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Staring at a Monitor all day
Does eyestrain affect you?

 8:36 pm on Jun 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

After working on a computer all day, my eyes and head ache.

I've tried different monitors, different settings, and even checked my eyes, and nothing seems to help. It seems like everyone I know doesn't have a problem with this.

How do you all do it? Am I the only one on the earth with this problem?

Keyword research on the Overture search term tool is the *worst*..



 6:24 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I find the days I spend in the text editor (mine set: black background, light text), are much less eye stressfull than days spent in the browser (mostly white background)


 6:44 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you wear glasses, I highly recommend getting them with a quality, guaranteed, anti-reflective coating. Not only will they cosmetically releive you of the 4-eyes sydnrom, you'll see better because more light gets to your eyes and less gets reflected away.

Finally, some good eye drops can do wonders when the eyes get weary and tired.


 7:54 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

My eyes used to be really bad, but I got a flat screen at work which has just about eliminated the problem entirely. I also drink lots of water, which is good for you, and forces you to take regular breaks away from the monitor if you know what I mean :)

Now the BIG problem is my arms & hands. From my shoulders to my finger tips everything hurts all the time and by the end of the day my hands can't even function properly. Seriously, I can hardly hold a beer and that is quite upsetting. I've tried to improve my ergonomics, but that isn't really working.

So, I guess I'm saying if it's just your eyes/head you are lucky...that was just the beginning for me. I'd go back to headaches and burning eyes in a minute if I could stop my arms and hands from acting up.


 9:26 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey Craig_F, that sounds really bad, you should get yourself looked at, Repetitive Strain is serious...

I have found that a good chair with adjustable arms really takes the strain off my shoulders and back when typing for extended periods, and also when using the mouse... Also, I have become ambidextrous with the mouse, as I hurt my right hand with overuse.

As for eyes, I don't know if it was connected, but I was getting horrible dizzy spells for a while, with a numbness on my tongue and blurred vision, almost passing out, but not. Since then, I have quit smoking (tobacco and other 'herbal' mixtures), and it has stopped. Also, I don't think I am looking at the screen _quite_ as much as before (only 16 hours per day as opposed to 18 :-)


 10:00 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

A few of things that I do to make computer work easier for me are:
1: I get the monitor up off the desk about 6 inches -- that makes it easier on the neck if you stare at it all day.

2: Get a big monitor. I use a 19 inch monitor and I wouldn't mind a bigger one. A big monitor makes a HUGE difference on neck/eye strain.

3: Use a wide desk or table so that you could get everything pushed away from you. I actually like to have the length of my forearms on the desk and have my keyboard a good 16-18 inches out in front of me. It may sound odd, but this way I have practically zero shoulder elbow strain.

4: Use your mouse as little as possible -- learn your keyboard shortcuts. Also, get ambidextrous with your mouse and move it from one side to your other to give your wrists a break.

5: Get away form the computer.


 11:42 pm on Jun 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you wear glasses, I highly recommend getting them with a quality, guaranteed, anti-reflective coating.

I *wish* I could do this. For some reason the anti-reflective coating makes me nauseated.

How does the LCD vs a regular monitor make a difference? I don't understand how that would matter at all.

The Contractor

 12:32 am on Jun 16, 2002 (gmt 0)


<<How does the LCD vs a regular monitor make a difference? I don't understand how that would matter at all.>>

Because CRT's flicker no matter what refresh rate they are set at. It is the nature of the beast. Ever see a CRT monitor in the background on a TV program? LCD's do not have a refresh problem as they just turn a pixel on or off. There is also no magnetic or radiation field given off by LCD's. There is not glare on LCD's like CRT's.

I am sure if you do a ergonomic search on LCD's on Google you will find a better explanation and more info.


 5:56 am on Jun 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have only been really involved in computer related activity for about 2 years. My main job has nothing to do with computers or www at all but when I started with the company I was sent for a medical examination (including eye test) last month I went for another examination and there was a notable reduction in my level of eye sight. The examiner asked some questions and concluded that the probable cause was radiation from a computer monitor due to the large amount of time I spend staring into to it.

The moral to all this is simple. Your eyesight isn't something you should abuse or gamble with, use protective glare screens or glasses that have filters.

