Reduce Computer Monitor Eye Strain in 2 Easy Steps

By Posted 2006 Updated   Computers

Many readers have thanked me for 2 simple tips which have helped them reduce monitor induced eye strain…. so here they are again.

headache eyestrainIn fact I have applied these 2 simple fixes on several computers and they have reported a definite reduction of computer vision syndrome and eye strain. You may also try these 2 simple fixes.

Turn on ClearType in Microsoft Windows XP – ClearType delivers improved font display quality over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. It improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays. Readability on CRT monitors can also be improved. You see better and see clearer with reduced eyestrain.

Increase your Monitor Refresh Rate – The basic thing is that monitors flicker. Many users are used to the computer monitor flicker, or your eyes are not sensitive enough to detect it, but the flicker is there. And till it flickers, it will irritate your eyes and cause eye strain. Higher refresh rates are less likely to cause eyestrain. See what is the optimal refresh rate for your monitor and reduce flicker induced eyestrain and headache.

Ever since I have optimized my refresh rate and switched to ClearType, I can assure you would want to do the same!


21 comments on “Reduce Computer Monitor Eye Strain in 2 Easy Steps

  1. Martin Lortie says:

    I just want to say that ClearType only works win WinXP, we have Win2000 at the office so we are out of luck.

    And that refresh rates on LCD monitor doesn’t apply.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Definitely useful

  3. Nystul says:

    definitely very useful!

  4. Anonymous says:

    These tips really ought to come with a caveat. The first tip really only applies to LCDs. CRTs look fuzzy with ClearType turned on.

    The second tip only applies to CRTs. LCDs do not flicker and should always be set to a 60 Hz refresh rate.

  5. Quick Online Tips says:

    Firstly, I use a CRT monitor and Cleartype works really well for me at 1024×768 resolution which I use. So I would not say it works for LCD monitors only.

    Spk, these were some older posts which I have linked again by reader demand. I am glad and thankful that Lifehacker picked it up and these tips are used by more users.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable that there are still people out there who don’t know what the Refresh Rate is… it’s one of the first things I tell people who get their first computer

  7. alec says:

    what about on apple computers or laptops?

  8. zafar says:

    Refresh Rate needs to be above 70Hz. Sometimes when you go for higher resolution, monitor might not support 70+ refresh rate, so stick with lower resolution.

  9. HaKi says:

    3. use black background colors

  10. AH says:

    You say that LCDs don’t flicker, but I am sitting here watching my screen wiggle around. I have a new 22″ Samsung and it’s burning my eyes. Any tips? I have the refresh rate at 75.

    Thank you!

  11. syed sharfuddin says:

    hello, sir
    im syed sharfuddin from india
    sir i want dead monitors from ur company please reply me soon

    thanking you

  12. Diana says:

    Hello. I just purchased a MacBook Pro a month ago and I am having serious problems with my eyesight and headaches. This is the first Apple product I ever use and I never had any problems with PC’s. I’ve gone into the Apple store and they increased the refresh rate. They said it’s the first they ever hear about headaches related to refresh rates.

    The problem hasn’t gone away and I feel it’s worse. Can anyone give any suggestions related to Mac’s??

  13. J Marquis says:

    My best suggestion for anyone still having eye strain (other than a routine eye exam to assure you dont need lenses or a new prescription if you already have them) is to work in a room that does NOT have florescent lighting. unfortunately most offices DO… this is why in some conference rooms have both regular and flourescent lighting on different switches so you can have whichever you need for your application. florescent lights also pulsate and generally at a different frequency or cycle then your monitor which means your eyes are twice as boggled. viewing a pc screen in front of you in combination with a large projection screen such as in a classroom environment AND having florescent lights is like 3 times the abuse… just fyi

    *anyone who wants to see the refresh rate:
    pull out your camera phone and act as if you are going to take a picture of your monitor but look at the monitor through the ‘viewfinder’ voila! you are looking at the monitor refreshing itself in a continuous cycle.

  14. J Marquis says:

    Also CRT monitors are known for being large, heavy and bulky but they are known to have less of an extreme straining effect on the eyes. therefore although they may not be as new or widescreen, they are ideal for anyone who looks at their monitor for 8 hours a day.

  15. Raj says:

    Great inputs… This reduces a lot of strain

  16. Stephanie says:

    wow i dont know if it is pyschological, but once i switched to cleartype my eye strain seemed to have disappeared immediately.

    thanks!

    • QuickOnlineTips says:

      Cleartype is actually amazing to reduce eyestrain

      • Popo says:

        Conversely, ClearType gives me almost instant headaches. My poor eyes just can’t focus on it; I need clearly defined edges.

      • Natalie says:

        I am entering this conversation a few years too late, I think. Please note that Clear Type does not work for everyone. Like Popo, it causes me instant eye strain that is so significant I have about 10 minutes before I can’t even look at the computer; I can work on the computer with no Clear Type for 10 hours with only a normal amount of eye fatigue. I am also an ergonomist and I have encountered a lot of other people who also cannot use Clear Type. The idea was a good one and it works for a lot of people; it certainly looks a lot nicer then the jagged edged font at first glance. But some of us can see the blurry edge and it literally hurts to look at. If you read blogs there are a lot of people who cannot use it so please stop promoting it as a solution, but rather an option because that is more accurate. Microsoft’s study did not have a large enough sample size to capture those of us who cannot use it and this blind promotion of Clear Type as a solution needs to stop. TI just got a new laptop and with the Clear Type tuner now, instead of just clicking it off, so I can’t remove it from Windows 8. No tuned version of blurry works for me. As of right now, I can’t use the computer.

  17. Rahul says:

    I am using CRT monitor and having eyestrain problems .Is it wise to buy LCD monitor .do LCD monitors cause less eyestrain
    Which one is better regarding eyestrain LCD or CRT?

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