One of the main causes of eye strain is spending too much time staring at a screen. This strain on the eyes can cause headaches, eye itch, itching, and irritation. Although a good night’s sleep will frequently revive your eyes, it’s preferable to adjust your monitor settings to eliminate such problems. We’ll talk about the settings that are optimal for your eyes in this article. There isn’t a firm rule, though. Setting the setup that gives your eyes the greatest comfort is the right way to do it.
How much may screens harm your eyes?
The majority of people are mistaken about how monitors harm your eyes in various ways. For instance, excessive screen time may not result in myopia or other eye problems. According to research, many illnesses are brought on by a combination of environmental factors including lack of sunlight exposure and heredity. Therefore, extended exposure to low-quality or fluorescent light rather than natural light is probably to blame if someone who spends a lot of time staring at digital screens develops such a disease.
Additionally, screens that are too bright or too dark do not permanently injure your eyes. Regardless of contrast, it is the role of our eyes to catch light, and then our brain creates the visuals. Other than the UV rays, which your displays do not produce, no amount of light may hurt our cells. Our eyes’ muscles assist the internal lens focus on things at different distances, and our iris does contract and expand to adjust to the exposure to light.
Our eyes can become fatigued if we often switch their focus between items that are close together or in various lighting conditions. It can also be uncomfortable to look at anything up close since it strains your eyes. However, the strain or headache in our eyes is just momentary and goes gone after a little rest. In essence, the sort of monitor or settings you require simply depend on how comfortable you are. You shouldn’t be concerned about your eyes becoming permanently damaged.
Eye-friendly Monitor Specifications
Let’s start by talking about the greatest kind of monitors for your eyes. To understand more about how different monitor settings influence your eyes, we advise reading this section even if you already have a monitor.
PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) technology was commonly utilised in older monitors to provide dimmer lighting. Full brightness is achieved by shining light for the whole duration in a single cycle (fraction of a second). However, if you just illuminate for half of the cycle’s duration, the entire number of cycles appears half as bright. The On-Off refresh of this PWM-based technology causes flickers, which make eyestrain worse.
The majority of modern displays control brightness and contrast using DC technology. Therefore, there is no flicker. Additionally, if PWM displays have a very fast refresh rate, our eyes won’t be able to see the flickers, which lessens their impact. In any case, it’s preferable to utilise DC dimming-enabled flicker-free monitors.
Medium Blue Light
The closest colour to UV light is blue. It is more damaging to our retina than other lights because of its short wavelength and tremendous intensity. However, because there is so little blue light coming from artificial sources, it doesn’t have an impact on our eyes when we use them regularly.
Blue light does reduce contrast and can make some people’s eyes more tired. Additionally, it scatters more, making it harder for you to focus. Use of low blue light monitors or those with low blue light mode is thus advised. Additionally, although extended exposure to artificial blue light doesn’t injure your eyes permanently, it might disrupt your circadian cycle and prevent you from getting enough sleep.
How much control you have over it directly depends on the minimum brightness of your display. Users with sensitive eyes may experience problems if the monitor’s minimum brightness is very bright. Therefore, be careful to evaluate the minimum brightness for many displays to choose the one that works best for you.
Color Gamut in sRGB
The colour gamut of a monitor is a representation of the palette of colours that can be displayed on it. For your eyes, sRGB is the optimum colour space or colour gamut. It can reproduce between 25% and 33% of the visible colour spectrum but ignores the more intense hues. The lesser saturation may make the renderings appear a little flat, but it is easier on the eyes. However, if the saturation doesn’t bother you too much, you may also utilise alternative options.
Read More: When Should Your Old Monitor Be Replaced?
Layout of RGB Subpixels
The arrangement that reads texts well is the RGB subpixel layout. BGR layouts, which contain an inverted subpixel structure, can cause text to become hazy, especially on monitors with low pixel densities. It occurs because anti-aliasing is often applied based on the RGB layout, which is ineffective for the BGR pattern.
Technology for displays
The display technology you need to select is based on the earlier requirements. Most consumers agree that IPS LCD displays are particularly low strain since they create less blue light. In particular when compared to other LCDs like VA or TN panels, this is frequently the case. Some people, nevertheless, should think about their alternatives since they are susceptible to nano-IPS.
The backlighting is an additional factor to take into account. The brightness, contrast, and glare are all controlled by this function. Backlighting is not used in Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) displays. When electricity flows through their organic emissive components, light is produced. As a result, they generate more realistic renderings that are easier on the eyes.
The screen is illuminated by a backlight in LCDs and earlier LEDs. Therefore, it is difficult to maintain optimum brightness and contrast. Additionally, LEDs and LCDs display greater glare or reflected light at low brightness levels, which makes concentration even harder.
The amount of glare you experience is directly related to the screen surface. Monitors with high glare reflect more light from the outside because they are glossy and untreated. Monitors with a matte surface disperse the surrounding light, which lessens glare.
Glossy displays may be preferable if your ambient lighting is less bright since matte panels have less contrast and brightness. Not everyone can use displays with matte surfaces. Therefore, when purchasing a monitor, be sure to examine which matte model puts the least or no strain on your eyes.
Eye-friendly Monitor Settings
If you have the ability to alter any of the choices or settings listed in the preceding section, do so. After that, browse through the list below and adjust your monitor’s settings as necessary.
