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View Full Version : Computer eye strain and the solution: what a dummy I am



Mela
10-07-2009, 06:37 PM
I have to start this by telling you all how dumb I feel.

For something like a year I've had on and off episodes of feeling exhausted at the end of the day, so much so that I'd have to lay down and shut my eyes for a half hour when I got home from work. Lately, the problem got so bad that it was taking a physical toll as well. I can't tell you why but I never made the connection between heavy computer work and the eye strain and then never realized that such severe eye strain could also cause such physical fatigue. I wasn't getting headaches; I wasn't squinting and I do wear eyeglasses. Just had my eyes checked a year ago.

I saw a friend over the weekend and she told me quite simply: Increase the computer screen size to 150 percent.

Well, knock me on the head with an apple. Within 2 days my energy had returned to the extent where I no longer had to shut my eyes during work or when I got home from work. The solution was that simple.

I pass this along in case someone else out there is as blind - no pun intended - as I was. I feel so much better - and getting my energy back is wonderful. I was, indeed, in the dark about the hazards of extended computer use.

Adam
10-07-2009, 06:43 PM
It's surprising how much of an effect eye strain can have, isn't it? :)

I've had a few days before now where I've been unable to use my PC, read or watch TV because it's been so bad.

Whenever I need to read something on screen now, I either bump up the font or zoom the webpage (Ctrl + mousewheel in FireFox).

dpaterso
10-07-2009, 06:59 PM
Windows comes with a bunch of color and bigger font themes that you might want to check out (under Personalize Window Color and Appearance). I've said this before somewhere, I have my background color set to a nice eggshell green that's real easy on my eyes and lets me write for hours without eyestrain headaches.

-Derek

brokenfingers
10-07-2009, 07:05 PM
When I first got my laptop, I began getting headaches. I discovered it was a popular problem and was due to the brightness/glare of the screen. I reduced the brightness and haven't suffered the same problem since.

bettielee
10-07-2009, 07:06 PM
Yes, I make use of the font buttons on the ol' safari... but sometimes I still forget, and wonder what the heck am I doing leaning forward and staring at the screen!?!

Not a bad reminder.

Adam
10-07-2009, 07:13 PM
Yes, I make use of the font buttons on the ol' safari... but sometimes I still forget, and wonder what the heck am I doing leaning forward and staring at the screen!?!

Not a bad reminder.

Hehe, as I read that, I realised I was leaning forward and staring at the screen. :D

Mela
10-07-2009, 07:25 PM
I'd drive home from work and the fatigue was so overwhelming I felt as though I'd have to pull over and shut my eyes.
I'm guessing that working on the smaller computer screen, and then refocusing for the hour's drive home, was really taking a toll on my eyes and wiping me out.

Snowstorm
10-07-2009, 07:30 PM
I also think it's a habit for folks to stare at the computer screen, which only dries the eyes. Blink, blink, blink, blink. Repeat.

benbradley
10-07-2009, 07:48 PM
What's the "computer screen size" and how do you increase it 150 percent? I've got a 21 inch CRT monitor, and I don't think larger CRT computer monitors were ever made. If they were I probably can't pick one up to move it. From the responses it appears you actually increased the font size.

The big thing I've discovered is keeping the scan rate (okay, Windows calls it refresh rate) up as high as it will go with the resolution and color depth setting you have. In XP, go to start->control panel->display->settings->advanced->monitor. Lower settings can cause strain similar to fluorescent lights, even if you don't actually see the screen flickering. I just set my refresh rate from 85Hz to 100Hz, though I didn't notice problems at 85Hz.

My resolution is 1600x1200 which is pretty high, but works with this big monitor. If you've still got eyestrain at a higher refresh rate, you can lower the resolution (Start->Control panel->Display->settings) and that will make everything (pics as well as text) bigger.

At my age, the right strength of reading glasses is also essential. I could have used glasses starting in my early 40's.

Mela
10-07-2009, 07:54 PM
There's a Page icon on Internet Explorer with an arrow - click to zoom and it will give percentages. 100 percent is the normal size; 125 is better but 150 percent seems to be doing the trick for me. In Word, there's a button at the top of the page with percentages, along with page width, text width, etc.

darkprincealain
10-07-2009, 09:16 PM
Windows comes with a bunch of color and bigger font themes that you might want to check out (under Personalize Window Color and Appearance). I've said this before somewhere, I have my background color set to a nice eggshell green that's real easy on my eyes and lets me write for hours without eyestrain headaches.

-Derek

Yup, I've got my work computer set to a fairly dark green for the same reason. It sometimes plays heck with email or the like, but I'm willing to deal with that, as long as I can make it a no headache zone. :D

tjwriter
10-07-2009, 09:40 PM
You can also hold the control key and use the scroll wheel on the mouse to increase and decrease text size in most Microsoft applications, such as IE and Word.

Wayne K
10-07-2009, 09:42 PM
You could have just asked us all to type like this.

writerterri
10-07-2009, 09:59 PM
I seem to have to pull things I read at least on and a half to two feet away from my eyes to read them or I get eye pain. This won't help me will it?

Susie
10-10-2009, 01:35 AM
Thx much, Mela. I'm gonna try that. My eyes get really strained.