Preventing Eye strain From Smartphones And PCs


Our phones have become our constant companions, as opposed to a simple accessory that we use. We communicate with friends and family, share our lives over social media, and seek out news and information from every corner of the globe.

This also means that we spend a considerable amount of time staring at a screen. Apart from being unhealthy for us, it also is a potential safety hazard. Extended periods of staring at a bright screen can make our eyes are particularly vulnerable.

Sunlight, or natural white light, is a combination of 7 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. These colors make up the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Displays on electronic devices such as smartphones usually emit red, green and blue light, more commonly referred to as RGB light. Of these 3, blue light passes directly through the cornea and lens and makes its way to the to reach the retina, potentially damaging light-sensitive cells and increasing the risk of macular degeneration.

Reducing Eye strain with smartphone usage

As a result, smartphone manufacturers have been looking for methods to make device displays healthier and more comfortable for our eyes. Huawei, for example, has joined forces with China’s National Engineering Research Center for Ophthalmic Equipment to develop a method to prevent eye strain.

Called Eye Comfort Mode, this method essentially provides a warmer display to use, filtering out almost 50% of the phone’s blue light. In addition, when on, a background process will monitor ambient light conditions and adjust screen brightness and color temperature to accordingly further preventing eye strain.

Eye Comfort Mode
Huawei’s Eye Comfor Mode in action
Image taken from:

For the people, by the people

Huawei isn’t the only one who wants you to take care of your health and vision. There are several other phone and PC manufacturers that place a lot of emphasis on pritection from eye strain. For example, most LED monitors that you see at your office have built in modes for reading, videos and even gaming. These adjust brightness accordingly and some higher end models even have built in sensors that adjust the brightness and contrast accordingly based on the ambient environment.

Eye strain
The BenQ VW2245Z has a Flicker free panel to help reduce eye strain
Image taken from: BenQ

Enable Live Display

If you’re using a high end smartphone from 2015 onwards or If you’re running a custom ROM on your smartphone, chances are that you would also have this feature inbuilt. Called “Live Display”, the feature allows you to adjust the color temperature of your device’s screen after sunset and sunrise. You can adjust it yourself or let the device do it automatically based on the time of day and location. The usual settings for color temperature would be 6500K for morning and 4800k for night. The latter provides a slightly yellowish tint on the screen thus making it easier on the eyes even if you’re reading in pitch black with the display’s brightness at max.

Eye Comfort Mode
Enabling and configuring the Live Display Option on smartphones that support it

Use a pair of safety glasses to cut down on eye strain

If you’re using a PC, you can take a look at a pair of glasses from the like of GUNNAR Optiks. This is a company founded in 2007, specializing in treated eyewear marketed as safety glasses that protect eyes from computer vision syndrome. They have made a name for themselves from several reputed media reviews. We too had a look at a pair of these back in 2014

Eye Comfort Mode
An example of how Gunnar optics helps reduce eye strain

According to Gunnar, these glasses improve contrast and comfort, while reducing eye fatigue and visual stress, especially for people who spend many hours staring at digital displays.

At the end of the day(literally), if you feel that your eyes are tired and that you need to see a doctor regarding it, we urge you to do so. Failure in that aspect could lead to health issues and we wouldn’t want to see that happen either.


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