Eye strain, also known as asthenopia, is a common condition characterized by eye fatigue. It occurs when you use your eye too long and too intensely. However, eye strain usually disappears when you rest your eyes. On the other hand, chronic eyestrain can lead to severe conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Common causes of eye strain for students are late-night studying, mainly when they concentrate for a longer period. The most common cause of this condition is “computer vision syndrome,” also known as digital eye strain. Because computers and laptops have become an integral part of students’ life, many experience digital eyestrain.
Other common causes of eyestrain include activities such as late-night studying that require intense concentration and focus for a longer period, exposure to bright lights in the study room, seeing in dim lighting, and not wearing blue light glasses. Common symptoms of eyestrain are tired eyes, blurred or double vision, eye pain, burning eyes, dry eyes, headaches, light sensitivity, decrease contrast, and watery eyes.
A growing body of research evidence shows that eyestrain occurs in 50% to 90% of students who use computers for studying. These problems range from physical fatigue, stress, and anxiety to decreased educational performance. Eyestrain can also cause minor issues, such as twitching, irritation, and redness. Here are our top tips for combating eye strain during late-night studying.
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Use Proper Lighting
The excessive bright light emitted from light fixtures in your room can cause eyestrain. When you use a computer for studying, the ambient lighting can damage your eyes. Therefore, make sure the ambient lighting is not much bright.
It is crucial to decrease the visual load on your eyes caused by contrasting dark and light areas. You can minimize the difference in brightness between the video display terminal, study table, and surrounding areas.
If you have outdoor light fixtures installed, make sure you eliminate the light by closing blinds, shades, or curtains. Likewise, use fewer light bulbs and fluorescent tubes to reduce lighting in your study room. Position your computer screen properly to avoid the blue light damaging your eyes.
Many students find their eyes feel better when they avoid studying under overhead fluorescent lights. Turn off the overhead lights in your study room and use floor lamps because they provide halogen lighting.
Glare on finished surfaces and walls in your study room can affect your eyes negatively, leading to eye strain and other conditions. Likewise, reflections on your computer screen or laptop display can also cause digital eye strain.
We recommend installing an anti-glare screen on your computer monitor. If you have enough budget, paint bright or white walls a darker color and ensure a matte finish. Clean your computer screen regularly because a layer of dust contributes to glare.
Tilt your monitor slightly downward or upward to prevent it from reflecting the overhead light. You can use a computer hood when you can’t reduce outdoor light. If you wear glasses, make sure you purchase lenses with an anti-reflective coating. On the other hand, consider investing in quality blue light glasses to minimize glare.
Wear your blue light glasses before doing pencil pushups. Hold a pencil about 15 inches from your nose and focus on its tip. Ensure the pencil’s tip is in clear focus. When you bring the pencil closer to your nose, you will see that the tip is blurry or experience a second blurred image of the tip.
Make sure both your eyes focus together to keep the image sharp. Hold your pencil at this spot for at least five seconds, and then bring it back away from your nose. Let your eyes relax and calm for a few seconds.
Repeat pencil pushups at least ten times and perform them three times per day to combat eyestrain during late-night studying. Pencil pushups work because they strengthen your eyes muscles, allowing you to see up close.
Consider Blue Light Glasses
Regular prescription glasses are not effective against blue light emissions from your computer screen. So, for the greater comfort of your eyes, we recommend investing in blue light glasses. These are specialized glasses with yellow or orange-tinted lenses that minimize or block the most harmful blue light range.
Students with contact lenses often experience dry eyes, leading to discomfort and pain at night. So, if you want to reduce the discomfort during sustained studying on computers, blue light glasses are an excellent choice.
Moreover, you can use blue light glasses if you wear progressive lenses or bifocals because these are not optimal for the distance to the screen. Consult with your ophthalmologist about this potential option.
The best way to combat eye strain during late-night studying is to ensure your blue light glasses are of high quality and up-to-date. Blue light glasses prevent the shorter wavelength and higher energy light beams from penetrating your retinal cells. As a result, you have reduced risks of getting eye strain and other conditions like macular degeneration.
Parents should purchase blue light glasses for their children if they study late at night, especially when preparing for exams. Blue light emitted from computer screens or laptops can damage children’s eyes and disrupt their circadian rhythm.
Inadequate sleep cycles at night lead to poor academic performance. That’s why blue light glasses for children are an excellent option to lower the light intensity or prevent it from penetrating their retinal cells.
Late night studying is not a healthy habit, but you don’t have any other option when preparing for class tests, quizzes, or exams. Late night studying, especially on computers, is disadvantageous for students because it leads to eyestrain, memory problems, and sleep deprivation.
Your brain loses efficiency due to blue light penetration, leaving you to feel fatigued. As a result, you can’t focus at school, college, or university. Blue light glasses are a reliable and cost-effective solution to mitigate the effects of shorter wavelength light at night. It allows you to focus on your studies without damaging your eyes.