What’s the point of all the trading prowess we master and all the money to make if our lights go out? Eye-care tips for fellow traders.
Trading habits that are not eye-friendly
I suspect that after more than 15 years of trading, the first few especially intensively, my eyes are not as good as they should be for my age.
Every morning they have a hard time waking up. Whole-day sensations include dryness, stinging and sensitiveness to sunlight. By 6pm, blurry sometimes double vision. At night I have trouble making out the bus number on my commute home. If you experience the same problems, you are probably in the same boat as I am. There is even a name for it – ‘Computer Vision Syndrome’.
This is what my usual day looks like.
- Long hours at computer screen doing charts on MT4.
- Staring some times minutes at a time without blinking which is something I have to consciously do.
- On the commute to and from work, between lunch, I squint at MT4 on my 5.5 inch Redmi. Think of face ‘glued’ to screen.
- Before sleep, I lie down to read with iPad over face – this is a big no-no which I feel very guilty.
Throw in insufficient lighting, forgetting to drink enough water and 5 or less hours of sleep everyday, this is major eye-abuse.
I can’t elaborate how important eyes are. What is the point of all the trading prowess we master and all the money in the world to make if the lights go out?
13 eye-care tips for fellow traders
#1 - Use bigger screens. If you use a laptop, consider plugging in a bigger monitor.
#2 - Position your monitor minimum arm’s length away. I am 1.8m tall and my middle finger tip to shoulder length is more than 70cm. The Singapore National Eye Centre prescribes a minimum distance of 30cm between eyes and reading material so 70cm is good to go.
#3 - If you are working with a laptop, your arms can be slightly bent so that your sitting posture is good for your shoulders, wrists and elbows. You don’t want to jump from an eye problem to a shoulder-back-elbow-wrist problem. Make sure you sit upright, do not slouch or bend over.
#4 - Put on shades on a sunny day if you are outdoors or driving.
#5 - If your work involves the computer a lot, make sure to do eye exercises by taking them off the screen, looking out the window at distant objects.
#6 - When doing so, don’t just look into blank space or daydream. Focus on something and blink often. Two years ago I reached a point when I realized that it took longer to focus after looking up. That ‘auto-focus’ function was something I took for granted but suddenly it didn’t work so well. If you experience this, your really have to take note of eye care more urgently.
#7 - Blink often and give your body plenty of fluids.
#8 - If you find that your eyes are dry, don’t rub. Use a good eye drop. I prefer one that doesn’t limit the number of times I can apply in a day.
#9 - Make sure your work station is sufficient lit. I like to sit by the window to get natural daylight. You can do that too but don’t let glare and reflection affect you. At night LED lights are good.
#10 - Never read when lying down. It is also found that most people using tablet devices tend to hold them very closely to the face. Lying down and screen-to-face are no-nos.
#11 - I should recommend sleeping more but this is a huge challenge to me. I always feel that there are so many things to do. Additionally I am a natural light sleeper. I found one way to get more eye-rest is to resist using the smart phone for surfing, staring at MT4. 5.5 inch is too small. Besides there is really no reason to keep looking at prices on MT4. All that 'eye-power' is not going to make price move in the right direction.
#12 - Lastly I strongly recommend traders not to scalp. This is a very compelling path that many traders cannot resist. But scalping doesn’t guarantee trading success. There is a lot of market noise that scalpers have to deal with and all it does is generate a lot of activity and clocking up high costs of trading. Besides it encourages bad habits like long hours and late nights.
#13- In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), chrysanthemum flowers and wolfberries are good for our eyes. Chrysanthemum helps to lubricate our eyes while wolfberries are very rich in vitamin A. A quick easy way to consume is to boil chrysanthemum for 10 minutes to make a tea. Add wolfberries to hot tea to steep. Drink when cool. If you have existing medical condition, you might need to consult a doctor before consuming.