As writers, our eyes are probably the most precious commodity we own. Yet we often fail to look after them. So here are a few hints for all writers or others who spend long periods of time in front of the computer:
1. Exercise your eyes by blinking more often than normal. If your eyes feel tired, close them for a few seconds, then roll them clockwise, then anticlockwise, to relieve stress.
2. Keep your eyes moist. Use eye drops (natural tears) to moisturize them and drink plenty water.
3. Each time you pause to think, make a habit of staring at an object out the window or on the other side of the room. Sometimes stare to the left. Other times to the right. But force your eyes to focus away from the computer.
4. If your eyes are sore or red, take a break. Splash them with cool water. Dab them dry on a soft towel. Then exercise them as suggested above before returning to your computer.
5. If you have more than one type of screen available, for example a desk-top computer, a laptop, or an AlphaSmart, try switching to a different screen for a short period, then transfer your writing to your main machine.
6. Include food in your diet that will promote eye health. For example: fish rich in DHA, such as sardines or tuna; green vegetables rich in carotenoids, such as spinach and cabbage; yellow vegetables rich in Vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene, such as carrots and pumpkin.
7. Take a good multivitamin supplement for the period of extra stress, which you might want to continue indefinitely.
8. Before going to bed, try lying down with a cold damp tea bag on your eyelids for a few minutes. Cucumber also works well to refresh your eyes.