How to study more effectively? Look after your eyes!
“Blurry vision, headaches, eyestrain, word running into each other, reading a paragraph and not remembering any of it…”
These are the most common complaints I hear when I invariably get an influx of students with visual problems at this time of year.
About 87% of the information we take in when learning comes through our eyes so there’s no surprise that many students suffer from visual problems.
I want to share some valuable advice to protect your eyes and vision and maximise your revision during the intense study/examination period:
- Take regular breaks! This is essential. Not only do the eyes fatigue but attention and memory will also suffer. There are many studies that support this. The muscles inside and the around the eyes tire within 30 to 50 minutes. The entire visual system starts to fatigue after this time too. This means you’ll remember less and find it harder to make sense of the material. The optimum pattern when studying is to take a complete break for 15 minutes every 50 minutes combined with looking away from close work for 20 seconds every 20 minutes in the middle of your study time. And remember that taking a break from using your eyes does not mean you check your email, Facebook or watch a Youtube video! Look into the distance, get up and walk around, and even consider talking to people.
- If you’re having difficulties with your vision, see an optometrist. They will be able to tell the difference between an eye problem that needs correcting with glasses or if you just need to rest your eyes more frequently while hitting those books. At Central Vision Opticians, we specialise in examining your eyes for visual problems, especially when studying. Contact us here: https://www.centralvisionopticians.co.uk/contact-us/
- Drink lots of water! Intense studying and mental exertion can dry your body, especially making your eyes very dry, sore and uncomfortable. There are several lubricating drops on the market which will provide instant relief, but drinking lots of water will help your brain as well as your eyes.
- Get a good night’s sleep! Our brains process the information that we’ve been learning while we sleep. Sleep helps to improve attention, memory and cognitive function. Avoid using digital devices at least 30 minutes before sleeping because the blue light emitted from most modern screens is extremely stimulating and keeps our brains awake for longer.
- Hand write notes and draw pictures! I know this isn’t a specifically for the eyes but studies show that the physical act of writing helps people to remember the ideas and thoughts more effectively. And drawing is an even more powerful way to link your visual system to your brain in order to help memory and also the ability to understand new ideas and concepts.
I hope you apply this advice into your study routine and make it a habit so you can give yourself the best environment to learn more effectively.