Today is the first of my ‘health for authors’ issues – with a side-note of, ‘don’t binge on chocolate’! (Do as I say, not as I do, by the way ?)

Staring at a screen for hour upon hour is not good for our eyes. That we all know, but do any of us do anything about it?

I have Thyroid eye disease, which is manageable, not the end of the world, and, thanks to our truly magnificent NHS (huge thanks and incalculable appreciation to everyone of you who works in this sector), i have my eyes checked on a three monthly basis, so I’m not going to cry about it – but whether you have eye issues or not, there are some simple rules, which I strive to obey so my consultant doesn’t shout at me.

Take a break from the screen every half hour to change focus.

Make sure you keep your eyes well lubricated (these half hour breaks are when you remember to use your eye drops) (chronic dryness is part of my condition, so I never forget, or I’m in agony, especially when I wake up in the morning and can’t open my eyes until I hold them open and swill them with eye drops. I’m also allergic to most preservatives, so that might be worth checking if you can’t find an eye-drop to suit) I have surgical plugs in both eyes to hold what tears i have on the surface – I did worry that these might be like birthday candles, which gave my consultant a chuckle, but if you need them I can assure you that they are so discreet you won’t be able to see them, and they do help, if not at night so much for me at least

Go forth and write, mes braves, but not at the expense of your health, or God forbid, your eyesight.

Much love

Susan xxx

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