I use a lot of technology and am always looking for ways to reduce eye strain with technology. Since I have low vision, I rely a lot on different devices to help me accomplish different tasks, so I tend to develop eye strain easily. Here are my tips for how to reduce eye strain with technology.
Blue light filter guard for Google Chrome
This extension helps to remove blue light, which can cause fatigue, eye strain, and blurry vision. It puts a warm tint over the page allowing the user to look at the screen for long periods of time. This has never affected my ability to see pictures, as images look very natural against this background.
I found myself in the computer lab all day with virtual classes in high school. My low vision specialist recommended computer glasses, which have a special progressive bifocal, for helping to prevent me from bending my head funny as I try to read through my bifocal. I got mine through LensCrafters, and they took about seven business days to receive them. One downfall is that it’s impossible to see when the user looks away from the screen- when there was a fire alarm one day and I got up without changing glasses, I walked into the wall next to the door.
One of my friends likes to use non-prescription tinted glasses. when using electronics. These have a yellow tint to them and help to reduce eye strain further. I have not tried wearing them over my thick glasses so I’m not sure how they will fit, but I do like the wraparound design. I have a tint added to my prescription glasses to help with light sensitivity
Anti-glare screen filter
This is a glass filter that hangs on the outside of the computer monitor. This is not helpful for touch screens, however for desktop computers that don’t use touch, it’s a great way to further filter out light and glare, making text easy to see. My mom has this on her home computer and it really helps.
Reducing white point on iPad and iPhone
To do this, go to settings, then accessibility, and then display accommodations. It can be found on the bottom part of the menu. Mine is reduced to 50°.
Color filter on iPad and Android
This helps to filter out blue light on iPad and iPhone. It can be enabled in display accommodations and then the color accommodations menu. I have a color intensity about 1/3 down the line and the hue at 100%. Color filters can also be enabled by Android phones.
This free application is available for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and even Linux. Simply tell it what area you live in and what lighting you have and it does the rest, intelligently blocking out light, especially at night.
Eventually, my eyes do get tired and I like the feeling of compression on them and total darkness. My eye pillow is one of my favorite purchases from Amazon and has a hot and cold side to it depending on what kind of relief I’m looking for. I find leaving this on for twenty minutes is invaluable.
Microsoft Office backgrounds
My friend taught me this when I was in tenth grade. If you find the background behind the document you’re working on to be too bright, you can go into options and change the color of the background to dark gray/black.
- How to create accessible documents with Microsoft Word
- How to create accessible presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft OneNote review
What is better, a super bright screen or a super dark screen? For me, I prefer to use the automatic brightness settings across my devices to decide for me. Naturally, I prefer slightly darker to avoid triggering my photosensitivity, and I can adjust the automatic settings when needed.
Despite popular belief, you will not go blind by looking at a screen too long or too closely. This was true with the first cathode ray televisions, although with LCD/LED displays, it is no longer true. So use your devices for whatever you need them for, and use these tips to learn how to reduce eye strain with technology!