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Microscopes & eyesight.

  1. May 26, 2007 #1

    matthyaouw

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    Ok, so I'm going to be using microscopes a fair amount this summer and autumn. Last time I was using them on a regular basis, the sight in the eye I was using became worse and I began to have trouble focusing when I wasn't using the scope (though it seems to have recovered since). Has this happened to anyone else here, and if so do you have any tips on how to prevent it? Would frequently switching between eyes prevent this, or just make my vision worse in both?
     
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  3. May 26, 2007 #2

    Danger

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    It sounds like a simple case of 'eye strain', wherein the muscles responsible for focusing get fatigued. They recover with time. Still, eyesight is nothing to trifle with. Consult your opthalmologist just in case. It could possibly be a warning sign of something more serious.
     
  4. May 26, 2007 #3

    Monique

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    Does the microscope only have one eyepiece? it will be much better to use a microscope with stereoview.

    Anyway, you should make absolutely sure that you have adjusted the microscope to your eyes. For a stereomicroscope, adjust the distance of the oculars. Make sure your eyes are relaxed when adjusting the distance, move them until the two images overlap into a perfect circle.

    You should also adjust parfocality, so that the microscope maintains its focal plane over its full range of magnifications. There are tick-marks on the eyepiece(s) of a microscope. Align the eyepiece(s) so that the eyepiece is in the middle of those tick marks. Use the highest magnification and focus on your sample.

    Now switch to the lowest level of magnification, don't change the focus! Now turn the eyepiece(s) counterclockwise towards the (+)sign. Now look through the eyepiece and re-adjust the focus by moving the eyepiece towards the (-)sign. Do this for each eye seperately. Now your microscope is adjusted to your eyes and will stay in focus when switching between magnifications. It will also prevent eye-strain.
     
  5. May 26, 2007 #4
    At work I look through a microscope all day. Having one that is properly focused is important. It takes a few minutes but it's well worth it to save any strain on your eyes. I don't even like to look through a microscope that someone else has been working with.

    Also, I find that if I've been looking through the scope for a while and I look up, my eyes have a hard time focusing on something far away. Be sure to change the distance that your eyes are focusing on occassionally. Focus on something across the room or out a window if you have one.

    I find that if the light is too bright or too dim it can irritate my eyes also. I also don't touch the area around my eye on the eyepiece. IT seems like common sense, but I've seen people doing that.
     
  6. May 26, 2007 #5

    Danger

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    HIJACK ALERT! This thread reminded me of something, and it's not important enough to start a new one. Something really puzzling came to my attention a few decades back, and I never thought of it again until now.
    Remember the old ViewMaster sets where a picture wheel with parallax-altered frames is set in a viewer that gives you a full 3-D image?
    I'm somewhat nearsighted, but I can still watch TV or whatever without my glasses. (I've even driven without them, but that's pushing it.) I have to take them off for any close stuff like using the computer.
    Anyhow, when looking through a ViewMaster, I had to have my glasses on or it looked just as if I were really on the scene without them. That conflicts, in my mind, to the fact that both pictures were within 3 inches of my eyes. Explanations, anyone?
    (Feel free to move this if it's inappropriate here.)
     
  7. May 26, 2007 #6

    matthyaouw

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm using a really old single-eyepiece petrological microscopes and I'm not even sure they have an adjustable eyepiece, but I'll see if i can track down one that does :)
     
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