There are many ways eyestrain can be reduced naturally through proper ergonomics, taking regular breaks from the computer or reading, doing eye exercises, taking targeted supplements such as astaxanthin, lutein and black currant seed oil.
Asthenopia is a word often used in the eye care profession to describe a collection of symptoms that can produce eye fatigue, red eyes, eye strain, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, headache and occasional double vision, usually brought on by prolonged close work.
The symptoms of asthenopia include sensitivity to glare, headaches, sore eyes, and blurred vision. Standardized questionnaires that assess subjective eye fatigue find that symptoms are in most cases mild, but get progressively worse if the causes are not rectified.
This phenomenon known as asthenopia has prompted many occupational safety studies. For example, epidemiological studies over the last decade revealed significant factors that contribute to eye fatigue. These studies, sometimes involving up to 6,000 sufferers identified the following causes:
Despite the new information, follow-up studies later showed that implemented improvements were only effective in 50% of sufferers. The possible explanation for this observation could be that other factors remained undiscovered, poor implementation of improvements, or visual work had become even more visually demanding. It is likely to be a combination of these factors so that current solutions are insufficient to reduce asthenopia.
More recently, the advances of information technology, software and electronics have led to the widespread use of screen based equipment or visual display terminals (VDT) especially at work or leisure, an essential interface. The problem acknowledged by the ophthalmic community is that habitual use of VDTs often leads to higher visual fatigue complaints.