Good vision is vital for studying success and as exam season approaches, Specsavers has put together some top eyecare tips for students.

School and college performance

Visual impairment can have a negative impact on school and college performance and too many hours spent inside the classroom or hitting the books at the library can leave students with tired eyes or exacerbate existing vision problems. 

Specsavers recommends that students should have an eye examination every two years, or if they have noticed any problems with their vision before exams so any problems can be rectified.

Clear vision Specsavers

Ireland Chairperson, Sinead Clohessy, comments: 'We know how much pressure students are feeling coming into exam time so we want to help educate them about the importance and benefits of looking after their eyes.

'Clear vision is something that many take for granted, but it is especially important to take care of your vision during stressful periods like exam season.

'With regular examinations, eye problems can be diagnosed and treated, avoiding an impact on exam performance and life-long visual impairment.'

Eye health

Your eyes play an extremely important role and are also fantastic indicators of good overall health. If your eyes are starting to feel strained, stressed, dry or sore because of too much study, then it's important to take steps to protect them.

Specsavers has these top five tips to looking after your eye health while you are studying:

1. Give your eyes a break

Studying is important but it's also vital that students give their eyes a break from staring at books and computer screens all day to prevent dry eye. Reduce eye strain with the 20-20-20 rule.

Take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away and repeat this every 20 minutes. Remember to blink regularly as well, as this will keep your eyes moist.

Another good exercise is to simply rest your eyes in the palm of your hands for a few minutes, making sure that no light leaks through. This total darkness is rejuvenating to your eyes and helps to ease the strain of focusing too much.

Alternatively, look sideways - first in one direction and then in the other, holding each direction for a few seconds without straining. Then try the same exercise but looking up and down instead. This helps to exercise your eye muscles, as studying holds them in an unnaturally still position for too long.

2. Wear prescription sunglasses

Unfortunately, many fashionable sunglasses do not protect your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays.

If students are studying out in the sun, or taking a well-deserved break from the books, they should wear sunglasses marked UV400 or above. Specsavers has specialist equipment in-store to check the amount of UV protection being offered by sunglasses and welcomes students who are unsure about the rating of their current pair to test that the lenses.

3. Keep hydrated

Drinking plenty of water will help protect the effects of dehydration on the eyes, this will keep eyes from drying out and getting tired, as well as keeping you hydrated and focused.

4. Study with good lighting

Good lighting is so important when studying, whether it's in the library, your bedroom or living room. Reading in poor light repeatedly can strain your eyes so make sure to have a desk lamp close to hand.

5. Eat eye-healthy foods

Eating healthily is especially important at exam time and eating the right things can help keep your eyes healthy. Instead of snacking of chocolate and sweets, which can cause a sugar crash, keep foods such as carrots, leafy greens and fruits rich in vitamin C such as oranges.

We all know carrots are good for our eyes thanks to the beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in your body which functions to repair and maintain your eyes. Leafy greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin which play a role in eye health, as does vitamin C, which is found in oranges.

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