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Five Apps to Protect Your Eyesight on the Computer

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If you find yourself using your computer for several hours per day, you need to concern yourself with impacts on your vision. Prolonged computer use can reduce your ability to focus and can create short or long-term vision issues associated with computer eye strain. Luckily, there are some apps and software that you can incorporate into your screen time to reduce these impacts to your vision.

What is Computer Eye Strain?

Symptoms of computer vision syndrome include: eye fatigue and discomfort, dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, eye twitching and red eyes.

When you sit at a computer for extended periods of time, it forces your eyes to focus on a brightly lit screen and focus intently for far longer than the eyes can safely handle. This cause them to become overworked and can cause headaches, vision issues, and long-term damage. Eye strain is a very common concern today and one of the most common vision issues, but you can help prevent it with helpful apps that make using the computer less of a strain on the eyes.

Five Apps To Protect Your Eyesight

The following apps can be used on devices that do not have this type of functionality built into their design. They can help you prevent short term eye strain and other issues resulting from using your device for extended periods or frequently throughout the day. In the long-term they can help prevent vision deterioration.

1. Time Out Free

This OS X app is designed to remind you when you need to take a break from the computer screen and will also dim the screen. This app is programmable for longer breaks in normal mode, or you can program shorter breaks in micro mode. This app also allows you to adjust the transparency of the screen as well as the color to make work easier on your eyes.

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2. Pangobright

This is an app designed for use on Windows and helps you control the brightness of multiple monitors. This app is helpful for a variety of business and personal setups where you will be working for an extended period of time from a multiple monitor setup.

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3. Calise

If you use a Linux system and work for extended periods of time on your computer, you will love the Calise app. It will adjust your screen’s brightness based on the brightness of the room. Your computer’s camera detects the level of light around the monitor and adjusts the screen accordingly. As you change your surroundings, the app will compensate for the level of light.

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4. Protect Your Vision

This web app is an extension available for Chrome or Firefox and serves as a reminder to take a break from your computer screen at certain intervals. The app is pre-loaded with recommended time frames. You can select twenty minutes working and twenty seconds to take a break while focusing on objects that are twenty feet away from you.

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5. Twilight

This is an app available for Android and is designed to help prevent eye strain if you use your phone or tablet frequently throughout the day. This app filters the light your screen gives off if you are using your phone right before bed, or you like to check your phone at night during a bathroom break. The screen color and intensity can be customized, but the screen’s color automatically adjusts based on the time of the day

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Built-In Windows 10 Night Light and macOS / iOS Night Shift

High-energy visible light is high-frequency, high-energy light in the violet/blue band from 400 to 450 nm in the visible spectrum, which has a number of biological effects, including those on the eye.

If you own an Apple device, you can now have access to Night Shift. This feature is now available for iOS and macOS. This device changes the color of the screen after dark so you don’t disrupt your circadian rhythms. This is helpful when trying to get a good night’s rest consistently. Studies show that the blue light emitted from electronics can disrupt circadian rhythms, thereby disrupting sleep patterns. At night, the screen is displayed in a warmer tone than it is normally during the day. There is a similar setting available on Windows 10, which is called Night Light. The Night Light setting detects your local sunset and adjusts the screen accordingly.

Last Word

These apps, built-in features, software programs are incredibly useful for people who spend time using their electronic devices and are no less important than other eye health and safety products. With the increase in electronic device usage, vision problems and eye strain have become pressing issues for the majority of users. Protect your vision and prevent unnecessary deterioration over time by using these handy tools. Whether you use a phone or you have a complex, multi-monitor setup, there is a tool, app, or program to help you make using your device safer.

Written by Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs

Our beautiful office is located in a historic building. Built in 1902, the building was originally used as a carriage house until it was acquired in the 1930s by the Van Dyke Motor Company and turned into a repair shop for Studebaker vehicles. As a nod to the building’s past, the original Van Dyke sign remains in place to this day. The original 12-foot sliding barn doors, integral for carriage house operations, now separate our retail space from our clinical space.
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