My eyes have ached for the past week. What's going on?
posted by srrh to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
FIRST OF ALL: Unless the general consensus is that I am going to either die or go blind, I will not be going to a doctor until November 1st. I just got married, and due to some shuffling around of insurances, I will not have any coverage until then.
With that out of the way, here's what's going on. I have always been quite nearsighted, and I wear glasses for driving, TV watching, video game playing, or any activity where I need to see further than 5 or 6 feet. My vision up close is fine. Nothing has changed with regards to my vision.
I work in an office environment, with shifts that vary between 8 and 12 hours. I spend most of that time looking at computer screens, though not all of it, because I do fulfillment and inventory work in our warehouse during my downtime. All of my past jobs have been computer jobs, and I've spent lots of time playing on computers and video games as a kid, and never experienced any type of eye strain.
So, last week on the end of my 1st 12 hour shift (I have 2 8 hours and then 2 12 hours), I noticed my eyes really aching, especially if I looked at anything close-ish (within 5 feet or so). The pain was still there, but very dulled, if I looked far away. When I went to sleep that day, it took me hours to drift off, because the pain in my eyes was so bad. It felt as if they were constantly focusing and refocusing. It was distracting and extremely painful.
When I woke up that night, the pain was the same, or maybe even worse. Looking at anything within 5 feet of my face was almost excruciating. However, my drive to work that night was very relaxing for my eyes, and they felt somewhat better after getting to work. I researched eyestrain and read about an exercise where you focus on something near, far, near, far, near, far, then slowly blink a few times. It seemed to relieve the pain quite a lot, though not totally. Maybe down to 20% what it originally was.
Since then, the pain has been intermittent. It has not gotten back up to the terrible flare it was originally. At most, it has been about half as bad, and sometimes it's no problem at all. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm in a bright room or dark room, whether I'm looking at a screen or something else. The pain is still at its worst if I look at something within 5 feet or so, but it can be somewhat mitigated (though not totally) if I wear my glasses at all times, rather than just for distance viewing.
Apart from my eyes aching, my face is very sore because I seem to be constantly squinting. When I notice myself squinting, and relax my face, the eye pain comes back worse. This does not change whether my glasses are on or off, or if I'm looking near or far. Also, the pain is equal in both of my eyes, and, again, there have been no changes whatsoever in my vision.
WHEW. I think I've covered all my bases here, but if there's any other relevant information I should add, please let me know. What do you guys think? If it's just eyestrain, is there anything I can do to permanently relieve it? If it might be something more serious, is there anything I can at least do to lessen the pain until November?
Thanks so much for any help you can provide.