If you enjoy sewing, crafting, needlepoint, embroidery, weaving, or applique, you may notice eyestrain, headaches or failing eyesight.  If you dread giving up your hobby because you are noticing eyestrain, read on, this article is for you.

If you notice that after working on your current creation you have a headache or aching eyes, this may be due to overworking your eyes, or eyestrain.  Close work is often associated with eyestrain and other eye problems.  However with proper lighting and magnification, eyestrain can easily be minimized.  As a disclaimer, we are not doctors at Famore Cutlery, and if you suffer from eyestrain, we highly recommend that you get your eyes tested by a qualified optician even if you wear glasses. Regular eye tests will catch and correct minor changes in your vision and reduce the instance of long-term vision problems due to close work.

Ways to Minimize Eyestrain During Close Work

It’s always easier to see when you work in a well-lit area, and even though dim lighting won’t harm your eyes, it does contribute to eyestrain, and you will tire more quickly.  If you are working on a close project during the day, choose a work area near a sunny window, and add lamps to improve the lighting as daylight wanes.  Avoid lamps that get hot or have a bluish cast.  Halogen lamps tend to be smaller, lighter, produce pure white light and do not get as hot as traditional bulbs. Position the light so that it shines directly onto the work surface. If the light shines over your shoulder, it creates a glare on the work surface actually making it more difficult to see.

Eyestrain

Famore Cutlery sells light boxes (great for tracing), LED table lamps with long arms for extra coverage, small portable lampssmart floor lamps with long arms of coverage, sewing machine lampsflexible small clamp on lamps and other types of floor lamps.  We offer a lighting solution for every project, and our customer service reps are happy to discuss your options.

Make sure to hold your work at a distance where you can naturally see it clearly.  As we age, this distance gets further and further away, and at some point we have to start wearing “reading” glasses.  If reading glasses are still causing you eyestrain and you are working in a well-lit area, you may also want to consider using a magnifier.

Use a Magnifier

There are various magnifiers on the market, and Famore Cutlery sells table top magnifiersclamp on magnifiers specifically designed to attach to your needlework projects, clamp on magnifiers with lights and even LED industrial magnifiersavailable only at shows.

When using a magnifier, sometimes it is hard to focus your eyes from the magnifier to the instructions you are using.  If this happens, just look at your instructions through the magnifier. 

One thing we want to emphasize about eyestrain is that if you notice your vision deteriorating, schedule an eye exam. In many cases, an eye exam will detect eye disease before it becomes a problem.

eye glasses

General Eye Care Guidelines

  • It's important to take regular breaks from close work. Take a walk outside if you can.
  • Stop smoking.  Smoking increases the risk of several eye disorders, including age-related macular degeneration.
  • Boost your immune system by eating vegetables, fruits, minimal saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, and you will be less likely to have an eye disease.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses and hats.
  • Educate yourself to recognize early symptoms of vision problems.