Quick Tip:
Pamper Your Eyes for Greater Productivity

As a writer or an artist, your eyes are two of your most precious assets. And since you probably spend a great deal of time in front of a computer, staring at a monitor, you need to take special care of them. So we checked with noted ophthalmologist Robert Ewing, MD, for advice. Here's what he recommended:

If you have persistent "floaters" in your vision or experience pain in your eyes, see a doctor immediately. These can be signs of serious problems like cataracts or glaucoma.

But absent these warning signs, you can still get tired eyes and cloudy or blurred vision. This happens because your monitor's "flicker rate" causes you to blink less – and that dries out your eyes.

To keep your eyes moist, the doctor says to use one of the over-the-counter "artificial tears" products. He specifically recommended artificial tears instead of other types of eye drops. While you're working, set a timer for 30-45 minutes. When it buzzes, tilt your head back and put one or two drops of artificial tears in each eye. Stand up, stretch, walk around, or make a cup of tea. Spend at least 5 minutes away from the monitor. Your eyes will be glad you took a break …and so will the rest of your body

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Published: June 7, 2004

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