Office lighting and screen glare frequently cause computer eye strain headache, computer use in offices with LED and fluorescent lighting in particular. The light sensitive and those with fluorescent light sensitivity are particularly vulnerable as their problems appear to have the same cause: disproportionately high blue light content emitted by LED and fluorescent lights. This post draws from vision and work ergonomics science to suggest ways to reduce LED and fluorescent light headaches with five different types of blue filtering glare screens.
How to pick the best blue filter for your light sensitivity problem
Blue light filter selection is complicated. A blue filter may help you with many problems: computer eye strain (computer vision syndrome), LED & fluorescent light sensitivity, sleep disorder, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), light sensitivity (discomfort glare), visual acuity… But not every blue filter will produce optimal results given the specifics of your blue light sensitivity problem. The chaos of hype marketing terminology often hides more than it reveals which further complicates the selection process. Read on to find out: which wavelengths your blue filter should absorb/block, by how much, how to compare bluelight filters…
Are your eyes sensitive to light … or just blue light!?
Eyes sensitive to light!? Evidently I am talking about light sensitive eyes as in photophobia, light aversion, discomfort glare, pain, eye fatigue and computer eye strain induced by light and glare. Increasingly scientific evidence shows that eye sensitivity to light tends to be caused only by a small portion of visible light that carries most of its energy – blue light, i.e. High Energy Visible (HEV) light. This article:
- highlights key scientific reports indicating that eye sensitivity to light tends to be caused by blue light
- suggests a way to test if and to what extent your eye sensitivity to light is blue light induced
- proposes solutions to help you improve your light sensitivity pain threshold and/or cope with your blue light sensitive eyes
Least likely colors to cause computer eye strain: Find yours
Our visual system seems to respond very differently to colors. In particular different collors seem less eye straining to different people. There is quick and easy way to give you an idea of which color might work best for you.
Less light sensitivity, computer eye strain: BlueLight filtering diet
You can reduce computer eye strain and light sensitivity with diet! Light sensitivity and computer eye strain may be due to low macular pigment, your natural bluelight filter. Nearly 80% of Americans have this condition! Research shows that low macular pigment is associated with lower threshold of light sensitivity or discomfort glare (Enhancing performance while avoiding damage: A contribution of macular pigment; 2013). Moreover, since glare is a known computer eye strain cause (Computer vision syndrome: A review; 2014) low macular pigment, i.e. lower threshold to glare, may make you more prone to computer eye strain. Luckily macular pigment bluelight filtering capacity can be improved with appropriate fruit and vegetable diet or dietary supplements (Lutein and zeaxanthin dietary supplements raise macular pigment density and serum concentrations of these carotenoids in humans; 2003).
Glare, worst driving comfort enemy: driver fatigue, eye strain causes and solutions
It’s a sunny Sunday morning. You feel rested and you’d love to go on a daytrip. But you dread the drive! You know that in less than an hour you’ll feel exhausted, with a headache, and tension around the eyes. Like on many occasions in the past the fatigue will remain your companion all day! But what causes tiredness when driving (or just riding in a car)? Why driver fatigue and eye strain from driving? Think about it: unless traffic is nerve-wrecking you just sit and watch!? Curiously for some people driving is resting?!? This post draws from vision science to suggest that your driving fatigue (and glare sensitivity) may be associated with low macular pigment optical density. It then suggests solutions: blue light filtering (and polarized) tinted glasses, an antiglare dashmat, and macular pigment carotenoids rich food or dietary supplements to decrease your glare sensitivity.
Best anti-glare screen protector: Glare-free computer lighting
The best anti-glare screen protector or anti-reflective filter could only be anti-reflective & glare-free computer lighting. In spite of the proliferation of anti-reflective and antiglare products computer glare and reflections continue being a major cause of Computer Vision Syndrome, i.e. eye-strain, tired eyes, irritation, red eyes, burning sensations, dry eyes, blurred and double vision (Computer vision syndrome: A review; Jour. of Clinical Ophthalmology and Research; Bali, J. et al. 2014). Anti-reflective & glare-free computer lighting is tricky, goes beyond buying and installing a computer light, and requires some fine tuning to your eyes. But antiglare computer lighting is possible and it is neither difficult nor expensive once you figure it out. Below the principles of anti-reflective & glare-free computer lighting are explained; some specific solutions and products are suggested.