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I work at a computer for 8 hours a day, with a 30 minute break. There are fluorescent white lights and white walls.

My eyes sometimes feel dry, hurt and tired.

I've changed the brightness and gamma (less blue, more yellow) of my monitors, using redshift and xrandr. It provides some relief, but I still experience eye strain.

Would tinted computer glasses help? I want to decrease the brightness and block blue light. E.g. www.readers.com/The-Bogart-Unmagnified-Computer-Glasses.html

I have myopia, but don't wear glasses (unless I need to see things in a distance).

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  • I'm not able to change the lighting. As far as I know, my colleagues don't have a problem with eye strain. I was hoping that computer glasses could dim the lights and make things look less blue. At home I don't get eye strain; the walls are red and yellow and the light bulb is yellow. So I think it's a problem with the brightness and frequency. Jul 25, 2015 at 20:26
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    Short answers: make sure the entire area around the screen is entirely clear of objects, blank cubicle wall fabric is best. Your eyes are scanning across the screen and back a zillion times a day and they "trip" over every object surrounding the screen. Light the area behind the screen if it is dark. You can put an incandescent bulb right over your work area. Most important: get enough water, use sunglasses outdoors and cut down on activities that strain your eyes outside of work. Like Repetitive Strain, you only get one set of eyeballs, and if you can't use them at work you are out of luck.
    – user37746
    Jun 29, 2016 at 22:39
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    Many more people are going through this and getting wrong info about glasses and eye drops. Tired eye muscles need rest. That's the truth about eye strain. Here are some experiences: nav9.medium.com/…
    – Nav
    Apr 17, 2021 at 9:29
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    If you're suffering from dry eyes, eye drops (the ones that are just water with the right amount of salt) will definitively help. Depending on your situation a drop per eye every few hours should already significantly improve the comfort. At least that is my experience with dry eyes after Lasik. However that will not help if the issue is only the muscles as others have pointed out. I would just try it out if you're uncertain.
    – seg
    Feb 4 at 21:03
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    Dry eye is often caused by an issue with the oil glands that lubricate eyes and keep the water from evaporating quickly. These glands will stop working if not kept open, so see an eye doctor. People are getting this at much younger ages than ever before due to increased screen usage which slows blinking. Driving does it too. Urgent issue! Feb 5 at 16:33

4 Answers 4

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Yes, but see a good eye doctor.

You can get glasses which are optimized for computer work. I am wearing them now. What you want to do is measure the distance from your face to the screen and tell that to the eye doctor so that he can write you the proper prescription. Be aware that there could be other things causing strain-- you might need a prism correction if you see double when tired (that was my situation).

You can optionally have an anti-glare coating as well. This gives the glasses a bluish sheen visible to people looking at you but you'll perceive a barely noticeable yellowish tint on pure white surfaces.

These glasses aren't general purpose, far away objects and up close objects won't be in crisp focus. But everything on your screen will be sharp and glare free.

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    +1, discussing the issue with a professional is the most important first step to take. Jul 25, 2015 at 22:40
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    Second this. I'm writing this with a pair of glasses cut for the computer. I don't worry about anti-glare because I've got my system set up so it's a non-issue. This pair is only for the computer, I can't read with it and it will bother me to look at distant objects with them on. Jul 26, 2015 at 19:37
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    Definitely get the anti-glare coating. (This was my ophthalmologist's advice, though I probably would have done it anyway.) Jul 27, 2015 at 3:26
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    Yes, without anti-glare, people looking at your face will see lots of reflections and glare on your glasses. No one used to notice (because it was inevitable) but now it is unprofessional and not nice to people conversing with you. Watch movies: you can tell which ones are old by looking at glasses.
    – user37746
    Jun 29, 2016 at 22:35
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Eye strain can be caused by many other reasons (which should be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist), but in most cases, the REAL reason the eyes get strained, is because the intraocular and extraocular muscles are held in one position for too long. Human eyes are not evolved for this. Additionally, modern food habits, noise and stress causes us to lose sleep often (if you think you are getting enough sleep, you are likely mistaken. Measure it and see). Lack of 8 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep severely impacts the eye muscles because they didn't get the rest they needed.

