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Computers and Your Eyes

19. April 2016 — Jim Neumann

Today it’s normal for most people to stare at computer screens all day long, something that was unbelievable just 25 years ago. Whether we’re shopping online, chatting and tweeting, or working in our DEVONthink databases, we spend a lot of time in the light of our screens. If you are experiencing headaches, blurred vision, watery eyes, or have trouble getting to sleep, here are a few simple tips for you.

  • When ambient light levels are too low we have a tendency to increase the monitor brightness. This more quickly fatigues our eyes. Use proper lighting in your computer area and position yourself and the lights to avoid glare.
  • If you find yourself moving closer to the screen to read, consider increasing the font size. On a Retina screen adjust the screen resolution; as the native resoution of the screen is so high you’ll see no pixels even when you make everything a bit bigger.
  • Also check out System Preferences > Accessibility > Seeing for some great options like contrast adjustments and, our favorite, Zoom, an adjustable on screen magnifying glass.
  • For the restless and insomniacs, there has been research that suggests that the bluish-white light from your screen may supress melatonin production and hinder you from falling asleep. There is a wonderful little Mac utility called f.lux that adjusts the warmth of your screen to mimic natural light. As the day goes into evening, the screen colors grow warmer and warmer. Note: If you just turned it to the warm setting, your screen will look terrible at first. But as soon as our mind adjusts to the change you’ll perceive the colors correctly. iOS 9.3 and macOS Sierra have similar options now.

Lastly, don’t forget to take periodic breaks. Get up and give your eyes a well-needed rest.