What’s causing your perky eyes to feel sluggish? In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, there are plenty of reasons.

But the good news is there are simple steps you can take to relieve tired eyes.

Symptoms of tired eyes

When you feel tired, you’re not at the top of your game. The same idea applies to your eyes. The term “tired eyes” is also synonymous with eyestrain. When your eyes are feeling fatigued, they may be red, watery, burning, sore, heavy or irritated.

Device & computer overload

Your eyes use various muscle groups to do everything from reading a book to watching the sunset. But your eyes work harder when you’re doing concentrated work like reading or using devices to scan social media, text, check email or watch videos. All of the work you do on your laptop counts too. As far as your eyes are concerned, it’s exhausting!

Look away

Give the muscle groups in your eyes a break from close work by focusing on distant images. As soon as you look up from your laptop or your phone, pick an object further away to look at. This quick exercise can provide immediate relief, because it relaxes your eye muscles.

Don’t forget to blink 

Concentrated work isn’t just hard on your eyes because it requires more effort. In fact, studies have shown close work also causes you to blink less frequently. Since blinking is your eye’s natural way of resting and staying lubricated, if you don’t blink enough, it can cause symptoms of fatigue and dry eye.

Proper screen positioning

Digital technology isn’t going anywhere; so when you use it, use it wisely.  According to optimal ergonomics, make sure your screen is 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes.  You also want it to be placed just below your line of sight, which is 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes. This helps to prevent awkward head/neck positioning that can further aggravate eyestrain. 

Excessive lighting 

Working on a computer in less than ideal lighting can cause tired eyes. Too much light coming through windows or bright room light is common in an office environment, but there are ways to improve it. If the lighting is harsh, don’t turn on overhead fluorescent lights. Control natural light by using blinds or shades, and try to position your computer so windows are to the side of it.

Easy on the eyes

Today computer monitors are being designed with smart technology that eases eye strain. Flicker-free images and reduced blue light emissions are just a few features that make newer monitors, smart phones and other screens less taxing on your eyes. Familiarize yourself with your settings too, because optimal text size, screen brightness, contrast and color can all help to prevent eye fatigue.

See for yourself! In comparison to your surrounding workstation, does your monitor glow like a light source or blend in? If it glows, it’s too bright.