Why you should care about reducing your eyestrain

We live in a world full of technology, where technical devices are finding their way into nearly every aspect of our lives. To make the message more clear, I have an example from my everyday routine. On Tuesday, I took the Ljubljana city bus to get to the faculty and sat on the nearest empty seat I could find. Immediately, I was bothered by a bright screen in front of me, showing me all the upcoming events, news and advertisements.

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City bus display

A few years ago, I probably wouldn’t even notice it. But nowadays, because of the nature of my study, I’m subjected to more screen-time than ever. Especially when coding, which means staring at your laptop for hours when your code doesn’t work or blogging (which is better because I mostly look at my keyboard), I started to witness some negative effects of the display on my eyes. They got a bit red and if I went out, they were quickly irritated by the sun.

I realized I had to do something about that, and here are my solutions which have helped me reduce eyestrain.

The first and most game-changing difference was the installation of Flux, a computer program that effectively reduces the temperature of your computer’s display to a warmer – yellow color. The change in color of the screen is barely noticeable because your eyes quickly get used to it, and it looks like white again. There have been some studies that found a high possibility of blindness caused by prolonged looking at screens with blue light (link to one below). So try installing a similar program or enable night mode on your device if you have the option.

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Flux software

The second one is quite obvious, but also really overlooked. An adequate light source is a must, especially if your work is primarily done through looking at the display. The best choice is daylight – if not available, you can always replace it with a good lamp.

Another thing you should consider doing (also a message to myself😅) is to not check your phone every five minutes. Phones, even though used for shorter time periods than a computer accumulate to a lot of time spent looking at a screen. Just check your Instagram activity, I bet you’ll be surprised!

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Computer and phone are the greatest contributors to eyestrain

The last tip doesn’t really have anything to do with screens and can be a bit contradictory until you think about it. It is not to wear your sunglasses (with that I mean actual UV rated ones) unless it’s really sunny outside. Wearing sunglasses enables your retinas to open up more than normally during the day, and allows them to stay more relaxed – which can cause their muscles to weaken. This means that when looking at a screen when you normally don’t wear sunglasses, your eyes will have a harder time shrinking the retina. This causes more blue light entering your retinas, and your eyes will get irritated faster.

I hope these you find these tips helpful, and that they will positively affect your eyes. If that doesn’t help, probably the most effective thing you can do is just to avoid screens until your eyes feel fresh again – or visit your doctor to consult about the problem.

Further reading:

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