How Does An Eye Massager Help in Eye Strain & Eye Fatigue Relief?
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Why Did I Decide To Write This Article?
I was near-sighted since 10 years old. I might attribute it to the Chinese insanely heavy study load, but I was diagnosed with a -2.0 prescription (both eyes) when there was only A TV in my home, and I was only allowed to watch for 5 hours every week.
What does it mean?
Prevention is better than cure. We indeed use our eyes daily, but it's also true that we are taking our eyesight for granted. I realised that if I took care of my eyes and let them rest. Maybe give it some massage, and it will slow down the deterioration from -2.0 to -8.0.
Now, I work 25 hours a day, and it's more crucial than ever to care for the windows. So I bought an eye massager to help me relax my eyes, and it really works. Especially help me to induce myself to sleep.
Eye Strain & Eye Fatigue Relief?
It is rightly said that humans are "visual beings." After all, 90% of all the information transmitted to the brain is through the eyes (Zhou et al., 2016). Unfortunately, however, the eyes are also becoming the most exploited organ of the human body.
We live in the information age, and managing eye strain or fatigue and resulting eye health issues are significant problems. However, reducing the eye strain is challenging since most people need to work on laptops, use gadgets, and spend substantial time in front of the screen.
These days the primary source of eye strain and fatigue is the overuse of gadgets, mainly smartphones. Almost 90% of people in Australia use them for several hours a day. The use of devices is also increasing at a fast pace in developing economies (Oviedo-Trespalacios et al., 2019).
There are many recommendations to reduce screen time and counter eye strain, but they do not seem to work. The reason is simple, in many cases, people do not have a choice. In other cases, they have become used to using gadgets.
There is a need to find a novel way of reducing eye strain and fatigue to minimise the risk of damage to the eyes. However, regretfully, eyes also remain among the neglected organs. As a result, people do little to help reduce eye fatigue or strain.
The eyes are unique, and they differ significantly from other organs. As a result, they are resilient to strain. Nonetheless, continuous stress means they start showing symptoms of fatigue, and people start developing vision problems.
Once developed, vision problems are quite challenging to reverse and continue to progress slowly. Thus, the need to find ways for early prevention.
Additionally, it is worth understanding that certain population groups are more prone to eye strain, fatigue, and resulting issues. Just take an example of myopia; studies in Australia show that its prevalence is much higher in East Asian ethnicity. By the time East Asians reach 17 years, almost 60% have myopia, which is nearly three times higher than European Caucasian children (Foster and Jiang, 2014).
Here it is vital to understand that the higher prevalence of eye problems in specific population groups is not essentially due to genetics. Instead, it could be due to certain habits and lifestyles prevalent in various ethnic groups. Vision problems can be reduced through non-pharmacological means or lifestyle interventions.
When it comes to managing problems with the eyes, medications are rarely an option. The two most common non-invasive means of managing eye problems are topical solutions and devices. Oral drugs or even supplements have a limited role in managing eye issues.
Still have a doubt. Consider an example of glasses; they are the most widely used non-invasive devices by humans. Eyesight glasses can help correct vision problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, but they cannot reverse or prevent them.
Thus, we need to find novel ways of reducing eye strain—a non-pharmacological means of fighting eye fatigue and thus preventing vision problems.
What is the eye strain and its causes?
Eye strain, eye fatigue, or ocular fatigue is when eyes become tired due to overuse. These days, prolonged screen time is one of the most significant causes, though not necessarily. Most of the work people do during the day, even if it does not involve sitting in the front of the screen, still causes significant eye strain. Just take the example of driving; it also causes eye strain.
Some of the causes of eye strain are:
- Prolonged reading times
- Overuse of gadgets
- Spending too much time in front of the screen (smartphones, tabs, laptops, television).
- Long-distance driving
- Exposure to bright light and glares
- Activities requiring intense focus
- Mental stress and anxiety
- Unmanaged eye issues like uncorrected vision or dry eyes
In the medical world, doctors may call eye strain asthenopia. However, it is not a severe problem, as it is a reversible condition if timely measures are taken. In most cases, just a sufficient rest will help.
Nonetheless, eye strain should not be neglected, as people complaining about such issues are more likely to be diagnosed with other eyesight problems (Ip et al., 2006). Moreover, it seems that both children and adults are prone to eye strain. However, in adults, the coexistence of other risk factors like diabetes and hypertension puts them at greater risk of developing irreversible vision problems (M. et al., 2013).
Signs and symptoms of eye strain
Some of the common symptoms of eye strain include pain around the eyes, headaches, dry or watery eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, burning sensation in the eyes, and vertigo (Melendez, 2021).
A significant cause of eyes strain is tension on ciliary muscles (controls accommodation to viewing objects) caused by improper illumination, prolonged screen time, nutritional deficiencies, and other reasons.
Managing eye strain and the role of automated eye massager
Of course, the best but less practical way of reducing eye fatigue is taking frequent breaks and spending more time outside.
However, if these measures are not possible, one may reduce eye strain through artificial tears, warm compresses, and even eye exercise (Melendez, 2021).
Although doctors know that physiotherapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, and massage are some of the effective ways of reducing stress and eye fatigue, they have not sufficiently focused on using devices that can help, like eye massagers.