The Contractor

 12:30 pm on Jun 16, 2002 (gmt 0)


Interesting post. Even a low radiation and magnetic field CRT still can cause problems over time. Ever notice how much dust (and nicotine if your a smoker) collects on your screen?

Give me an LCD anyday except for True Color representation ;)


 2:36 pm on Jun 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

I went to my eye doctor about 1.5 yrs ago.... after he examined my eyes he sat back and looked a little puzzled and said my eyes looked over corrected except my prescription was pretty close to being right... he asked what I did for a living.... soon as he heard 'computers' he said I needed 2 pairs of glasses... one to see far away, another for computer use... both have that anti reflective coating... but the point was that my normal glasses were made for me to focus on things 20 feet away, not 20" away, and while I couldn't read comfortably w/o glasses, I didn't need super strong ones either.... no one had ever told me anything like that but it made perfect sense... and it solved my eyestrain instantly.

I also have one of those lights that reflect down over the monitor... can't tell if it helps or not.

brotherhood of LAN

 4:02 pm on Jun 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

I also have an astigmatism (in left eye), never cared to wear glasses though I'd probably see much better if I wore them. Trying to read the text im writing right now, about 2 feet from the screen is quite hard to focus with. I imagine X amount of people will no doubt be seeing thw text the same way my left eye does on its own.

Lately Ive been cranking up the font sizes for ease of view...and sitting back from the screen. I'll probably go for a bigger monitor when I build up the courage to part £ for a big 'un.

I just wanted to say that people should call into question the way in which they view the screen - head on, slightly to the left etc etc, because that will inevitably be the most part of any damage caused!


 1:10 pm on Jun 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't tend to suffer from eyestrain (luckily), even though I'm running a 1,920 by 1,440 resolution on a 19" screen. It is a high-quality VDU though (Sony Trinitron) which has an integral "glare guard" coating on the surface of the screen. False lighting is a big contributer to screen flicker headaches (IMHO) and the flicker of the flourescent bulb isn't in sync with your monitor refresh, and so you can end up with an "interesting" effect over time.

Another thing I do is have the brightness turned all the way down, and the contrast all the way up, and while at first this looked a little odd, I think it does help protect your eyes that little bit more.

The only occaisions I get headaches at work is when I'm very tired, and it doesn't appear to matter what I'm doing at the time. I drink lots of fresh water all day though, and this generally makes me feel more comfortable in the office environment.

Added: I've always had 20/20 vision for as long as I can remember, and was told by my optician to only book an appointment once every 5 years last time I saw him. Both of my parents wear glasses, as do both sets of grandparents, although my sister doesn't.


 5:10 pm on Jun 17, 2002 (gmt 0)

I find whenever i wear my glasses i suffer from headaches, but when i wear my lenses - no problems - the only thing is they tend to dry up quite a bit if i find a particularly good porn site :)

but to be perfectly honest with you the thing that gives me the most jip out of sitting at the puter for so long are the tendons in the back of my right hand... this is really worrying as my right hand wrist is the most important joint in my entire body on and off the puter



 12:53 am on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> tendons in the back of my right hand

Hop over to Staples and get one of their mousepads with the jell wrist-support riser on it. Lets your hand rest comfortably in a natural position while working the mouse.


 12:11 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Judging by the kind of content chiefmonkey's looking at, it ain't the mouse causing the aforementioned wrist problems...



 12:18 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

What a man does in his attic is his own private affair! ;)


 4:32 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Monitor is fairly nice @ Home, the one at work has been acting up where its makign the screen ummm vibrate a little so thats purely fscking with my eyes if I keep this up too long ill be blind (8


 6:21 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have progressive myopia (i.e., nearsightedness that gets worse over time), and I've found that using my old glasses with a weaker prescription works well for the computer work. So I have my new, "good" glasses for driving, movie watching, being able to distinguish my wife from other people (good thing, that), and then I have my "bad" glasses for computer use.

I also use an NEC 19" CRT set to 1024x768, True Color (32bit), and 85 Hz refresh rate at work (7-10 hours/day). The upshot: my eyes don't feel especially tired.

I don't think monitor placement has received a lot of time in this thread, so I'll chime in with this: if you and your monitor are facing into a window, your eyes will have to work harder to make out the screen. It seems an obvious point, but I think it's a common mistake. For optimal monitor viewing, sit perpendicular to any significant source of light or, even better, with your back to it.

