Perservering Through Eye Strain

Eye © Ann M. Lynn Writers who work entirely on computers must possess better health than I do.

Ocular migraines have been limiting the amount of time I can spend on computers. By the time I reach home for the night, my eyes are usually too tired to allow me to work on critiquing stories by members of my online group, posting on sites on which more than a couple sentences are expected, or typing what was written on paper during the week.

Some days, however, I must work on these tasks. Certain actions can help with this.

  • Frequently take breaks from the screen. Look at physical objects for several seconds.
  • Blink. Dry eyes are more prone to hurt, and blinking helps bring moisture back to the eyes. Don’t wait for breaks to blink.
  • Relax the eyes! Squinting causes more strain.
  • Use eye exercises while relaxing the entire face. My old chiropractor was the first doctor to explain to me that moving the eyes in all directions for several repetitions can help unlock them. Reading on standard sizes of computer screens require little eye movement, and most of us will stare at the same spot for ridiculous amounts of time.
  • Use the Page Up and Page Down keys instead of scrolling. This forces the eyes to move more.
  • Adjust the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings. For me, switching the default brightness and contrast levels helps a bit.
  • Adjust the font size, when possible, by holding Shift on the keyboard while scrolling upwards with a mouse until the font size is large enough. (Holding the Shift key while scrolling down will decrease the size.)

Another trick–my favorite when I’m at home–is simply to print and hand-write as much as practical.

Too bad ink and paper are expensive.

Resources

“Eyestrain” article from the Mayo Clinic

“How can I change the font size in my browser?” by Computer Hope

Further advice: “Seven Tips To Beat Eyestrain” from Writer’s Relief

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4 thoughts on “Perservering Through Eye Strain

    1. This week has been much better. I’m applying these techniques more at the office (for the paying job) and also learning that when I eat certain foods makes a difference.

    1. Hot cocoa in the day is a big no-no; although, it doesn’t cause a headache and sometimes clears the spots in my eyes when drunk in the evening.

      Hmm…I had been drinking too much coffee as an attempt to compensate for a lack of sleep and some of that coffee was overcooked. I noticed that coffee at home (drunk immediately after brewing) wasn’t affecting my head, but coffee at work was. My coworkers make coffee around 7:30 AM and then sometimes around 9:00 AM, which is when I prefer mine (in between my early- and mid-morning snacks). The bitter left-overs I poured from the pot later in the morning seemed to put a layer of fuzz over my eyes.

      But I was reluctant to admit to causation; coffee is my preferred medicine for preventing migraines, because caffeine is what doctors had recommended to me. So, in the afternoon, I was excusing yet another cup or two of coffee. By the time I reached home, I saw everything through a painful filter.

      Now, I’m limited to two cups of coffee a day, either both cups by mid-morning or one cup in the morning with the other cup late before going to bed, if I’m hurting. No high-caffeine teas on days I drink coffee, neither.

      Um…I’m still experimenting with dairy products and certain fruits. I can’t stomach dairy (except for low-sugar yogurt) early in the morning, but it does seem to help keep my eyes and head clear. So, milk in my coffee is a must for now.

      I have trouble getting enough water while at the office and don’t have the means to keep juices there, so I’m trying to eat more fruit (or, any fruit) before I get home. Fruits like oranges and apples were giving me momentary relief from hurting, hazy vision. But then…is that from the water, sugar, or acids?

      Foods are fun, aren’t they?

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