In today’s modern world, one of the most common eye problems that people face is eye strain. There are a myriad reasons why this strain occurs. Some of these reasons include poor sleeping patterns, the use of digital devices for prolonged periods of time as well as poor lighting within the house. In some cases, allergic reactions in the eye may cause eye strain. Other causes include exposure to extremely bright light, use of wrong eye makeup products as well as wrong eye medication.
The straining in the eye is pretty uncomfortable, and manifests in different ways. For a good number of people, the symptoms of eye strain include irritation within the eye, distinct reddening and blurred vision. Sometimes, eye strain symptoms will cause headaches, dryness of the eyes or extreme tearing. Typically, these symptoms show up when you attempt to focus on something, as is the case when you need to read or look at something bright as is the case when working on a computer.
Medication is available for anyone with eye strain, but sometimes the best thing that you can do for yourself is to use natural remedies to ease the discomfort and improve your eye condition. Note that for all the remedies included below, you need to wash your hands prior to applying the remedy. This is important because clean hands help ensure that you do not infect your eyes.
1. Massage Your Eyes:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 3 Drops of olive oil.
One of the simplest ways to manage eye strain is to massage your eyes as gently as you can. You do this by focusing on the eyelids as described below. The reason for doing this is to improve the flow of blood to the eyes. This massage also has the advantage of relaxing the eye muscles so that you get relief from the discomfort. To ease this eye massage, make sure you use olive oil so that you do not aggravate the condition.
- Apply a few drops of olive oil on your fingers to ease the massage process.
- Gently massage your eyelids using your fingers.
- Do this in circular motions.
- Extend the massage to the muscles around the eyebrows for a minute or so.
- Repeat the same for the lower eyelid.
- You may also massage your upper cheeks for greater relief from eye strain.
- Do this as often as you need to, but a minimal of 2 times daily.
2. Palming Technique:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Clean palms.
Just as the name suggests, this is a remedy that requires nothing but your clean palms. All you need to do is to cover your eyes with your palms. This provides great relief for strained eyes, particularly for those who tend to spend a lot of time in front of their screens. For just a few minutes, your eyes get some well-deserved rest. this is a simple yet powerful home remedy, and one that you can use anywhere at anytime.
- Rub the palms of your hands together for 5 minutes. This is done to warm them up.
- Shut your eyes and cover them with the warm palms for about a minute.
- Take care not to add undue pressure to your eyebrows.
- Open your eyes and notice the difference.
- Do this thrice at any one sitting, and repeat the procedure severally daily to get relief from eye strain.
3. Rose Water:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Cold water in a basin, a clean towel, cotton wool and rose water.
Rose water is a popular home remedy for eye strain simply because it possesses excellent soothing properties. When applied to the eye, the rose water relaxes the eyes and helps eliminate pain and discomfort. Other benefits of using this remedy include the elimination of dark circles and eye bags, both of which are common in people who suffer eye strain regularly. Add this remedy to your daily eye care routine to effectively deal with strained and tired eyes.
- Wash your hands before splashing cold water on your eyes.
- Soak the cotton wool in the rose water in order to freshen them up.
- Dry your eyes gently using the towel, taking care not to introduce undue pressure on the eyes.
- Lie comfortably, shut your eyes and dab the soaked cotton wool over your eyes for a couple of minutes.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily until you get relief from eye strain.
4. Regular Eye Exercises:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: A pen or pencil.
Eye exercises go a long way in managing eye strain because they provide relief from the discomfort that characterized this condition. In addition, these exercises also increase the flow of blood to the eye. These exercises are also a simple way of improving your eye muscles’ flexibility, an aspect which has been known to enhance focus and improve overall concentration. All you need for this remedy is a pen or pencil and frequent breaks during your day.
- Hold your pencil up, away from your eye and make it your focal point.
- Steadily direct the pencil closer to your eyes, all the while focusing on it. Take care not to poke your eye.
- Take the pencil away from your eyes steadily.
- Repeat this a minimum of 10 times in one sitting, and use this exercise severally during the day.
- Rolling exercises are yet another great form of eye exercise.
- Simply roll your eyes clockwise for a couple of seconds.
- Follow this up with an anti-clockwise roll.
- Pause for a few minutes and then repeat steps 1 and 2.
- Do these exercises 4 times in one sitting, and then severally every few hours.
5. A Warm Compress:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 2 Pieces of soft cloth and warm water.
A warm compress is a simple and effective way to deal with eye strain. Not only does the warmth relax the eye muscles, it also works perfectly well for dry irritated eyes. In cases where eye strain is accompanied by swelling, the warm compress works to shrink the swelling and reduce inflammation within the affected eye. Make sure you use only warm water and not hot water as the latter is likely to worsen the strain.
