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How to reduce eyestrain

Screen filters can help reduce eyestrain caused when working for long hours on the computer. Eyestrain can cause tiredness, migraines, making it difficult to focus, and even damage eyesight. There are several simple methods that can be incorporated while working to reduce eyestrain considerably. Increasing the refresh rate of the CRT monitors from 60 Hz to 75 Hz or more or lowering the refresh rate for LCD display monitors, changing the display resolution to an optimum value of 800x600 or 1024x768 are some of the ways to reduce eyestrain.

Working long hours in front of the computer can cause eyestrain, particularly when your computer monitor has not been properly set and does not include any screen filters. Common symptoms of eye fatigue (varies from one person to another) include the difficulty to focus on your screen, seeing color fringes when you look somewhere else other than your screen and difficulty concentrating when switching from your paper work to your computer screen. Severe eyestrains can also lead to migraines and in the long run damage your eyesight. This article will give you some small tips on how you can reduce these effects.

Here are some tips that can help reduce eyestrain:

Change the refresh rate of the screen:

For CRT (cathode ray tube): increase the frequency. 60 Hz is insufficient. Try at least 75 Hz or higher, if supported; the resolution should be 1024x768 or 800x600 instead of 1280x1024. Some people are more susceptible than others to the scanning frequency, but even if you do not see it, it can tire your eyes out.

For LCD (liquid crystal display): if the screen is connected via a VGA connector, lower the refresh rate. With high frequencies, the pixels tend to "drool" to the right, a phenomenon that can be avoided by setting the frequency to 60 Hz.

Choose the correct resolution:

  • For CRT (cathode ray tube): use resolution that suits you best (so that the texts are not too smallo...or too big).
  • For LCD (liquid crystal): it is imperative to use one of the predefined resolutions of the LCD screen.

More tips

  • Regularly focus on distant objects for a few seconds (10-30 seconds). This helps relax the muscles in your eyes.
  • Think about taking some tea/coffee breaks.
  • Avoid using fonts that are too small. Reduce the resolution or increase font sizes to make content more readable.

If you have to read long texts on screen, it is better to choose fonts such as Verdana rather than serif fonts (Times New Roman).
  • If you are a programmer, there are other fonts more suitable than Courier.
  • Adjust the contrast (the half-moon) and brightness of your screen (the little sun icon).
  • By playing with contrast and brightness, you should get something right (try different settings).

Here's a picture to help you adjust your monitor:

(Source: Photofriday)
  • The Grade A property should be black.
  • You should be able to distinguish the difference between grades A and B and between Y and Z (although some bad monitors will not go that far).
  • Use software like F.lux or RedShift (free) to modulate the color temperature of your screen depending on the time of the day. This will reduce the glare effect without impacting on the readability of the screen.


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Original article published by . Translated by netty5. Latest update on by Virginia Parsons.

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