Exam Eye Care Tips: Most students suffer pseudomyopia in exams, can become myopia, says Ophthalmologist Dr Amit Solanki

Indore: It's examination time and students in almost all the grades especially those attempting board examinations have their noses in their books. It is commendable that every student is preparing to give their best. However, halfway through the examination, most students find their far vision blurring and some even develop myopia. 

According to a study done by AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science), 17% children or 1 out of 6 children aged between 5-15 years are suffering from myopia. According to UN data, countries where myopia prevalence was estimated and measured as low in the past, such as India, will have major increases by 2050.

Guiding how students can save their eyes in the examination season, ophthalmologist Dr Amit Solanki answers common issues faced by students. 

Ques: Why do students complain of blurred vision during examination despite not having myopia?

Solanki: Not all the students having blurred vision have myopia. During the examination, what students face is known as pseudomyopia. It is an intermittent and temporary shift in refractive error of the eye towards myopia, in which the focusing of light in front of the retina is due to a transient spasm of the ciliary muscle causing an increase in the refractive power of the eye. 

Ques: How serious is pseudomyopia?

Solanki: If not taken care of, then pseudomyopia does frequently progress on to true myopia. So students must give their eyes a break and take up some simple eye exercises.

Ques: Can pseudomyopia affect academic results?

Solanki: With pseudomyopia, students often face headaches, eye strain and even struggle to concentrate on their studies. There have been several studies conducted throughout the world including India, where it has shown that improper vision can affect the results even the student studies well. 

Ques: Please suggest some exercises that can help students in keeping their eyes relaxed during and after examinations:

Solanki: The following exercises will help students in strengthening their eye muscles and reducing the risk of myopia. Students should try these during and even after examinations for recovery of eyes from pseudomyopia. 

Five exercises to keep your eyes relaxed during preparations 

* The 20-20-20 Rule: It is a simple eye exercise according to which you need to focus your eyes 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This allows your eyes the needed distraction and your eye muscles get the required relaxation from the prevailing strain. 

* Vision Exercise: At the distance of the length of your arm hold a pencil in your hand. Now, focus at the tip of the pencil and steadily bring it closer to your nose. As the pencil approaches your nose, you might be able to see two pencil tips instead of one. Move the hand back a little till you see the tip single again and maintain focus. 

* Blinking: Adequate and repetitive blinking of the eyes is extremely important for letting the eye muscles relax. You should blink for 15 to 20 minutes every day. 

* Palming: Rub your hands together and lightly place your palms over your eyes in such a manner that your eyes are entirely covered under your palms. It is performed to reduce the stress of eye muscles. 

* Eyeball Rotations: Rotate your eyeballs in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This exercise helps to stretch the eye muscles and strengthen them.

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