1. 21

  2. 15

    Reduce the screen’s brightness to a level appropriate for the surroundings. The amount of people I see with full brightness is bewildering; you’re basically just staring in to a lamp.

    I’ve always suspected this is a big reason for the push for “dark modes”. Many “dark modes” are actually quite hard to read for me, as I tend to keep the brightness fairly low, which works well for white/light backgrounds

    I rather miss analogue controls for this on old CRT monitors; the OSDs of most moderns screens are much harder to use.

    Most phones do this automatically; I’m not sure if there’s software for computers to do that. Lack of a light sensor would make it hard, although I guess you could use the webcam for that (if you have one)?

    1. 3

      At least macOS does this if you’re on a Mac with an ambient light sensor, for instance all MacBooks & iMacs and some external monitors. On top of that I use an app called Brisync which will synchronise the screen brightness to other/external monitors using ddc/ci commands.

      I previously used a ThinkPad with Linux as my primary workstation, where I had a similar setup but unfortunately the ThinkPads (at least up to and including the skylake generation) doesn’t have ambient light sensors, so I just scheduled a cronjob to run once every 15 minutes or so readjusting the light based on the time of the day adjusted for sunrise/sunset also using DDC/CI commands. In Linux, the channel, at least for the Dell monitors I was using at the time, is exposed as a I2C channel embedded in the DVI/DP-interface (usually it’s only enabled on one or two of the input ports and might have to be enabled via the OSD).

    2. 2

      Hold you finger out about 25cm (10in) away from your face

      Funny, I always thought I’m the only one doing this every now and then. The author also recommends some other eye exercises that make sense to me, but is there actual evidence that these are useful, or is it just something the author expects to be useful? I.e., does research on the topic exist?

      1. 3

        The “figure eight” exercises sound like The Bates Method voodoo, but actively trying to focus on a faraway object might help to combat pseudomyopia. Basically your eye can get stuck in a spasm that makes you nearsighted. I’ve even seen atropine drops sold to for students to relax their eyes.

        In my experience the eye strain increased in magnitude after I tried doing the 20-20-20 exercises. What helped was getting reading glasses for near work.

        1. 2

          When I looked into it a couple of years back all evidence were anecdotal and actual research showed no such result. But the placebo and break might still add some value.

        2. 2

          I just make my monitors (5 of them) as bright as possible and have a white background text editor and a white background terminal. Sitting in front of them for a bit with my eyes closed allows me to adjust once then never again. Since I have astigmatism the brighter screens help me focus in addition to keeping me awake. Also, no caffeine. That stuff makes the backs of my eyes hurt. I don’t know if it’s a migraine or not but it makes it hard to stare at my monitors for a long period of time.

          1. 4

            If it works for you, more power to you, but that setup sounds like a nightmare.

            If I may ask how bad is your vision that you need to do this? I too have an astigmatism, but with glasses or contacts it doesn’t tend to bother anywhere near as much as you describe.

            1. 1

              My vision is not too horrible but I like maximizing the amount of text on each monitor so the text itself is fairly small. Higher dpi monitors my help in my case but I haven’t tried it.

          2. 1

            Well, is it also true that a VA monitor panel would be definitely better than an IPS?

            1. 4

              IPS is a bit better for reading. If you’re gaming then VA is nicer.