Tired Eyes

What are tired eyes?

Tired eye is another term for what is commonly known as eyestrain – when eyes feel achy, weak, or heavy due to intense use. It is not a disease, and does not require medical treatment – but it never hurts to know how to prevent it.


Tired eyes can come from any number of activities. Some of the most common include working on the computer for too long, poor lighting conditions, driving a car for prolonged periods of time, reading for long periods, or any other activity that may require the eyes to maintain intense focus for long periods of time. Other causes might be:

  • Out of date / incorrect spectacle or contact lens Rx - difficulty focusing for near work or struggling to see clearly in the distance will cause your eyes to feel tired, and a new eye exam and up to date spectacles and contact lenses may be the most straightforward solution in many cases. Make sure that the lighting you are using is adequate to the task at hand too.
  • Contact Lens Discomfort
  • Digital Eye Strain
  • Air conditioning - Where is the air con unit in the office? Do you sit directly in the air flow? If so, is it possible for your desk to move, or for the air con to be directed slightly away? Ensuring the best general eye health and most suitable contact lenses (if worn) will help here, as well as taking regular breaks from staring at a screen, as research shows that we blink much less frequently during computer use, and this contributes to eyes feeling tired^1^.
  • Dry Eyes 
  • Dehydration - Research has shown a correlation between dry eye disease and levels of hydration generally, and it is believed that better hydration plays a part in reducing dry eye, which can be a significant contributing factor to tired eyes^2^.


1. Gowriskaran et al. Asthenopia and Blink Rate Under Visual and Cognitive Loads; Optometry and Visual Science, Vol.89, No. 1, Jan 2012, page 97-104
2. Professor Neil Walsh, Bangor University Research support , 5th Oct 2012


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