Eye strain is relatively common and can have a major impact on work or study. GPs are ideally placed to assess contributing factors, exclude potentially serious conditions that have similar symptoms and facilitate specialist referral.
- Eye strain (asthenopia) is relatively common across all age groups and can lead to a range of nonspecific symptoms, including ocular fatigue, discomfort, tearing, blurred vision, diplopia and headaches.
- Patients with eye strain often present to a GP as the initial point of care.
- It is important for GPs to exclude potentially serious conditions that present with similar symptoms and require immediate referral and treatment.
- After eye strain is diagnosed, contributing causes may not be readily apparent and investigation of both ocular and general health may be required.
- GPs are well placed to guide the general care and referral pathway for patients with eye strain.
- A combined approach involving the GP, ophthalmologist and other specialists may be required.