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