Luminosity and contrast
As we previously said, eye strain is caused by the difference in brightness between two different things rather than brightness. The brightness of your display should ideally match that of the surrounding light. As a result, raise it throughout the day and lower it at night. Don’t let it become so dark that you can’t see, though. You should always have some amount of lighting in your space and on your displays.
It’s also not a good idea to use a lot of contrast. In the actual world, there are no items that are totally black or perfectly white. Reduce the contrast on your display to a setting that seems natural to you. Generally speaking, you want it to be between 60% and 75%. However, your monitor is also a factor. Additionally, you need to boost the monitor’s brightness if there is a lot of glare. It is a better choice since glare-related problems concentrating is a bigger contributor to eye strain than increased screen brightness.
Refresh rate and resolution
It’s preferable to choose the highest resolution level available. In order to lessen sharpness if it starts to feel unpleasant, we advise relying on alternative settings. Images of lower quality seem hazy, making it difficult to concentrate on them. The maximum setting for your monitor’s refresh rate, or a little bit less if you utilize VSync, should also be used. Your eyes will strain from the pseudo-flicker effect caused by a decreased refresh rate.
Light and Dark modes
Enabling dark mode makes it simpler to see and view the screen in dimly lit areas. Character identification is facilitated by the stark contrast between the backdrop and text. But bear in mind that strong contrast isn’t always provided by dark mode. In fact, a dark option with somewhat lesser contrast is perfect (5-10 percent on white and 90-95 percent on black).
However, light mode prevails in bright surroundings. Dark mode becomes uncomfortable in certain situations and makes it difficult to see text. A few visual problems, such astigmatism, make it difficult for certain people to see white lettering on a black backdrop. We advise adjusting the colour temperature or turning on night mode to reduce the amount of light.
Temperature of Color and Night Mode
One of the most effective techniques to lessen eye strain is to change the colour temperature. Ideal lighting should have a warmer hue (less blue and more yellow), especially at night when there is less natural light. With warm temperature colour mode, most people find it simpler to concentrate. Reading is therefore gentler on your eyes.
Many people use the f.lux programme to have the colour temperature vary automatically based on the time of day. Other capabilities include the ability to adjust multiple colour tones for certain situations. The majority of operating systems also have the option to activate night mode, which creates a warm colour tone for the hours of darkness.
Gamma describes the lighting of each pixel at a certain brightness. Low gamma brightens the render’s darkest areas whereas high gamma enhances lighter visuals. To make your display appear more natural, you can alter its value. The standard gamma setting on a sRGB colour gamut monitor is 2.2.
Image sharpening or enhancement
Some individuals may find augmented photos that are extremely crisp to be visually pleasant, but they sacrifice smoothness for brightness. Additionally, enabling HDR enhances saturation, which may cause eye fatigue. The most natural-looking and focusable photos are those that are smooth. We advise eliminating such parameters completely because sharp photos also contrast more than is necessary.
Font size and scaling
Setting the scaling and font size is again a question of comfort. Focusing on typefaces or symbols that are too big or little is difficult. Decide on the settings that will make reading the most enjoyable for you. Additionally, unless absolutely required, avoid scaling your display because doing so lowers render quality.
Additional Techniques to Improve Eye Comfort
You may follow a few habits to relieve eye strain when looking at your computer, like:
Have adequate ambient lighting
As was previously said, the brightness of your screen should match that of the surrounding environment. At night, warmer monitor colours are also preferable. In contrast to the tone of the monitor, the ambient light is harsher if you use fluorescent or white LED lights.
Additionally, switching between the backdrop and your monitor’s focus might tire your eyes if the area directly behind it is darker. To avoid these problems, it is thus preferable to install LED strips or a yellowish bulb light behind the display.
Modify the monitor’s position, setup, and distance
Contrary to popular assumption, your posture has a greater impact on eye strain from monitor distance than the actual distance. The majority of individuals naturally want to approach at a comfortable viewing distance. Therefore, it will be difficult for you to focus on the screen depending on your distance from it.
The same holds true if the display is angled such that it is not in your line of sight. To avoid having to move your head around a lot and straining your eyes, make sure the display is appropriately positioned and that you are sitting straight.
Blue light and anti-glare filters
Eye strain and headaches are frequently caused by screen reflections and blue lights. If your display doesn’t already restrict blue light and glare, you need buy some filters. To shield yourself from blue light exposure, you may also wear glasses.
adhere to the 20-20-20 rule
According to the 20-20-20 rule, you should swivel your head and spend around 20 seconds focusing on an item at a distance of 20 feet after 20 minutes of seeing a digital screen. You may rest and let your eyes relax by doing this.
Aeration, hydration, and blinking
People tend to blink less when watching displays, which is one of the primary causes of eye strain. The act of blinking maintains the eyes lubricated and stops them from tensing. So that you may establish it as a habit, try purposefully blinking more frequently.
In order for your body to create enough tears, you must also drink enough water. Make sure to get enough water because you need tears to avoid dry eyes. Eye drops are another option for hydrating your eyes. Additionally, your eyes will dry up more rapidly if your surroundings are rather dry and heated. Therefore, an AC or a fan with excellent airflow is advised.