Nowadays anywhere you look there’s a screen begging to be looked at. Whether it’s your computer, TV, tablet or phone, screens are taking over the world, and the inevitable that can happen to all of us when we look at a monitor for too long – serious eyestrain.
But it’s not a lost cause staving off eyestrain when you look at a monitor. There are several easy things you can do right now to make your screen easier to look at. Our guide will outline the 10 best ways to keep your eyes healthy when looking at a monitor for long periods of time.
Tips For Avoiding Eye Strain
One of the easiest things you can do to avoid eyestrain is to adjust monitor settings on your computer. One of the settings adjustments require you to turn down your screen’s brightness, as well as turn up the contrast. Additionally, you can also adjust the size of your text size and the overall contrast.
The guys over at PhotoFriday have created a simple chart called Monitor Calibration Tool which allows you to adjust your monitor’s contrast and brightness at the best level.
Follow the instructions shown on the page. One goal of Monitor calibration is to make sure that tones immediately lighter than true black are clearly distinguishable from true black and tones immediately darker than true white are distinguishable from true white.
Don’t forget, you also can upgrade your monitor if you’re using a desktop to improve how quickly you receive information. If you’re using an old monitor (CRTs) that blinks often, it forces you to refocus every time. Instead, consider a flat-panel LCD TV. Anything LCD related is awesome for monitors.
Reposition Your Monitor
Other then adjusting the settings, adjusting where your monitor sits is also important. Your monitor should always be directly in front and about 18 to 30 inches away from you, and it should also sit 4 to 8 inches below eye level. The goal is making sure your monitor is perfectly placed for good neck positioning and of course eyestrain prevention.
With so many people using screens, the occurrence of blinking is not as good as it used to be, which is a bummer because blinking gives your eyes mini-breaks throughout the day. If you find yourself not blinking enough while you’re in front of the screen, force yourself to take a break and sit with your eyes closed for a few seconds to let your eyes hydrate.
It’s not easy to remember this when you are engrossed with your work. At such times an extension like eyeCare can come handy. It notifies you in multiple ways to take breaks and helps you with eye exercises based on 20-20-20 rule.
Get Rid of Glare
For anyone who’s used a computer for a long enough time knows that glare can be one of the worst things about looking at a monitor. Glare can make you squint and overuse your eyes quickly. To take care of the glare on a screen, you can purchase anti-reflective coating. What this does is limit glare by minimizing the amount of light that reflects onto the front and back of his eyeglasses.
Use Good Room Lighting
Wherever you may be using a screen, the lighting in your room comes into play big time. The ideal lighting setup would mean no fluorescent bulbs in the room wherever you may be working. Think of ambient lighting, kind of what you’d see in a fancy restaurant.
Outside lights should also be blocked with shades. If it’s possible, try to position your computer monitor or screen so windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind your computer.
Exercise your eyes
Remember that your eyes are muscles and need to exercise every once in awhile too. A popular method developed by eye doctors to get people to rest their eyes and pry themselves away from work is called the “20-20-20 rule.”
The first 20 stands for 20 minutes, the second 20 stands for gazing at a distant object 20 feet away, and the third 20 is doing all this for at least 20 seconds. Also, taking frequent breaks, around every 15-25 minutes, is a smart thing to do.
Another big thing you can do to prevent eyestrain is to purchase software like F.lux, which will automatically adjust your monitor’s color-settings depending on the time of the day. Many of us are aware that adjusting our monitors brightness, etc, are in our best interest for our eyes, but we forget. This is a good idea since it’s automatic. Day and night settings is included.
Stand-up While Using PCs
A big trend in computer-use now are standing stations or tables. The idea is that standing makes you tired and not wanting to be on the computer as long as you would be if you’re sitting. These “standing desks” also help promote better posture and help you take more breaks.
The folks over at Lifehacker have a nice write up about why standing desks are a good idea.
An easy fix to prevent eyestrain is computer glasses. These glasses generally have an anti-reflective coating, yellow tint and improved contrast with text. Minor magnification is included with most too. While some people don’t think these work very well and balk at the price at $70 for a solid pair, many swear by them. It’s best to try a pair before purchasing.
Clean Your Monitor
This may sound silly, but dust accumulating on a screen can cause eyestrain. What the dust does is decrease screen sharpness and make your eyes work harder to adjust. Wiping off your screen with an anti-static solution every other day is your best weapon in this fight.
Eyestrain is a serious business. You don’t want to ignore it for too long. Tired, itchy eyes, headaches; it’s an epidemic. If all else fails, remember to go to an eye doctor to get an official diagnosis and to see if you may need glasses, which for many people helps fix their recurring eyestrain problems.
For web-based text-to-speech conversion widgets that help with eyestrain, check out this article – Top 10 Web-based Services For Text-To-Speech Conversion