Eyestrain, headaches, burning eyes and poor focus are all common complaints for those who work on computers for long hours.
There are also some exercises worth trying, particularly for relieving the effects of eye strain.
1. Scan the screen rather than staring at it.
2. Blink — the level of concentration used while working on a computer often means we slow down our rate of blinking and breathing, so it is important to consciously blink and take mindful breaths every once in a while.
3. Change your focus. Look away from the screen and hone in on a distant object, then look back again. Another key point is to take your break times away from the computer, especially your lunch. Take a walk or do some form of movement to improve your circulation, which will increase your alertness so you will be less likely to spend the afternoon unblinking in front of your computer.
There are a number of apps designed to remind us to take a break regularly, which have customisable prompts and time-out parameters. I recommend these for anyone who spends long periods of time working with screens of any sort.
Two important nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables and eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin, have been linked to a much lower risk of a range of eyesight problems due to their role in macular protection. Lutein cannot be absorbed without the presence of fats, so use a healthy oil in your salad dressing.
Bilberries are recommended by most natural health professionals for sore, dry eyes and to improve vision and focus. They were eaten by pilots in the Second World War to improve their night vision. Bilberry supplements are available from health stores in capsule and liquid form.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a fatty acid that has a number of benefits for retinal and brain functioning. DHA is present in the retina of the eye and supplementation has been shown to specifically provide protection against macular degeneration.
Dental visits are a common cause of anxiety and even panic attacks. With this in mind, it is worth discussing the issue with his dentist so that steps can be taken to ease your husband’s nerves.
Rescue Remedy is the Bach Flower combination flower essence used for times of great emotion, stress or anxiety. Flower essences are ideal for treating anxiety since they are non-addictive, physically harmless and completely safe to take alongside prescribed medication. Rescue Remedy is available from most health stores.
Emotional freedom therapy/technique (EFT) uses tapping sequences at specific energy points on the body combined with a personalised spoken affirmation to help release emotional blockages and anxieties. For more information, check out www.emofree.com, the website created by EFT founder Gary Craig.
Recognising specific energy points and clearing blockages in the energetic system is a relatively new concept in the West, but it has been the foundation for Eastern medicine systems for thousands of years.
Acupuncture is another therapy worth considering, although if your husband’s anxiety is rooted in a fear of needles, it may not be the best choice.
Two herbal remedies used to treat anxiety are rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) and ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Rhodiola works by promoting the release of mood-modulating neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, while ashwagandha can work to calm the mind when a particular situation or individual is the trigger for a panic attack, stress or anxiety.