Eye strain symptoms, Photo by Grzegorz Walczak on Unsplash

What does eye strain feel like? Eye strain symptoms & causes

In the digital world today, where you’re constantly staring at a computer screen or your phone screen, you may start getting headaches, watery eyes, or blurred vision. Your eyes may just be extremely tired and in need of rest. If you are feeling such symptoms, continue reading to understand the other symptoms of eye strain, and what might be causing your eye strain.

Common eye strain symptoms

Eye strain can seemingly come out of nowhere. However, it is a signal that your eyes are tired from intense use. Eyestrain can be annoying. But it usually isn't serious and goes away once you rest your eyes or take other steps to reduce your eye discomfort. In some cases, signs and symptoms of eyestrain can indicate an underlying eye condition that needs treatment. The common symptoms of eye strain are:

  • Dry eyes (learn more about dry eyes)
  • Sore or tired eyes
  • Burning or itching
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Headaches
  • Feeling that you cannot keep your eyes open

What causes eye strain ?

Eye strain is typically caused by focusing too intently and too long at objects that are close to our eyes. This can include:

  • Looking at digital device screens including computers, smart phones and videogames
  • Reading for long periods without pausing to rest your eyes
  • Driving long distances and doing other activities involving extended focus
  • Being exposed to bright light or glare
  • Straining to see in very dim light
  • Having undiagnosed vision problems, such as dry eyes or uncorrected vision (refractive error)
  • Eye muscle imbalance

Do I need glasses to cure it?

If you find yourself squinting, to see clearly, due to an undiagnosed vision problem, or straining to see in very dim light there are chances that you may need glasses. If your eyesight is blurry and you keep getting headaches from eye strain, then you may need to see an eye doctor and glasses may be the cure to your eye strain.


If you’re having trouble focusing, having headaches, or blurry vision, your eyes may need some rest. You may be straining your eyes by constantly staring at a computer screen, your phone screen, or while playing video games. You could also be spending so much time reading that you aren’t giving your eyes enough rest. If you find yourself squinting or getting double vision, make sure you visit your eye doctor to diagnose any eye problems.

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