Eyes become tired from focussing on the same point for an extended period of time, and in particular, focussing on an object at close distance (e.g. a book or sewing) for a long time is likely to cause eye fatigue, especially if the lighting conditions are poor.
Long sessions of computer work are especially likely to cause eye strain due to the combination of prolonged focussing, the illuminated light of the screen and our tendency to blink less frequently when doing this kind of work.
Visual acuity (sharpness) declines and the functioning of the muscles of the eye become weaker as we get older, and consequently the eyes become less responsive to light and are slower to react in dark conditions. Under these circumstances, we need brighter light and greater contrast between light and dark in order to be able to focus properly, especially for extended periods of time.