Are you getting headaches more often than before? Do you feel them come on after you’ve been reading, researching or spending hours at your computer? If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, it may be time to get an eye check-up.
The connection between your eyes and headaches
Let’s face it, no matter what you’re studying, your eyes are going to be doing a lot of work! After a while, you may find that the text gets blurry and needs to be brought back into back into focus, which happens without you even noticing – the brain is amazing, isn’t it?
But here’s the problem: the constant pulling of the muscles to focus your eyes, causes eye strain. This continuous strain can lead to headaches.
Medical causes of eye strain
The headaches can become more frequent and painful if you have an underlying eye problem. For students, the most common conditions are most likely:
- Astigmatism. This causes blurry vision and image distortion at any distance.
- Hyperopia (also known as long-sightedness.) This means that you struggle to see things that are close up.
- Myopia (also known as short-sightedness.) This means you struggle to see things at a distance.
Where to go to get an eye test
You can make an appointment with an optometrist. This is a person who is professionally qualified to examine your eyes to detect the problem and make recommendations about the necessary treatment. In most cases, they may prescribe glasses or contact lenses to correct the specific defect.
If the optometrist feels that medication or surgery may be required, you’ll be a referred to an ophthalmologist – a medical doctor who specialises in eye care. They will perform more specialised tests to find the correct treatment.
How do I get rid of the headache, though?
There is over-the-counter medication available to take away your headache. Your local pharmacist will be able to advise you on the correct medication; but, remember that this will not fix the root problem – you have to go and see an optometrist for an eye check-up.
Practical Eye-Strain Prevention Tips
- Take regular breaks from your books and/or computer screen.
- Change the brightness and resolution on your computer
- Increase the page and text size on the internet browser. This will make it much easier to read. If you’re using a PC, hold down Ctrl and press the + key until you’ve reached the best size for you. If you’re using an Apple Mac, press Command (⌘)-Option (⌥)-F5 and selecting options in the Zoom section.
- Make sure the room that you are in is well lit.
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