If you love words and spend the better part of your day reading and writing, there are a couple things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp.
For us readers and writers, glasses can be a mark of distinction, a sign that we’re taking our job and passion seriously. But close-up work causes more than nearsightedness – it causes tired, dusty, itchy, weepy eyes, and even headaches.
We can prevent all that and keep our lens prescription low. Here’s how.
Reduce screen time
Our eyes needed many millions of years to evolve into the complex organs they are today. Screens are a relatively new invention – our eyes weren’t made for looking at screens for hours every day. A lot of our screen time is spent on distractions. Do we really need to watch ten funny videos? Isn’t one enough?
Move your desk near a window
This will make it easier for you to take your eyes off the page or screen and rest your eyes.
Take a break at least every hour
Reading and writing strain our eye muscles. It also makes us blink less, hence dry eyes. However absorbing a story may be, try to take small breaks at least once every hour. During breaks, look out through the window at distant objects, close your eyes to rest them, or gently wash them with water.
Get an e-book reader
The e-ink screens of e-book readers are less tiring than mobile or computer screens. Also, an e-book reader with a built-in light, like the Kindle, makes night reading easier on your eyes. What’s more, it lets you increase the size of the font which is great considering that many print publishers today use small fonts in order to get as much material possible in the shortest number of pages.
Drink green tea
Among many other healthy components, green tea contains antioxidants that help keep eye tissue healthy.
Listen to audiobooks
One of the good things about living in our century is that we have audiobooks for most of our favorite titles.
Increase the font size
The default fonts of most word processors aren’t necessarily light on the eyes. It’s possible to choose another installed font (or install a new font) that’s cleaner and crisper.
Wear eyeglasses with an anti-reflective coating
The anti-reflective coating (AR), now widely available, reduces eye-strain.
Choose a non-reflective computer screen
Most manufacturers use glossy displays because these make the colors more vivid. From my experience, glossy screens (in which you can see yourself reflected when the computer is off) tire the eyes more than matte screens (in which you can’t see yourself reflected).
Whether you use a pen or pencil, handwriting is easier on the eyes. It doesn’t throw light at your eyes like a screen. Scanning applications and devices are better now than ever, so it’s possible to scan handwritten materials instead of copying them.
We should mind our eyes just as we mind our grammar and sentences. We can’t just throw words and screens at them and expect them not to protest. With or without glasses, our eyes need our care.
Do you wear glasses when you read or write?