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College is taxing on your health in many ways. Attending class and studying for exams is essentially a sedentary effort, except for the walks from class and back. There is also the effect of time and cash constraints on your diet, but perhaps most often ignored is the effect that countless hours of studying can have on your eyesight. It’s very common for students to spend long periods studying without a single break, which is great for achieving grades – but which can put extensive strain on your eyes.

Eating well

Your diet while studying is important for obvious reasons – but also for the health of your eyes. Certain foods will give your tired eyes a healthy boost: for example, carrots contain beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for repairing and maintaining your eyes. A variety of other foods, including corn, bilberries, and blueberries, carry important nutrients that are essential to keeping your eyes healthy.

Use computers with care

Inevitably, a lot of your time while preparing for coursework will be spent in front of a computer screen. It’s worth taking steps to reduce any glare on computer screens – remove lights that directly reflect on it, and opt for a non-reflective matte screen if possible. Remind yourself to blink regularly when you work on a computer, and keep your distance – an arm’s length is the advice commonly given. You can also take the 20-20-20 break: once every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet away from you.

Practice good hygiene

Eye infections are common and mostly harmless, but they can be inconvenient and at worst can seriously damage your vision. Sharing make-up, for example, is a big no-no: herpes keratitis is bacteria that loves growing in liquid or creamy eye make-up. Also, avoid water exposure while you’re wearing contact lenses – this includes gym pools, lakes, and while you shower. Acanthamoeba keratitis is caused by bacteria found in water, and 85% of cases occur in contact lens wearers.

Improving your vision

Even early on in life, many people need to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses. Having eyes that need correction can be a hassle while studying, but laser eye surgery is one way to avoid this common inconvenience. For example, with laser surgery by means of LASIK, Blaine, Minnesota-based students can enjoy freedom from the irritation and expenses associated with glasses and contact lenses as well as enjoy more independent living.

Where to look for help

Students often find that their intensive time at college reveals problems with their eyes that were not previously pertinent. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that individuals should have an annual eye check if they regularly use a computer – that certainly includes you as a student. Even if your eyes are not obviously feeling strained, an expert can identify issues early on. Go for that annual check-up for the sake of healthy eyes now and in the future.

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