Why Do My Eyes Always Look Tired
“I have always been one among those who believe that a tired looking eye is an indication of a bad day ahead for me. I’m not sure why it’s so but my mom used to say this to me when I was in school and even now in adult life whenever I feel down or stressed out, the first thing that comes to my mind is – “”My eyes are tired””. It might just be the way I am but there are times when I do get surprised by how much tiredness shows on them! But then again, there are some days when they seem fresh as ever.
Now don’t get confused with all these terms like dark circles, puffiness, paleness and redness because sometimes you may have all of them together which makes things really confusing. So let us discuss what exactly happens when our eyes become tired.
What Happens When Our EYES Become Tired?
There are two types of tiredness we talk about here – temporary and permanent. Temporary tiredness is caused mainly due to factors like fatigue, stress and dehydration while permanent ones are usually genetic, hormonal & age related. The good news is that you can actually treat both kinds of tiredness.
When your eyes become temporarily tired, it means that you haven’t slept enough during the night or you’ve stayed up too late at night. This causes the blood vessels under your eyes to constrict (which results in puffy eyes) and also reduces the flow of oxygenated blood to the eyes resulting in darker shadows around the eyes. These symptoms can be treated easily with anti-inflammatory medications along with restful nights.
However, if someone suffers from constant tiredness, it could mean something more serious. In such cases, the cause has to be looked beyond temporary tiredness and one needs to check whether there is any underlying medical condition causing the problem. If yes, then treating the condition itself should be sufficient to bring back the health of the eyes.
Causes Of Permanent Eyestrain
If you suffer from chronic tired eyes, chances are that you’re going through premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS affects women during their monthly cycle and most commonly occurs in the middle part of the month leading up to ovulation. During this time, the lining inside the uterus gets shed off and the body starts producing hormones to prepare for pregnancy. And unfortunately, women suffering from PMS experience extreme tiredness and discomfort in the eyesight.
Sometimes, certain diseases like Addison’s disease and Cushing’s disease can affect the function of the pituitary gland and lead to tired eyes. A hormone called cortisol produced by the pancreas plays a major role in regulating the level of sugar in the blood stream and thus keeping glucose levels normal. However, if the production of this hormone becomes erratic, it leads to excessive amounts of cortisol in the blood. As a consequence, the tissues including the muscles, skin, liver and eyes start breaking down and becoming vulnerable to infections.
Another hormonal disorder called Graves’ Disease is another culprit behind tired eyes. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), secreted by the thyroid gland increases the rate of metabolism and hence helps keep the heart healthy. But if the secretion of this hormone goes haywire, it leads to overactive thyroids and hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism produces excess amount of thyroid hormone which eventually weakens the immune system making it susceptible to infection. Therefore, people suffering from hyperthyroidism need proper treatment to avoid further complications.
Age Related Eye Problems
As we grow older, our eyelid muscle fibers get weaker and less elastic. Also, the fat pads between the eyeball and eyelid tend to shrink and lose volume which prevents the upper lids from closing fully. With aging, the lower eyelids droop and form folds at the corners of the eyes. These fat pads are known to produce oil glands which lubricate the eyes and prevent dryness. Due to loss of these fat pads, the eyes become drier and therefore more prone to irritation.
The main cause of allergies in the eyes are pollen grains and dust particles. Pollen grains are tiny plant structures and are easy to inhale. Once they reach the eyes, they irritate the conjunctiva and trigger allergic reactions. Allergic reaction causes inflammation and swelling of the eyes which make them appear red and watery.
How To Treat Your Eyes For Better Sleep
1. Eat well:
Eating right foods can improve the quality of sleep. Foods rich in zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins A, B6, D, E and K are essential for maintaining good vision. Dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits, whole grains, yogurt, legumes, lentils, meat and dairy products are recommended. Avoid spicy and fried foods, alcohol, caffeine and chocolate.
2. Protect Yourself From Sunlight:
Sunshine helps maintain vitamin D and protects against sunburns.
3. Drink Water Early In The Morning:
Drinking water early morning before sleeping helps in getting rid of toxins accumulated overnight.
4. Exercise Regularly:
Exercising regularly keeps the body fit and releases endorphins which promote relaxation and regulates mood.
5. Take Essential Fatty Acids:
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for general growth and development of various parts of the body especially the brain and eyes. They provide protection against free radicals damage and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Omega 3 fats found in oily fishes, flaxseed, walnuts, chia seeds, avocado and soybean oils are beneficial for the eyes.
6. Use Protection Sunglasses:
Protection sunglasses block harmful UV rays and protect the eyes from short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UVA) and long-wavelength ultraviolet light (UVB) radiation.
7. Reduce Stress:
Stress can negatively impact the eyesight. Make efforts to manage your stress levels. Relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation are helpful.
8. Get Some Sunshine:
Overexposure to sunlight can result in sunburn, freckles, wrinkles and other skin problems. Try wearing sunglasses with SPF 15 and apply sunscreen lotion after 30 minutes of exposure in direct sunlight.
9. Wear Protective Eyewear:
Wearing protective eyewear like goggles, shields, wraparound glasses, polarized lenses and non-reflective coating can filter out harmful blue visible light (BLV) wavelengths. BLV causes photochemical retinopathy which damages the retina and can lead to blindness.
10. Maintain Proper Hygiene:
Keeping your eyes clean and protected from germs is very important. Washing your hands frequently using warm water and soap or hand sanitizers is advisable.
11. Cleaning Contact Lenses Regularly:
Cleaning contact lens case daily will ensure safe storage of lenses. After cleaning, store them immediately in the refrigerator.
12. Have An Eye Exam:
You should consult an ophthalmologist every year for regular eye examination. He/she can detect common eye disorders and refer you to a specialist depending upon the findings.
13. Stop Smoking:
Smoking harms not only the lungs but also the eyes. Quitting smoking is essential to save your vision.
14. Visit Optometrist Regularly:
Visiting an optometrist regularly ensures timely detection of eye diseases and disorders.
15. Refine Your Sleeping Position:
Your bed must be comfortable and supportive for the neck and spine. You should lie down straight without bending the head forward or backward.
16. Apply Artificial Tears:
Tears serve an important purpose in protecting the eyes from foreign objects, wind, smoke, dust, drying, temperature extremes, bright lights and injury. You can buy artificial tears at pharmacies or purchase them online.
17. Check Your Vision:
Regularly checking your vision is extremely important to identify any sight defects or impairments.
18. Watch What You Consume:
Avoid consuming junk food and drinks containing high sugars content.
19. Don’t Spend Long Time Using Digital Devices:
Digital screens emit blue light which disrupts circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin production. Exposure to blue light can increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
20. Keep Your Home Environment Clean:
Remove dust and dirt particles from the room where you spend most of your time. Remove clutter and organize your workstation.
21. Limit Computer Usage:
Limit computer usage for at least 2 hours. Work on projects sitting upright instead of lying down. Use a standup desk to minimize eye movement towards monitors.
22. Adjust Light Bulbs:
Adjust the brightness of your screen according to ambient lighting conditions. Try placing your monitor away from windows and use lamps or LED bulbs to lessen contrast between text and background colors.
23. Change Eye Strain Products:
Eye strain products include computer displays, television sets, video games, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. They can cause eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, burning sensation, soreness, nausea, etc.
24. Spotting Glare:
Glaring headlights, streetlights, fluorescent lights, TV screens,”