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.
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…
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.
Digital eye strain and nearsightedness have long been known as side effects of increasing digital device use. However, recently computer blue light has been investigated. Since blue light can reach deeper into the eye than ultraviolet light, it might damage the retina. But, what will computer blue light do to your retina if you have light sensitive eyes?
How to reduce glare on computer screen: Natural light but no direct sun glare
Having reduced direct sun glare from your computer screen (and workstation) you now discover new glare you hadn’t noticed before. Being subtler this glare is more difficult to detect. You might not even notice the glare itself (depending on the level of your light sensitivity) but you do feel its effects after prolonged viewing of your computer screen: eye strain, general fatigue, tension around the eyes, headaches, etc.
How to reduce glare on computer screen: Direct sun
I have a long history of trying to figure out how to reduce glare on computer screen. For a light sensitive person, this is a difficult and complex task of cutting out glare and reflections one after another. You start with the glare that bothers you most and once you tame that one you discover another disturbing glare. So you continue until you find a tolerable solution. My intention with the next several posts is to revisit the process of reducing glare on computer screen (indoors). I hope the articles will help you find good solutions to your specific situation faster. This post is on what to do if the sun shines into your office.
How to reduce glare on computer screen
You are probably familiar with the sight above … and subsequent eyestrain, general fatigue, headache, … – computer vision syndrome (CVS). Glare on computer screen need not be as strong to cause these effects and make you wonder How to reduce glare on computer screen. It’s not easy, particularly if you have lower tolerance to light.
In the post Increase brightness to reduce glare in your home or office only half the story of how to reduce glare was told. To reduce glare you may also reduce brightness (or do a combination of both – specific solutions to reduce glare depend on how it’s being produced). Here are a few examples of when and how you might reduce brightness to reduce glare in your home or office.
Light sensitivity forces us to look for ways to reduce glare. To increase brightness and/or to reduce brightness answers to the question How to reduce glare. Increase brightness to reduce glare!?!? Yes, in some cases this is the way to go. Here are a few ideas of when and how you might increase brightness to reduce glare in your home or work.
I have defined glare in a previous post. In this one I further develop the answer to the question What is glare by listing several examples of glare. Moreover, I suggest which examples of stronger glare might lead to disability glare and classify glare as direct or indirect. I also explain in which cases glare is particularly deceiving for being too subtle to notice negative effects quickly.