In the life of a modern person, the time spent totally free from electronic devices is very limited. Not only do we rely on technology to communicate, but most of our daily activities are also done using computers and mobile phones. Although we all know that we should minimize usage, it is pretty difficult to do in reality. Read on for five tips that will help you beat eye discomfort caused by using a screen for prolonged periods.
All modern device screens have brightness controls as a basic feature. In fact, brightness is closely related to eye fatigue. Generally speaking, the smaller the difference in brightness between the screen and the surrounding environment, the less eye fatigue will occur. So, reducing the brightness of the screen is the easiest way to achieve fatigue reduction when the screen is brighter than the surrounding environment. On the other hand, if the brightness of the screen is too low, displayed contents become difficult to read, which makes the user try harder, thus generating strain.
In response to this concern, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) proposed the classic “1:3:10 Rule” in its published illumination guidelines - that is, the difference in brightness between screen and surrounding environment should be maintained within a ratio of 1:3 or 3:1. The screen can be brighter or darker, but the difference should not be more than a factor of three, while surroundings and overall environment should maintain a brightness difference no more than ten times greater than the display.
In other words, we can choose to adjust the brightness of the screen and the overall brightness of the surrounding environment to ensure that we have the best conditions for our eyes. In an environment where we can adjust brightness at will (such as at home), we can consider tuning the brightness of the entire environment by changing the angle of curtains or the output of lighting fixtures. If you are away from home, for example when freelancing, you can choose to work on a laptop at a coffee shop, so you can adjust the brightness of the screen to match the brightness of your work environment.
Reducing blue light, particularly in the evening hours, can play a big role in eye health. Not only does blue light impact sleep quality, but it also triggers eye fatigue after prolonged exposure. Digital devices emit uneven amounts of visible light, including large amounts of high energy blue light. Exposure to this type of light has been linked to damaged retinal cells and disruption to the body’s natural sleep cycle by interfering with melatonin production. Focus on limiting your blue light intake once the sun goes down to help protect your eyes and promote healthier sleeping habits.
Eight hours in front of a monitor can expose you to 5.8 million flickers on your screen. That can mean eye strain, blurred vision, headaches, and interrupted sleep patterns. A Flicker-free monitor with DC dimming backlight technology can eliminate flickers to relieve your eye strain.
As for factors related to environmental brightness, not just the screen counts. Everything we work on should have sufficient brightness, including printed documents. That means our immediate work environment should be consistently and sufficiently bright, with a recommended illumination of about 500 lux. That number is considered optimal for human eyes. Practically speaking, we can use a desk lamp or adjust the brightness of the entire environment, but once again, we have to pay attention to coordinating screen brightness and ambient brightness. In addition, a monitor occupies most of our field of vision, with the remaining area usually a narrow space in front of the screen. There may be a keyboard, mouse, books, and documents in this space, so whatever lighting we use must be able to evenly illuminate all of them.
Finally, besides creating an appropriate environment for our eyes, the most important thing is to pay attention to how long we spend in front of screens and to make sure we give ourselves plenty of breaks. Practically speaking, every 40-50 minutes of usage should be followed by a 10-15 minute break. In addition, when staring at the screen for a long time, blinking frequency tends to greatly decrease, so it’s vital to prioritize eye moisture. You can easily find eye drops to help with relieving eye fatigue and dryness. As long as you maintain a good environment and proper usage habits, we believe that you can also keep your eyes comfortable and work happy.