- Soak the soft cloth in the warm water and squeeze the excess water.
- Lie down and shut your eyes before placing the warm cloth on your eyes in order to create a warm compress. If you are in a place where you cannot lie comfortably, simply use the warm compress while sitting upright.
- Relax and inhale deeply for 2 minutes.
- When the soft cloth has cooled, change the soft cloth and repeat steps 1 -3.
- Use this remedy thrice daily to get relief from eye strain.
6. Cold Compress:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Cold water, a clean washcloth and ice cubes (optional).
Using cold water on your eyes is a quick remedy which you can use to deal with eye strain. The low temperatures improve blood circulation in the eyes, while reducing the pain in the tissue and muscles surrounding the eye. If your eye strain is characterized by puffiness, make sure you include ice cubes for quick relief.
- Add ice cubes to the water before soaking the washcloth in it.
- Lie down comfortably and close your eyes before placing the ice-cold washcloth on your eyes.
- Let the washcloth remain on your eyes for a minute.
- Repeat this procedure thrice at any given time and as often as required during the day.
- If you are short of time, simply splash the ice-cold water on your eyes.
7. Cucumber Slices:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Fresh cucumber (preferably refrigerated), knife and cold water.
Cucumber slices are a popular home remedy for eye strain. The cool cucumber not only eases irritation, it also rejuvenates the eye while relaxing the muscles that surround the eye. The importance of refrigerating the cucumber is to lower the temperatures to afford you quick relief from eye strain.
- Wash the cucumber well before chopping it into slices.
- Lie down, relax and close your eyes to ease the use of this remedy.
- Place a cucumber slice over each eye and gently press on your eyes for a minute.
- Discard the used cucumber slices and repeat this process thrice more at any given time.
- Rinse your face using cold water.
- Use this remedy at least twice daily for refreshed eyes.
8. Fennel Leaves:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fennel leaves, water in a pan, strainer and a dropper.
Fennel seeds work excellently in the protection of the eye from pain and inflammation, thus making it an effective remedy for the treatment of eye strain. When applied topically in the eyes, the paste made from the leaves goes a long way in reducing eye irritation and providing relief from eye fatigue. Research also indicates that fennel is a great source of flavanoids. Flavanoids prevent eye damage, making this remedy an ideal addition to eye medication.
- Soak the leaves in the water and bring the mixture to boil.
- Boil the mixture for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Allow the mixture to cool and follow this up with straining.
- Discard the leaves and retain the solution you have just strained.
- Suck the solution using a dropper and place a few drops in each eye.
- Use this remedy thrice daily until you get relief from eye strain.
9. Cold Milk:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Whole milk (preferably refrigerated), cotton balls and cold water to rinse your eyes.
Whole milk is an effective remedy for managing eye strain. This is because milk not only nourishes the eyes, it also contains healthy fats which help banish irritation as well as eye fatigue. The reason for refrigeration is that the low temperature is a super eye fatigue-buster. The next time you feel that your eyes are strained, simply look for some milk and get relief.
- Soak the cotton balls in the cold milk for a few minutes.
- Squeeze the cotton balls to get rid of the excess milk.
- Lie down, close your eyes and place the cotton wool on your eyes.
- Let the cotton wool remain on the eyes for a few minutes.
- Discard the used cotton wool and repeat the process once more.
10. Chamomile Tea Bags:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Chamomile tea bags, a cup of hot water, ice cubes/refrigerator and a soft cloth.
Chamomile tea bags are a quick remedy for the treatment of eye strain, thanks to their soothing properties. When placed on the eyes, the tea bags help relax the eyes, thus eliminating eye stress and fatigue pretty fast. The refrigerated tea bags also help reduce any swelling or puffiness around the eyes.
- Place the tea bags in the hot water and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
- Once the time has elapsed, place the tea bags in the refrigerator and allow to cool for another 5 minutes.
- Alternatively, use the ice cubes to cool the tea bags.
- Lie down comfortably and place the tea bags on your eyes for 5 minutes.
- Discard the used tea bags and repeat steps 1-3 thrice during the day to get relief from eye strain.
In addition to the aforementioned remedies, there are practical measures that you can put in place to deal with eye strain. Taking frequent breaks away from your work desk is a good habit to form. You also need to take protective measures against the sun’s UV rays. Use appropriate sunglasses whenever you are in the outdoors, as well as swimming goggles when in the pool. Investing in proper lighting is also a long-term solution to dealing with eye strain, especially for people who spend a lot of time reading. Lastly, get a comprehensive eye examination with an optician in order to deal with prolonged eye strain.