Whether you are sending your child off to school or readying your living room for virtual learning, there's a lot to prepare for. Students face special challenges to the eyes when they are under academic performance pressure. They spend so much time reading textbooks, writing papers, and staring at lighted screens (computers, tablets) and more. Prolonged computer use and long hours studying make for tired eyes that are dry, scratchy and sometimes achy.
Most people blink less frequently while using a computer. Less blinking significantly reduces lubrication in the eye making it feel tired and irritated. It’s important to follow the “20-20-20 rule” and give your eyes a much-needed break. For every 20 minutes of computer work, look away for 20 seconds, and focus on a scene or object at least 20 feet away.
Could it be Dry Eye?
Dry eye occurs when either the eye does not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Some common symptoms of dry eye are stinging and burning to the eyes, scratchiness, excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind and excessive tearing. Remedy: 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 eye doctor.
Students Wearing Contact Lenses
Prolonged wear of contact lenses is a problem for people who use 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. It’s good for students that wear contact lenses to alternate wearing eyeglasses.
More Vision Tips
Additional tips to maintain a healthy vision includes getting a proper amount of sleep, eating a healthy diet and staying away from smoke and alcohol. Eye exams for students are very important to ensure his/her eyes are healthy and have no vision problems that could interfere with school performance and potentially affect their safety. Dr. Shofner offers comprehensive eye exams to patients 10 years and older. Schedule your eye exam today and begin seeing your very best.