Oh yeah, and I recommend using the highest refresh rate possible (if you're on a CRT)...


 6:28 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've found that using my old glasses with a weaker prescription works well for the computer work
That's interesting... since my eyestrain became much less noticeable after I got a new, stronger prescription for my nearsightedness. I wonder if my astigmatism hadn't changed a bit as well, and maybe it's the improved astigmatism correction that helped most? Maybe I should look at my prescription and see...

being able to distinguish my wife from other people (good thing, that)
LOL... Years ago my husband ran up and grabbed a strange woman from behind, thinking she was me. He got glasses for the first time not too long afterwards. ;)


 7:28 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here is an alternative solution. It worked for me.

Turn off your overhead light, and get a standing lamp. Your overhead light could be the cause of your headaches not your monitor.


 8:21 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Gotta admit... one of the best things I've found are those artificial tears... they do wonders in cooling your eyes... you can even get the really thick tears.


 9:20 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

I haven't read every post so bear with me but, I heard that taking a regular break from the screen, say 5 minutes or so every hour and during that break focusing on things far away is the key.

I don't get headaches but then I get to go to meetings on a regular basis 8)

..... Shane


 10:26 pm on Jun 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

Some people find that a mixed carotenoid supplement helps with eye trouble. (Carotenoids are what your body uses to make vitamin A, but individual carotenoids can be helpful to specific body functions. Also, carotenoids are not toxic even in very large doses, as pure vitamin A could be.) Look especially for a Lutein supplement, a good one will also contain Xeaxanthin. These two carotenoids are found in the highest concentration in the eyes, and are even more beneficial for eyes than the well known carotenoid, Beta-Carotene.

Lutein and Xeaxanthin are found naturally in dark, leafy greens. Hey, that's why I take them in a supplement ;)


 12:17 am on Jun 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to be in the dark to use the computer. Like, no lights in the room and dark blinds. When I'm at the computer labs at school in the light, if I'm in there for an hour or longer I start to get headaches and my eyes start to hurt. In the dark, I can sit at the monitor for hours on end.

My problem is my posture. I slouch forward, not using the chair back. As you can guess, I'm 15 years old and I feel like my back is 60. :(


 11:53 am on Jun 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Do you do a lot of scrolling? I have a 21" ViewSonic that I stare at all day (and some of the night), but never get headaches unless I am scolling text a lot. Like when doing searches on the web. I found that if I get up and look at something else every 5 or 10 minutes that I can avoid the headaches.


 3:49 pm on Jun 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Personally, i'm quite lucky, as i don't get headaches... but, for the people who do.... have you checked you monitor refresh rate???? Ideally, it should be set to no less than 85mhz..

Also, i read somewhere that staring at things which are a long distance away helps you eyes refocus.. and can help to stop those headaches, plus, prolong your eyesight. Just simply looking out your window in the office, or at home for about 5 minutes, every hour or so…


 4:15 pm on Jun 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

of course the real trick is to be a smoker in a non-smoking office...there is no danger of me staying at the monitor for more than an hour and a half at a time :)


 9:52 pm on Jun 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a 17" monitor set lower than eye level and more than arm's length away. I don't get headaches at all from my usage, which I think is "relatively" heavy (before, during and after work). My resolution is set low, 800x640 I think, because since most of my home time is on site management, I design my pages to low resolutions for my audience's sake. I puchased a nice, sturdy computer desk which seats the monitor so the occupant is gazing downward towards it. After using it as little as a week, I wish I'd gotten one with the monitor even lower, but that choice was not available. So setting the monitor at or below desktop level is definitely better than at desktop level.

Of course, I agree with the remarks about frequent breaks and exercise and rest too:)


 5:08 am on Jul 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Eric that also works when you smoke and your wife is an anti-smoker (almost as bad as former smokers).

But seriously.....I'm like Mivox but I've found that I only feel like my eyes are going to pop out if I wear my glasses. I usually have no problems wearing contacts, unless I forget to blink.

I also don't feel as fatigued after putting my monitor on an arm and positioning it so that I don't have to crane my neck up or down but have it comfortably at eye level off to the side slighly.

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