Watch your eyes!

When you are reading this, chances are pretty high, you are using your eyes for that; and I'd guess you'd like to keep it that way. For most people, being able to see, is a ability they would like to keep. Thus, If you are like me and your job is to stare at a screen for seven hours a day, then that time period is most important for your eyes!

Some tips we have all heard before:

  • Have a good screen, with small pixels
  • Use easy to read fonts
  • Use high-contrast colors

But less-known is the fact that the temperature of the light from your screen can hurt your eyes and health. Temperature in this context means the color of the emitted light. For example, when the sun goes down, its light becomes noticeably reder or warmer. Humans have adapted to this fact to regulate their inner clock. When light gets red, its time to sleep; or vice-versa, when light is cold we are wide awake. Thus if you are working in the evening and staring at a bright screen, emitting cold (blueish) light your eyes start hurting and your body is trying hard to stay awake. This is also the reason, why its so hard to get to bed after a long night of TV or coding/gaming.

Manually regulating the temperature of your screen can help, but there are tools that do that for you. I am using the small program Redshift. For Linux it should be available via your usual package manager. Windows and Mac users might want to use f.lux. Both these tools really make working on a screen late at night much more pleasantly.

Watch your eyes. You might need them in the future.