Eye massager can help improve ocular blood flow. This can also help relax the ciliary muscle and reduce its strain. Improved ocular blood flow also helps boost visual acuity and reduce the risk of retinal degeneration in older adults.
There are some studies showing that ocular massage could be a way of reducing eye strain and fatigue. However, studies show that perhaps the two most effective ways of reducing eye strain and preventing vision problems could be the use of eye drops and massage (Xu et al., 2020).
Eye drops are good in the way that they provide almost instant relief. However, they are not so suitable for continuous and prolonged use. Eye strain is not a problem for a single day or a few days. It is often a constant problem caused by modern lifestyles, jobs, and gadgets. As already said that giving up a modern lifestyle is not a practical option.
Hence, there is a need to find a way that is good for regular use and can help reduce eye strain. Studies suggest that simple eye massage may be better in the long term than topical eye drops. Furthermore, when massage is used regularly, it may provide considerable relief from eye strain (Xu et al., 2020).
It appears that eye drops are suitable for intermittent use when one requires quick relief from eye strain. However, massage is the better way to manage eye strain in the long term and on a day-to-day basis (Xu et al., 2020).
One of the problems with eye strain and fatigue and the role of massage is that it is a neglected topic by science. This is despite the known fact that massage is an excellent way of reducing strain and tension.
Most studies focus on more severe vision problems like myopia and vision acuity, and these conditions are difficult to improve or reverse. However, regular eye massage using traditional methods or devices can ensure that these problems do not occur in the first place.
For example, one study in 40 health patients showed that both traditional Chinese eye exercise and automated eye massager are quite good for reducing eye strain. And both these methods work fast. The study demonstrated that just 5 minutes of massage a day might reduce eye strain and improve blood flow. These methods can even help improve vision in the early stages. However, they won't help reverse well-established eyesight problems (Hayashi and Du, 2021).
Studies suggest that physiotherapy, when used for a long may also slow down the progress of myopia and other vision problems. It appears that physiotherapy has less impact on the onset of these issues, and for that, one may need to make significant lifestyle changes. Nonetheless, an eye massager may slightly reduce the progress of conditions like myopia by helping overcome eye strain and fatigue (Kang et al., 2016; Lin et al., 2016).
What other reasons that people might consider using an eye massager
Apart from eye strain or eye fatigue, there are some other problems in which an eye massager may help. These are often less discussed topics as these conditions are not life-threatening. Nevertheless, issues like dark circles around the eyes, eye bags, dry eye, and sleep issues are significant problems.
Dark circles around the eyes are very common and resistant to treatment. It is because once the hyperpigmentation has occurred, it is challenging to reverse (Gendler, 2005). Eye massager cannot help reverse the condition, but it can play a role in prevention. This is because eye massager increases ocular blood flow and in the periocular space, that is an area around the eyes.
Similarly, yet another common problem is the formation of eye bags. They make a person look tired. Eye bags may form for many reasons like weakening of supporting muscles, changes in the soft tissues surrounding the eyes, etc. In addition, some may start accumulating more fluid in the region and thus the puffiness.
Even a cosmetic massage is known to temporarily help with the condition, thus making a person look fresh and reducing the eye bags. In addition, studies show that physiotherapy, like the use of an eye massager or other modalities, may help in most cases (García-Marqués et al., 2022).
Dry eye is another problem associated with eye strain or fatigue. If not managed adequately, it may increase the risk of eye infections, inflammation, and other disorders. One way to manage the condition is the use of artificial tears. However, studies show that thermal massager providing heat and mild vibration could be as good as artificial tears and perhaps better in the long run. Moreover, it does not cause any side effects (Lee et al., 2014).
Needless to say, eye massage has other benefits. First, it is highly relaxing. It means reduced stress, anxiety, and improved sleep.
Eye massagers in the market – what are they good for?
The use of eye massagers to relieve eye strain and fatigue, improve eyesight, reduce stress, and improve sleep still remains a neglected subject. Although there is sufficient research to show that these devices help, but there is insufficient awareness among people regarding these devices.
Of course, do not expect these devices to do some wonder or reverse myopia. Nonetheless, consistent use of these devices can prevent many eye problems and slow down the progress of existing eye issues.
Most of the devices available in the market, like the RNEPHO eye massager, work quite mildly. They work by applying mild air compression (thus vibration) and warmth (104- and 107-degrees Fahrenheit). Therefore, they boost ocular and periocular blood flow. These devices also help relax eye muscles, reduce eye puffiness, dry eyes, headaches, sleep quality, etc.
Do not use these devices if you are diagnosed with a severe eye issue like retinal condition, recovering from an eye operation, or eye trauma. Else, there are practically not many contraindications.
Eye strain or eye fatigue is a pretty common problem. It increases the risk of dry eye and irreversible vision problems. Regretfully, medical research focuses more on managing severe vision problems. Unfortunately, there is relatively little focus on countering one of the most significant causes of vision issues, eye strain.
It appears that eye strain can be countered through lifestyle measures, artificial tears, and physiotherapy. One simple way to reduce eye strain and stress is using simple and readily available eye massager devices.
Early studies show that these devices appear to work. They can help in quick relief from eye fatigue and strain and may even slow down the progress of common vision problems like myopia. However, at present, there are very few studies in this direction. Nonetheless, considering the safety of these devices and their simplicity of use, it is worth using them.
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