How do I know? I've suffered chronic eye strain for more than 6 years, and I've seen how the field of ophthalmology didn't have the slightest clue of how to cure the strain. Finally I had to do experiments on my own to figure it out.

Since the focus should be on rest and not on glare or blue light, my answer is that computer glasses should not be the focus for reducing strain. Proper sleep, periodic rest and proper nutrition should. More info here: https://nav9.medium.com/the-real-cure-for-eye-strain-6483490d150f

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    I think this answer adds important balance to the other answer. Certainly, failing to wear glasses where a prescription exists can contribute to strain (as the eye then marshals surrounding muscles to change the profile of the eye), as can a screen (or working environment) which is unduly bright and intense (and that includes an unduly blue-biased light source). But a screen that is excessively close (relative to the resting focus distance of the eye), and inadequate ability to take a rest from the screen and focus into the distance at different ranges, can also contribute to strain.
    – Steve
    Feb 13, 2021 at 15:53
  • To the downvoter: Try to recognize when someone speaks from years of experience.
    – Nav
    Feb 15, 2021 at 20:38
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    Nav, I was working on a reply but forgot to post it. Apologies. You're absolutely correct that computer glasses won't correct misuse, overuse and other issues with a behavioral root cause. However, I feel that you're coming on much to strongly - your answer might be harmful rather than helpful. Age-related eye disorders develop gradually and are thus underdiagnosed: i.e. eye strain and dry eyes are a normal consequence of uncorrected astigmatism, which many people develop between age 20 and 40. I feel an ophthalmological cause should always be ruled out as part of the process.
    – MvZ
    Feb 16, 2021 at 9:19
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    @MvZ: I completely agree that the strain can be caused due to other reasons (which is why the Medium article "The real cure for eye strain" mentions it in bold. I'll add a sentence here too. Doctors who are too enthusiastic of prescribing dry eye treatments and astigmatism lenses to people who don't have those disorders (like me, who was wrongly diagnosed multiple times), are also being harmful rather than helpful. The problems of dry eyes and astigmatism aren't a "normal" consequence of age. That too for a 20 or 30 year old. Sleep loss, poor nutrition and inadequate rest play a role.
    – Nav
    Feb 16, 2021 at 14:35
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    The real answer here is "consider all of the above."
    – keshlam
    Jan 30 at 16:28
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I don’t have computer glasses, but I have “short distance” glasses. I need one prescription for distance viewing (like driving a car), another pair for things nearby, like a computer screen and things on my desk, and another prescription for things nearby, like reading a book or using a phone screen. So not having the short distance glasses would be uncomfortable while using a computer screen.

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  • The dashboard of your car is nearby :-) I have progressive lens sunglasses for driving. (why is it called a 'dashboard'? Interesting historical reason) Feb 5 at 17:03
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Programmer here, about the same hours as your. And I always wear glasses.

For me it did absolutely nothing. As I program fulltime and spend a significant amount of time behind a screen I expected some benefit. Nothing at all. My colleague says it does help, at least turning his screen a little less blue.

In my experience this helps a lot more:

  • Be mindful of the air conditioning or other airstreams. Those take the moist from your eyes faster than you'd think. Also very dry airco air doesnt help. Also being near a door or a stairway might have air flows around you.
  • Screen intensity. As we dont game on this computer, you can turn the contrast down. I often set it to 50% ish, but this is monitor specific
  • Control the light behind your screen. If you have a window behind your screen, that might not help. Sunlight, even on dark days, is quite a lot. Looking into that is hard on the eyes. Closing the shutters a bit might help.
  • Enable darkmode. Looking at black background with a light font is a lot easier for the eyes.
  • Have a proper zoom. I have two 4k screens, but those pixels are tiny. I've set the standard zoom of Firefox to 125%, making things easier to read. And yes, having a 4k screen and then zoom in again has benefits, everything is a lot sharper. The quad HD also is nice.

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