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Obstacle to study: eyes?

  1. Jan 18, 2007 #1
    I find the biggest obstacle I have to putting in long hours of hard studying is my eyes. Does anyone else have this problem? And what do you do to combat it? Personally, I go out for walks and runs. But are there other ways? Does anyone do eye excercises? Do they work?

    I am short sighted and wear contact lenses. I feel even worse wearing glasses. I posted another thread about glasses here
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
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  3. Jan 18, 2007 #2
    What do you mean? Your eyes start to hurt? I would suggest going to an eye doctor. Other then that I am able to read for quite long periods of time (10 hours if I needed to), but I try to take 10 minute breaks every hour or so. Try taking some breaks and just relaxing your eyes (staring "through" a wall is supposed to relax your eyes. And if your prescription is a year old or more, or you feel that it may be time for a change, go see an eye doctor!
  4. Jan 18, 2007 #3


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    Yeah - get your eyes tested!

    Either that or you're working for an unhealthy length of time without a break.

    Chill out a bit :cool:
  5. Jan 18, 2007 #4
    I have edited my OP with the information that I am short sighted so there could lie the problem. My eyes don't hurt. When I wear glasses, my nose hurts and when I wear contacts, my eyes feel 'dirty' or sticky. There are always white spots that sometimes move about during the day. From my physics textbook, they describe it as diffraction of dust particles so that isn't a big problem. My problem is when studying for long - not that long, about 3 hours, my eyes can't focus on my books any longer. I feel like looking into the distance at natural objects. I even removed the curtain in my window so I can look directly outside when needed. I find that I naturally take a look outside when I need to but sometimes that isn't enough. I need to physically go outside. What is the main problem? Is it because our eyes need oxygen for cellular repiration and contacts cuts down the oxygen intake?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
  6. Jan 18, 2007 #5
    Doesn't short sighted mean you have myopia? In which case you can see close up objects clearly? Maybe try to take out the contacts when you are reading or go and get some reading glasses. Maybe your near vision has changed since you last saw your optometrist.

    Also some other things that could help. Make sure you have bright light in the room where you are studying. Let your eyes rest for about 5 minutes once every hour of studying.
  7. Jan 18, 2007 #6


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    3 hours is a long time to study without a break.

    Try slipping outside every half hour - see if it helps with your eyes and your concentration!
  8. Jan 18, 2007 #7


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    If you're very nearsighted, eyeglasses that let you focus properly at infinity without strain, might require you to strain your eye muscles slightly in order to focus at reading distance (about 2 feet or 60 cm). In that case you'd probably benefit from a separate pair of eyeglasses with a different prescription for reading; or even bifocals.

    I didn't need to do this until I was in my mid 40's, but maybe you need stronger eyeglasses than I do. Mine are about 10 to 11 diopter (focal length about 9 to 10 cm) for distant vision.
  9. Jan 23, 2007 #8
    This was my exact problem during my A-level exams. I had 10 weeks to prepare. I couldn't go more than 6 hrs per day for about 6 weeks. By about week 7, I had massive headaches, and couldn't even look at a page without my eyes feeling like they were going to explode. My solution was to apply an ice-pack and go into very dark rooms. After about 5 days, they were okay again. But I still couldn't exceed 6 hrs without the pain returning. I also had to abstain from TV and the internet. It was painful that the time I did NOT spend pursuing my goals, was NOT spent having fun in the very least. Anyway, all that was moot, I still got top grades... But it was a close shave and a disaster nearly occurred.

    Somehow the problem disappeared at university... I could study for 6 hrs, and then go on the net for 4 hrs, watch TV for another 2 hrs, etc. It was as if my eyes had somehow strengthened. Perhaps I was more physically active - lifting weights twice a week, and jogging once a week, and walking to 15 min to school everyday.

    Near-sightedness had nothing to do with it, though. I had my eyes checked by the optician and the power was correct. I'm suspecting that lack of good blood circulation plus nervous tension had to do with it.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  10. Jan 23, 2007 #9
    Sounds like eyestrain, I sugest you take a break every half hour or so and go stare longingly into the distance for five minutes, this should give your peepers a break and enable you to extend your study time.

    Incidently the preponderance of myopia is thought to be caused by people doing precisely what your doing, short focus work and no long distance focal work, eventually this can lead to you losing your visual acuity.

    Contrary to popular belief though the number 1 past time in men does not make you go blind, but watching too much tv, reading too much and not focusing on medium to long range objects sufficiently can. It's the nerds disease :smile:

    EDIT: if you start to get headaches or migraine headaches this is indicative of your eyes not focusing properly, usually because your vision has worsened. Otherwise the above advice should be sufficient, however if it's causing you concern go see an eye Dr.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  11. Jan 23, 2007 #10
    It depends on what you're studying I guess and how long you've been doing it for.

