With the exam season bringing in the usual pains and panics, here are some simple tips to protect your eyes from strain.
1. Working distance
Our eye work comfortably when operating at about a metre's working distance from the reading or writing surface. Though we like to go closer to see objects in greater detail, the eyes work harder to focus on a nearer target. Maintaining an arm's length distance for reading and about half an arm's length for writing keeps your eyes working at a relaxed state and avoids fatigue.
Not too bright nor too dark should be the dictum for the lighting on your working area. The normal daytime sunlight from your window is usually the most comfortable for reading. But depending on the time of the day, you may require a reading lamp to illuminate the reading surface. Better lighting gives better contrast and is easy on the eyes.
Sitting upright on a chair with your book on a slanting table or desk with your gaze directed perpendicular to the surface is the best way you can help your eyes. Slouching your back and flexing your neck are both stressful to the body and to your vision.
Read in small divided sessions and do not binge on long study periods compromising sleep or food. A good study habit consists of several small sessions of learning spread over months of the preparatory time. This way the eyes and the brain can take in information at their normal pace.
5. Entertainment during the breaks
Everyone needs a little time away from the intense study phase. During these breaks make sure your entertainment is not visual. Your eyes don't need more work with your cellphone, TV or iPad. Try listening to music or take a walk. Disconnect (your electronics) to De-stress.
If you wear contact lenses routinely then keep in mind the duration of wear. Remove the lenses after 8-10 hours of wear and use lubricant eye drops to prevent your eyes from becoming dry. If you wear spectacles, make sure you have the correct power of spectacles on. Schedule your eye doctor's appointment well ahead of the exams and ensure that you are wearing the right power. It may also be useful to have a spare pair of spectacles to avoid any panic during this time.
Drink plenty of water, buttermilk and tender coconut water. Eat seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. The eyes do not work separately from the body - take care of both.
Last but not least, take it easy on yourself. Wishing you the very best for doing the exams.