Aine Higgins, Optometrist at Mongey Opticians, who was recently named UK and Irish Optician of the Year 2010, suggests ways student can avoid eyestrain while studying for examinations.
“When an individual suffers from eyestrain the eye will lose some of its focusing ability making it harder for the person to concentrate,” Ms Higgins said. “Common symptoms are forehead pain, watery eyes, burning feeling after closing the eyelids and twitching of the eyelids.”
Here are some simple tips to reduce eyestrain when studying:
1. Reduce the glare in your reading surface or focusing point.
2. Take a break
A 10 minute break every hour will minimize the development of focusing problems and eye irritation caused by improper blinking. Planning and executing a schedule that allows for healthy breaks is one way of reducing strain.
3. Let there be light
Have good lighting on your work space when studying, preferably over the shoulder onto your work, but do not have any bulbs shining directly at eye level.
4. Exercise the eye muscles
This can be done by deliberately moving the eyes to focus on different points at different distances as well as gentle circular movement.
5. Sit up and stretch
It is important to keep your back well supported. Put a cushion between the chair and the arch of your back — sit in a good chair and put your feet on the ground keeping the back straight. Stand up and stretch regularly.
6. Opticians can help
A spectacle correction for close work (if required) will relax the eye muscles and can improve concentration. If you have problems focusing in the distance you will benefit from an eye examination.
If you have any concerns about your eyes make an appointment with your optician. Opticians are trained professionals who offer a vast range of screening services as well as advice and assurance on eye-related issues.