Anyone who ever said that school days were carefree doesn’t really remember the classroom. It can be high school or college; it doesn’t matter. You have to put up with an awful lot of stress. You also need to deal with possible eye strain and that can be a problem.
Those late-night study sessions and last-minute term paper writing binges usually take place in the dark. As a student, you probably spend a lot of time in reduced light, and that can put a fair amount of strain on your eyes. You have to find ways to reduce the strain or suffer through some serious headaches. Luckily, there are some tips that you can use as you burn the midnight oil.
Dealing with the Computer
You know you’re going to be spending a lot of time in front of a computer. This is the major source of eye strain today. You can avoid those tired eyes in a few easy ways:
- Use the Right Text Size. Small print is going to drive you crazy. You don’t need to squint close to the monitor because you can adjust the size of the font. Using 14 point or higher is good for composition. You can always reduce the font size prior to submitting your paper.
- Be at a Harmon Distance. This is calculated as the space from your middle knuckle to the center of your elbow. You should be no closer than that to your computer screen. Having the font size comfortably large will make keeping a Harmon distance easier.
- Lose the Glare. There should be no reflection on the computer screen at all. You do need to have the right amount of light in the room, but the computer ought to be situated so that this light does not reflect on the screen.
- Take Frequent Breaks. This is a common way to avoid eye strain when spending long periods of time in front of a computer. Use the 10-10-10 Rule to give your eyes a break: for every 10 minutes of work, look away from your computer at something 10 feet away for 10 seconds.
Book-Related Eye Strain Can Be Prevented
You may have computers and eBooks, but students are still going to be dealing with regular printed books.
Many college students have to read dozens, even hundreds, of pages a day. This is going to take its toll on your vision, from blurry and dry eyes to frequent headaches and sore eyes. Here are a few ways to give your eyes a little break:
- Try an Eye Massage. When you feel your eyes start to get tired, rub your palms together vigorously. Once they have heated up from the friction, gently press them against your eyes and hold them there for a few seconds. You will discover the warm skin relaxes the muscles.
- Be Sure You Have the Right Amount of Light. This is why the library is a good place to study. It has sufficient amount of light for students to work. Be sure to have sufficient light in your room if you are studying late at night. Do not try to read by flashlight.
- Do Not Forget to Blink. You can become so involved in the content of your text that you will forget to blink. That is a symptom of over-concentrating, but it will dry out your eyes. Every now and then, take a few moments to just blink your eyes. You can then go back to your studying.
- Be Aware of the Text. You are able to adjust the size of the text on a computer screen, but you cannot do that with a bound book. What this means is you have to adjust the light to make reading easier.
- Take a One-Minute Break. If you have been reading for an extended amount of time your eyes will become tired. What you want to do is take a one minute break and just close your eyes. This permits a little bit of relaxation for your eye muscles.
No doubt you’ve noticed by now that there is a lot of similarity between computers and books when it comes to eye strain. You are using your eyes in a very focused way, trying to understand what the text is saying. You should be doing what is necessary to keep your eyes from tiring out.
Diet plays a major role in eye health, so if you’re not eating properly, you might want to consider eye vitamin supplements to keep your eyes strong for less strain.
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Time Management Is Important
There is another little technique to help your eyes which every student should develop – good time management. You have a certain number of hours every day which can be used for study. Make the most of them.
You may want to concentrate your studying during the daylight hours. You can still do some reading at night, but try not to leave it all until the last minute. Again, the library may be the best place for evening reading. There is sufficient lighting to keep any eye strain to a bare minimum.
Eye examinations are not just for senior citizens. You want to schedule at least one eye examination annually. If you are developing problems with your eyes, early detection can help. Many colleges and universities have connections to local physicians who give students discounts. Check with your student union or school’s health department.
High school and college are crucial learning periods in anyone’s life. There is a considerable amount of reading and that is often in topics you’re not yet familiar with, so you have to concentrate more. You can ease the stress of all that reading by making a few small changes in your study habits.
Take care of your eyes and you’ll find schoolwork is not a headache at all.