If you use a computer all day for work and/or play, you’re aware of how easy it is to get eyestrain after looking at the computer for a substantial amount of time. It’s easily solved by getting up and taking a break for awhile, but sometimes that’s just not possible, especially if a project is due or even late.
Eyestrain can make it very difficult work, play, watch movies and so on. Not only that, but it’s extremely bad for your eyes and overall vision. With that in mind, it might just be worth investing your time into a program called f.lux to take care of that eyestrain, never having to deal with it on the screen again.
Computer Eyestrain And How It Affects You
Effects from the computer screen can come in many different forms, with the most common being eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and even neck and shoulder pain. It’s a serious problem for those that spend a large portion of their days on the computer, or even game well into the night. It’s largely caused by poor lighting, the glare from the digital screen, and sometimes even uncorrected vision problems.
The American Optometric Association lists a lot of different reasons for these problems, but there’s one symptom we’ll be looking to solve through a program called f.lux:
“Viewing a computer or digital screen often makes the eyes work harder. As a result, the unique characteristics and high visual demands of computer and digital screen device viewing make many individuals susceptible to the development of vision-related symptoms.”
It’s true. Viewing a computer or digital screen makes the eyes work a whole lot harder. f.lux attests this problem to our computers and laptops being designed to look like the sun. That’s why many don’t start feeling eyestrain or fatigue until it begins getting dark out.
That’s why f.lux is the go-to free program for adapting your computer or laptop screen to the time of day.
How f.lux Can Help Reduce Eyestrain
f.lux adapts to the time of the day by making the display warm at night, and defaulting it to look like the sunlight during the daytime. Here’s how the company describes how it works:
“f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again. Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically.”
Pretty simple, huh? f.lux is a free program, and by installing it and setting up the different lighting features, you’ll only be better off for it. For instance, many times we have difficulty sleeping at night due to the type of light our electronics give off. By switching it to something more “warm” during evening and nighttime hours, you won’t have to worry about that ever again.
Not only that, but it truly does reduce eyestrain when it gets darker out. This is because it enables that warmer lighting for your display, meaning you aren’t looking at something as bright as day during those nighttime hours.
Keep in mind that the problem isn’t just our computer screens, though. Now that mobile is a big part of our world, the problem is also with our smartphones and tablets as well. In this world, who doesn’t shut down their computer before bed, only to take their smartphone or tablet to bed with them to catch up on social media or watch a movie? Everyone does it, and it usually makes us feel more “wired” than we should before bed. Thankfully, f.lux will help negate those affects on mobile as well–for Android or iOS.
In addition to being available for free on iOS and Android, it’s also available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Eyestrain is a serious problem these days, especially since much of our world revolves around computers. By taking some small steps like downloading f.lux for a warmer light during night hours, you can reduce that strain astronomically. And while it might not help much during the day, there are still some other steps you can take to reduce that strain.
Taking frequent breaks from looking away at the computer can be a huge help. Even if you can’t get up and take a large 20-minute break, focusing your attention on something else for even a minute or two can negate the problem (refer to the 20-20-20 rule by the American Optometric Association for more info).
Do you have frequent trouble with eyestrain from the screen? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below or join us over in the PCMech Forums!