Exam season brings with it many late nights, forgoing healthy meals in exchange for snacking between study sessions and, often, headaches and eye pain.
Studying is a necessary evil for students and most will lose sleep, quite literally, while trying to cram before exams. What they may not realize is their late-night sessions may be impacting their eye health.
“Time will often get away from students when they’re studying for mid-terms or finals,” says Bijan Minbashian, Vice President of Operations at Hakim Optical. “Constant studying and working at a computer can put a lot of stress on the eyes and students should be aware of how to combat eye strain.”
As students across the country finish last-minute assignments and study for exams, here are some tips to keep eye strain at bay:
• Follow the 20/20/20 rule — This isn’t a test to see how good your vision is. Instead, it’s a rule of thumb to help keep your eyes from straining. Set a timer for 20 minutes and take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away.
• Take a break — It might seem counterintuitive but walking away from your books and laptop will help in the long run. It will give your eyes (and brain) a rest and you’ll feel refreshed when you get back to studying.
• Light up your life — Chances are you’re studying late into the night and you’ll need to make sure to keep your study space properly lit. Have a background light on – don’t rely on the light of your laptop – and try to use the night-mode on your devices.
• Get tested — The last thing you’ll want after your exams is another test, but getting your eyes checked is an important one. You may find out you need corrective lenses and, if so, they will make a significant difference — greatly reducing the risk of eye strain and headaches and helping improve your academic performance.
“These tips will help eye pain in the short-term but if problems persist well after your exams are complete you should book an eye test,” says Minbashian. “Healthy eyes and proper corrective lenses will make your next semester even better.”