation
  • Watery eyes
  • Lack of motivation
  • Dry eyes

Treatment of Asthenopia:

In general, doctors recommend treating eyestrain by making changes in work habits or the environment. However, in some cases, Asthenopia condition improves if you get treatment for another underlying eye condition. In some people, wearing glasses for specific activities like using a computer or reading may help reduce eyestrain. Moreover, eyestrain also alleviates by performing regular eye exercises like focusing near and far.

Remedies to treat Asthenopia:

Here are certain steps that you should follow while reading and working on computers, as doing so may provide your eyes some relief:

  • Make sure to work with sufficient light, as doing close-up work with insufficient light puts excess strain on your eyes.
  • If you are a regular reader, then make sure to place the reading materials in such a way that the light source is behind you and the light is directed onto your page.
  • When you are watching television, don’t switch off the light; keep the room softly lit, as doing this will prove to be more comfortable for your eyes rather having a high contrast.

Preventing Asthenopia:

A lot of methods to prevent Asthenopia and you just need to follow the tips to keep your eye safe:

  • Give your eyes, a break– No matter how busy you are while working at your computer, but you can fetch a few minutes for your eyes. You should give your eyes a break by forcing them to focus on something other than your computer screen. One of the best methods to give your eyes a break is by following the 20-20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes of staring at your computer screens take your eyes off your computer and look at something that is 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • Improving the air quality works– Use a humidifier, as it helps lowering the thermostat and also avoids smoke. By improving the air quality, you can help alleviate the dry eye condition.
  • Blinking will refresh your eyes– Dry eye is one of the symptoms of Asthenopia, and you can avoid your eye from being dry by blinking at regular intervals. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh the eyes.