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Eye Strain

For people like us who stare for long hours on the screen often experience eye-strain. I am bespectacled, and quite recently, I switched over to contact lenses. Not much of a difference. Friends advice that wearing glasses is actually better than being "bare" eyed as the tinted glasses usually cut-out the glare from the screen.

Any tips on reducing eye-strain?

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Don't keep your focal distance fixed at 18 inches! Take regular looks out of the window (and by regular I mean 15 seconds at least every 5 minutes) and try to focus at a distance each time.

That might sound like a lot, but how often is it you're really typing code at a rate you can't manage that?
UK Health & Safety guidelines suggest a 10 minute break every hour anyway.

Oh - and try to get as much natural light as you can. Flourescent strip lights can be a major source of eye strain.

In my experience glasses were much better than contacts (especially if you get lenses with a UV filter coating) because the contacts tend to dry out faster when you're looking at a monitor all day and cause irritation.
Corrective surgery so you don't need either is even better though :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2003


Walter Rumsby
Thursday, April 17, 2003

I now need bif-focals, even though I can read perfectly without glasses; it seems my eyes are no longer elastic enough to make the shift!

The really difficult thing I found was working with a book and a computer at the same time, like when you were learning from a coding manual. I now use the laptop for this, but LCD screens have very bad colour contrast. The VB6 IDE merely appears different shades of gray when I'm working in the evening under the dining room table.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 17, 2003

Don't wear contacts when doing computer work. Eyes get too dry.

And force yourself to blink: normally we blink 2-3 times a minute, but when programming only once every 2-3 minutes.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Get a good LCD monitor. On a CRT, make sure to set a refresh rate of 85Hz or (preferably) 100Hz. You may need to lower the resolution to do this, but it really helps avoid strain, even if you can't actually perceive the refresh rate.

Dan Maas
Thursday, April 17, 2003

I second, er, third, the notion about LCD. I've been using a laptop for years at work and an LCD flat panel at home.

Now, when I have to work on a regular CRT monitor my eyes are like "Agggh!!!!" Whether it's refresh rate or whatever, all I know is that for me an LCD is much, much easier on the eyes.

Mark Hoffman
Thursday, April 17, 2003

I've used eye drops in the past, which have helped me when I've had a particularly long day of staring at a screen.  Some stores carry eye drops that are supposedly specifically formulated to combat computer eye strain, though I am highly suspicious of this claim.  Either way, eye drops have helped me.

Brent P. Newhall
Thursday, April 17, 2003

Get the best monitor you can.  Not all CRTs (or LCDs) are created equal.  For me, if I see even a hint of flickering while looking at white areas on CRTs or LCDs, I'm likely to get eye strain from that monitor.

You can also get glasses made specifically for use at a monitor.  I found that far superior to bifocals since I no longer had to tip up my head for long periods of time.

Bruce Perry
Thursday, April 17, 2003

On my company's web site, info on Computer Vison Syndrome:

It doesn't go into too many specifics, though.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

With my notebook, I tend to VNC into machines with CRT monitors.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

I don't wear glasses or contact lens when I program...  however, I do need them for everything else. 

I'm near-sighted and my vision is exactly calibrated to distance from my eyes to my screen.  If I lean back in my chair, then it's blurry!  My perscription hasn't changed in a few years now, so maybe I'm doing something right. 

Worst computer-eye related experience: Doing an all-night all-weekend project and wearing my contact lenses.  It was 4:00am and I was interrupted from my non-stop programming by a co-worker.  I blinked.  I actually heard the cracking sound as my eye lids closed over my completely dried-out contact lenses.  I most likely hadn't blinked for over an hour.  When I could open my eyes again (it took a while) I removed my lenses and went back to programming!  ;)

Wayne Venables
Thursday, April 17, 2003

I find that the more time I spend outside, the better my distance vision becomes. YMMV.
Thursday, April 17, 2003

Actually I MUCH, MUCH prefer using contact lenses when programming and find that they cause me a lot less eyestrain than glasses. 

I do use a slightly tinted lens type (Acuvue 2) so that might play a part in it.  I also use 2-week disposable contacts which drastically reduce any sort of side-effect problems from contacts (not really enough time to gather significant protein build-up, etc).

I'm not an optometrist, YMMV, etc.

George McBay
Thursday, April 17, 2003

I use computer/monitor glasses constantly-only way to go IMO. They are single prescription (no bifocal) optimized for an arm's distance from the monitor. Work great-no eye strain.

Check out Dr. Ergo and take an online vision test:

Mike Sivertsen
Friday, April 18, 2003

Let's thank Mike Silverstien for his bullshit link.

Annoyed by Scumbaggers
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Sorry all, I meant "Mike Sivertsen".

Annoyed by Scumbaggers
Thursday, March 11, 2004

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