Eye Care

So a bit of a diversion off the usual technical track that I felt like sharing about, eye care.  I’m sure there are a few people who are reading this blog that have been in front of a computer screen longer than I, 20+ years, but for you juniors who are just coming into the industry, I can’t stress this enough, take care of your eye’s.

Recently I came back from vacation, having been away from a screen and down in the bright sun of Mexico for a week.  I was mainly wearing my Ray Ban, polarize, prescription sunglasses and sat down in front of my 3 LED screens, and fairly quickly my eyes started to hurt.  My shades were handy, so I put them on for a bit to see if that would help.  It did.  With some perspective, I do wear glasses all the time and I have that Crizal Prevencia anti-glare coating/blue blocking, it blows.  I personally will not get this brand of anti-glare again.

I’m one of those “nut jobs” who wears their sunglasses when it’s pouring rain or a snow blizzard when driving, cause yes, you most definitely can see farther and also not suffer from eye fatigue near as much when having to drive under adverse conditions.  Use your brain though, dark is dark,  wearing your sunglasses at night makes you a douche.

I also could not stand using those old CRT screens (pre-LED, pre-LCD for you noobs) running at 60 Hz, the flickering drove me nuts.  I only lost the flicker at 80 or higher.

Oh look a bird…  Anyway, the polarized lens really helped looking at the screen, but this isn’t really a viable solution.  I started to look around and came across this Ted Talk on how technology is killing our eyes, which led me to IRIS Mini.  Iris isn’t the only product around, this page here lists a number of them including SunsetScreen, f.lux, Redshift, PC SunScreen and G.lux.

I am not a reseller, just sharing my experience.  Iris Mini is all that I am using.  It adjusts the color temp and brightness of my monitor relative to my location (latitude mainly), time of year and time of day.  Through out the day the color temp changes, significantly before sunrise and after sunset.  The difference has been significant and remarkable, significantly lowering eye stress and strain.

Not saying that this will solve world hungry, but for the last month my eyes have felt great even after a long day of computer geeking.

Additional eye and desk tips:

  • Stretch your eyes, regularly look at something more than 50 feet away and different lighting levels
  • Blink
  • Regular eye exams
  • in dry climates, find a good quality eye drop
  • Find your comfortable focal distance and setup your desk accordingly.  Typically in the 20-40 inch range, with a good viewing angle.  An arms’ length can be an easy guide.
  • Apply good sitting posture, bad posture strains everything
  • Use a mouse that fits your hand.  I have a RAT7 just so I can make it large enough for my hands
  • Ergonomic keyboard.  I’m 6’4 and wider then any keyboard.  Smurfs out there may not need anything other than a normal keyboard, they can keep their elbows in enough, I can not.  I’m actually on my 2nd MS Natural 4000, I’ve tried a few other, but the 4000 has been the best thing for me for the past 17 years now.
  • Get out of your chair, walk the dog, climb some stairs, get the heart moving.

Healthy Computing link for more useful tips.


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