Students face special challenges to the eyes when they are under academic performance pressure. Lack of sleep, prolonged computer use and long hours studying make for tired eyes that are dry, scratchy and achy.
Prolonged computer use contributes to eye fatigue because you blink less frequently. Less blinking significantly reduces lubrication in the eye making it feel tired, scratchy and dry as a result. Also eyes are not designed for prolonged focus on a single object, such as the computer. Try placing a note on the computer screen as a reminder to blink and to look away from the screen and focus on objects in the distance. Looking out a window (20 – 20 – 20 rule: for every 20 minutes of computer work, look away for 20 seconds, and focus on a scene or object at least 20 feet away) is a good break for the eyes. The key is to give your eyes a rest.
Dry eye is a common feeling from not giving your eyes enough rest while some people just naturally do not produce enough tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. Some common symptoms of dry eye are stinging and burning to the eyes, scratchiness, excessive eye irritation and excessive tearing. If you have occasional symptoms of dry eye, you should try eye drops called artificial tears. These are similar to your own tears and help lubricate the eyes and maintain moisture. For persistent dry eye, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist like the team at Magruder Laser Vision.
Contact Lenses and Sleep Deprivation
When a contact lens wearer stays awake studying for 18-20 hours or more with their contacts in, it’s almost the equivalent of sleeping with contacts in, something that optometrists and ophthalmologists warn against. Prolonged wearing of your contact lenses is a problem for people who wear regular hydrogen lenses, since traditional hydrogels are relatively less permeable to oxygen than newer alternatives like silicone hydrogels. The eye needs oxygen to keep it healthy. Without regular exposure to oxygen, the eye’s cornea can become inflamed and the vision blurry. Prolonged contact lens use can even lead to infections or corneal ulcers that in the worst case can permanently damage vision. Sometimes students fall asleep while studying with their contacts in. To prevent this students should alternate wearing contact lenses with use of eyeglasses during long study periods.
For more information about Eye Health and how to protect your vision, follow our blog or call us at 407-843-5665.
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