Eye Effects in Calgary & Didsbury
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Why Do My Eyes Feel so Tired?

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Sitting down after a long day, the last thing you want to deal with is tired eyes. But, that may be the reality for many people and there can be many causes. Eye care is all about consistency—your optometrist will agree,  which means keeping up with your eye exams and limiting stress.

When dealing with tired eyes, you want to do nothing but get to the bottom of why they’re tired and what you can do to treat them.

Let’s look at why your eyes may feel tired and some treatment methods. 

Dealing With Tired Eyes

There can be various reasons your eyes are tired, and you may be feeling a burning, itchy, and tired feeling. Tired eyes are a common condition but rarely serious—however, they can signify something more. 

Some symptoms you may feel from tired eyes include:

  • Sore or irritated eyes
  • Trouble focusing
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light

These symptoms can limit your productivity and be a sign of something more like dry eye disease or digital eye strain. 

Dry Eye Disease & Tired Eyes

Your tired eyes can be a sign of dry eye disease—dry eyes can cause anything from mild distractions to severe discomfort. 

Because of this gray area, it can be difficult to tell when dry eye disease is the cause behind your tired eyes. Your optometrist can conduct a thorough eye exam to get to the bottom of your issues, but let’s explore what dry eye disease is and some of the symptoms. 

Dry eye affects about 30 percent of all Canadians and is most common in people who:

  • Are older than 50
  • Are women
  • Are using specific medications (including antihistamines and antidepressants)
  • Have specific medical conditions

Dry eye disease is usually caused by the inability of the tear film to lubricate the eye properly. 

Your tear film consists of 3 layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. This combination keeps your eyes lubricated, and any interruption to these layers can lead to dry eyes. Even overnight, while sleeping, this disruption can occur.

Some symptoms that may appear with dry eyes include:

  • Eyes that burn or sting
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your eyes
  • Eyes that water too much
  • Tired eyes, even after sleeping

Contact your optometrist and seek further treatment if you observe dry eye disease coming on. 

Your optometrist will utilize the following treatment methods:

  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Puntal plugs
  • Restasis
  • Eye masks
  • Scleral lenses
  • Eyelid-cleansing wipes

Having dry eyes is difficult—it can contribute to your eyes being tired. It’s essential to monitor your symptoms and stay consistent with your eye exams.

Now that you know what can cause tired eyes—let’s take a closer look at digital eye strain and treating tired eyes. 

A young man at his desk with his eyes close and hand over his eyes due to digital eye strain

Digital Eye Strain & Treating Tired Eyes

Your tired eyes can stem from dry eye disease, but digital eye strain may be another culprit. Only your optometrist can conclusively diagnose whether you’re dealing with digital eye strain or not. 

Some of the symptoms you should look out for include:

  • Tired eyes, even after sleeping 
  • Continuous or frequent headaches
  • Vision that blurs after looking at electronic screens
  • Dry eyes

Digital eye strain is caused by long hours staring at your laptop or smartphone for hours due to exposure to blue light, whether that be for work or just personal use. 

Blue Light Glasses

Blue light is a type of high-energy visible light emitted by most digital devices. Blue light scatters more in the eye than other kinds of visible light, and this requires more effort to focus on your part—increasing the risk of digital eye strain over time.

Your optometrist will suggest special blue light eyeglasses that work to filter screen fatigue and protect your eyes from digital eye strain to combat blue light exposure.

Digital eye strain and dry eye can be leading causes of tired eyes—it’s important to monitor your symptoms and keep open communication with your optometrist. 

Re-energizing Your Eyes

Dealing with tired eyes is never easy—getting to the bottom of your symptoms and figuring out the best treatment is essential. Practicing healthy eye care habits can do wonders for your comfort, and consistent trips to your optometrist are vital. Book an appointment with your Eye Effects optometrist today to learn more about your tired eyes and possible treatment methods.

Written by Dr. Rod Adams

Dr. Rod Adams is a graduate of the University of Alberta and the University of California at Berkeley School of Optometry. Dr. Adams has been in private family practice since 1997. During this time, he has developed a strong interest in pediatric optometry and laser corrective surgery options.
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