    1 day of 10 hrs is not likely to make your eyes strained.

    Try reading a mathematical textbook and solving problems on it for 8 weeks, 8-9 hrs a day, and you'll probably have an issue there with your eyes.

    Actually, those of you who manage to engage in intense work for months at a time, involving the continued use of the eyes for more than 8 hrs a day, I'd really like to know if it's due to exercise or a good diet (fish oil perhaps) ? I wonder if myopia predisposes one to oracular fatigue more so, than say, someone who has clear vision.

    Office work doesn't count, as its' not normally as insane on the eyes as studying... Looking at things doesn't strain your eyes. Concentrating on them, does.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  12. Jan 23, 2007 #11
    Maybe you need to cut down study hours, take 2-3 day breaks to see if the eye-strain goes away, or better, yet, record on tape the material you need to read. I also used to go down into my family's wine cellar where it's dark and sit there for half an hour or so.

    Napping could help to relieve tired eyes. Cut out TV and computer usage so that your eyes have enough energy to recuperate in between study sessions.

    Also try to get 1 hr of running or swimming in every day to get the blood flowing. I suspect that proper blood flow in and out of your eye helps the intraoracular muscles to relax.

    Tell me if it works!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  13. Jan 23, 2007 #12


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    You can also do periodic eye exercises. They aren't actually exercises for the eye but for the brain. Don't take it too seriously though, but what you can do is learn to control your eyes' focussing.

    When your eyes decrease focus, they become less squint, but you can try to adjust the squint without changing the focus. Try seeing a double image but focussing on each image.

    Then also try to adjust the focus without changing the squint. Decreasing the focal length is pretty easy but increasing it without squinting is hard. I think doing that now and then can help, but don't overdo it.
  14. Jan 23, 2007 #13
    If your problem is that your eyes dry out after you read a while, you can try putting in re-wetting drops every half hour or so. Also, you can ask your eye doctor about trying a hydrophobic contact lens instead of a hydrophilic one. The lower the water content of the contact the less tears are absorbed into the contact instead of staying on the cornea.

    Another possible cause of your symptoms is a convergence insufficiency.
  15. Jan 25, 2007 #14
    I think I can see what you mean. Recently, I decided to not wear any eye correction ware and all of a sudden, my eyes are not an obstacle anymore except that I can't see unless things are very close to my eyes but at least there is no physical discomfort anymore (i.e. no pain from my nose due to wearing glasses or the indescribable discomfort due to wearing contacts and studying for a long time).
  16. Jan 25, 2007 #15


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    There can be a combination of issues here, hence the variety of responses. The best thing is to see your eye doctor about it. It could be that your prescription isn't ideal for reading, and that you're experiencing eyestrain from the long hours of reading. There are eye exercises that are beneficial for eyestrain, and your eye doctor can teach those to you. Taking breaks is important as well, as is making sure you're not letting your eyes get dried out from reading without blinking often enough. At least every 20 min or so, look up and around the room, blink a few times, and let your eyes relax a bit.
  17. Jan 25, 2007 #16


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    You could/should see the eye doctor, but it may be as easy as stopping at the reading glass counter at your local drug store.

    The rest state for your eyes is focusing at infinity. When you are reading you are forcing a close focus, which causes the tiredness and eye strain you feel. By getting the right pair of reading glasses you can let the glasses do the close focus while your eye can relax on a image which they think is near infinity.

    Just try some reading glasses for a pair the feels good, or go to your eye doctor and let him fit you.
  18. Jan 30, 2007 #17
    I have strong myopia and when I do not put any corrective ware on, my effective infinity or the furthest object I can see without blur is only 20cm or so hence it is easy for me to relax my eyes as anything more than 20cm is infinite away and my eyes can very easily relax when only looking across a room. Is what I stated true? I am doing this at the moment (not wearing any corrective ware) and do not feel any physics discomfort.
  19. Jan 31, 2007 #18


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    Pivoxa, for how long have your eyes been bad? Did they become bad?
  20. Feb 1, 2007 #19
    Unfortunately they become bad nearly 10 years ago and even more unfortunate was it got bad from playing too much computer games, I think. I didn't do a lot of studying back then. However, I recently developed astigmatism.
  21. Feb 1, 2007 #20


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    ever so often i would stop and splash water in my eyes. or if they hurt, place a cloth soaked in warm water over them.
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