The month of March is generally associated with students across a myriad of age groups who gear themselves to appear for examinations. Due to the COVID19 pandemic exams have been postponed to August. In some states, the month of August is completely loaded with the various semester and competitive exams. Students are busy attending various exams and preparing well for the same. The prolonged use of digital devices, books, reading, and exam pressure leads to fatigue of the most unconsidered yet vital part of our body, the eyes.
Dr Vamshidhar, Phaco Refractive Surgeon, Maxivision Super Specialty Eye Hospital, Hyderabad regularly interacts with patients who often complain of stress and strain to their eyes during the pre-exam period. The remedial measures required for maintaining a healthy eye have to be practised routinely.
Dr Vamshidhar, Phaco Refractive Surgeon believes that “When it comes to taking proper care of your eyes, there are several things that you should be aware and informed of. Only a few people actually understand the seriousness of the various exercises and steps that should be performed to maintain proper function of the eyes.”
Below are some top eye care remedies to overcome common concerns faced by many:
- Long hours of computer use often lead to eye fatigue. Less blinking of the eyes reduces the lubrication in the eye which in turn makes the yet tired, scratchy, and dry.
Remedy: Maintain a reading distance not less than 25 cms from the eye. Take adequate intervals of rest (5 to 10 minutes) in between reading for long hours. One can also relax the eyes by looking at a distant object 5 meters away.
- Dry eyes due to inadequate rest eyes are also responsible for burning eyes. It is the most common cause of infection and discomfort.
Remedy: To keep the eyes fresh, one should avoid rubbing the eyes. Splashing cold water keeps the eyes fresh and hydrated. Artificial tears or their substitutes like eye drops or lubrication helps in restoring the natural moisture of the eyes.
- Sleep deprivation due to contact lenses is another common problem that is quite dangerous if left on the eye for long hours. This also reduces the supply of oxygen to the eyes.
Remedy: In such a scenario, one should use eyeglasses and try and alternate between lenses and glasses. Students should wear good quality contact lenses made of silicon hydrogen. It is a new material with improved oxygen mobility, which reduces the risk of discomfort.
According to Statistics, 5-10% of school children have strained or fatigued eyes just before the start of examinations either due to sleep deprivation or rigorous revision.
1. If you are prescribed glasses, it is always advisable to wear them while studying.
2. If you are using contact lenses, do not wear them beyond 10-12 hours per day.
3. Avoid watching TV or mobile games.
4. Practice the 20-20-20 rule. After 20minutes of reading close the eyes for 20 seconds, and then look at a far distance of 20 feet. This will reduce strain in your eyes substantially.
5. Use lubricant eye drops frequently Or as & when necessary.
Common precautions and care to be taken are:
- Maintain good posture while studying. Never lie flat on your back and read.
- The ideal screen positioning is a 45-degree angle between the eyes and the bottom of the screen.
- While working with reflecting surfaces like computer terminals, use anti-reflection coated glasses, to avoid glare and eyestrain.
- It is prescribed to absolutely avoid read in dimly lit lighting arrangements which will further strain the eyes. As also to avoid reading in a moving motion while on a bus, train, or car.
- It is critical to follow a good diet that supports the changes in routine during exams. Plenty of fruits and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, papaya must be consumed. These foods are rich in beta-carotene which helps in healthy eye vision.
- Sufficient sleep is also important to ensure good eye health
- Regularly eye examination once a year by your optometrist/ophthalmologist even in the absence of an eye problem should be done.
Maxivision Super speciality chain of eye hospitals also regularly conduct special eye check-up drives for students during exam time. Maxivision also suggests that if there are any symptoms like constant headaches, redness in the eyes, watering eyes, and recurring pain in the eye, parents should immediately take their child to an eye expert for a comprehensive eye check-up.