The Definitive Guide To Protecting Your Eyes For Developers👀

Sarthak Sharma on December 11, 2018

Around this time 2 years ago, I was working day and night with my team to release a product. We used to sit more than 12 hours in front of a scre... [Read Full]
markdown guide
 

Thank you for the article, Sarthak.

I've been wearing glasses since young and gotten worse little by little so decided to pick up one easy habit to start with (stare 20 feet away for 20 seconds).

And I also have a question.
Would glasses with blue-light protection help one to look at screen longer period of time? Or would it be just for a protective measure?

 

I started blue filter glasses 6 months ago. I can say it is by far the best investment for your profession than any book, education or hardware. Unfortunately the amount of time you spent on screen is determined mostly by the amount of work, rather than personal choices. So go for it.

 

I'm not an expert, but I don't think so. As when you start looking on a screen more than usual, your eyes muscles become weak because our eyes are designed to look farther. So the special glass won't help.

 

Thanks 👍

And I will ask an ophthalmologist (scheduled early next month) regarding blue light glasses to be sure 🙂

I can only speak from experience, but since I've got my blue-light glasses I've noticed my eyes feel less tired and dry at the end of the day!

When I broked my blue light glasses. I went to a nearby shop to get that fixed and the guy used a blue light radiation torch to determine if I was using a blue cut glass. And I was amazed with what I saw. That guys turned on the torch and pointed the blue light towards a paper and when he placed my glass between the paper and the torch magic happened . All the blue light from the torch was absorbed by my glasses and there was zero light on the paper

Nope. I used Lenskart in the past but I have stopped using there glasses

I asked my optometrist about them and she said there wasn’t enough time for research to determine if blue light lenses would be effective or not.

Personally I have not got them but more curious now.

Had a checkup yesterday, and the astigmatism in one eye is worsening (still not bad enough to require glasses). My optometrist recommended blue filtering glasses, but made no definitive statements about their effectiveness, research- or colloquially-supported.

 

I have the blue-light protection on my glasses and I HIGHLY recommend it. It is not a replacement to taking care of your eyes, but they certainly reduce eye strain. Couple that with good eyecare practice and you should have no eye-pain at all.

 

I use the blue filters and I can only but recommend them. I used to have headaches that were traced to the time I spent daily looking at my laptop's strong lights. Those are gone now.

Got my gimmicks (Apple's Mac, iPad and iPhone) all set to turn on night shift from 19:00, by the way. Helps relaxing the usual strain, very relaxing.

 

Thank you for sharing the experience.
As I was shopping for glasses online, it seem like vendors charge extra for blue filter coating but sounds like it's quite worth it.

 

The new mac os just added a blue light filter like flux. You can find it under...

settings > display > night shift

 

In windows 10, there is "Night light" which does the same.

 

Android (8, I think) now has it too. Otherwise you can use CF.lumen.

 
 
 

One trick that isn't often mentioned is to just turn down your display brightness. At first it will seem like everything is less clear, but pretty quickly your eyes habituate and it seems the same. I went from "100" to as low as "30". Less true for laptops though.

 

Good trick, had forgot about it, and just checked my display's brightness. It was still at 80%.
Another tip, if you're developer or otherwise entering a lot of text: change your color-schema, instead of the default use a dark color schema: black/dark background and bright letters.

 

Yes! Every new laptop or monitor Night shift is on and brightness is down. I don’t know how half my company functions with full brightness.

 

Yeah, I have tried that one too specifically in case of mobile devices.

 

The combo of f.lux, no phones in bed, and diet saved my eyes. Great article Sarthak. This topic really needs more visibility in the dev. community. Personal health is just as important as deadlines and nerd cred.

 
 

I'm not so sure about this. Eating and drinking "well" may help slow down eyesight degeneration from factors such as vitamin deficiencies (I am not a doctor) but I can't imagine any but exceptional circumstances where they would repair damage or reverse a genetic trait, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

Two of us got prescription glasses within weeks

Was that perhaps because you were more aware of your eyesight after taking a job where small problems became more noticeable?

 

reverse a genetic trait

Well, I never said that I'm sure 😃.

 

I'm saying that the tendency to common eye problems such as myopia, glaucoma and so on is genetic, isn't it?

Well, of course, these tips are not for these cases, man. One needs a doctor if one got this not a ball on the wall 😃

 

People generally tend to blink less when looking at a computer screen, as low as 3 times a minute as opposed to 15-20 times a minute otherwise. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ when you're deep into some code, it's difficult to remember to blink, seeing as we never have to think about it away from the computer.

As per the vast majority of developers.. it's dark IDE all the way. I've also started to use dark reader for my browsers and darkify-ed my slack. Dark themes generally help with strain and the environment light/dark contrast. Also I believe light text on dark backgrounds is easier to read.

 

I started feeling the affects of so much screen time that my eyes felt dry and tired at the end of the day. I installed flux and purchased the glasses that block blue-light to help. I've felt the difference so far and glad this topic is being discussed! great article!

 
 

I also invested in blue-light/UX blocker lens and the difference has been life-changing. I wish I knew these were an option earlier.

 

2-3 liters of water every day? Hum...
The body needs 1.5 per day and a part of it comes from what we eat.
I guess it's more around 1 liter per day.
Drinking too much can have negative impacts on your body.

Apart from that, good article, thanks!

 

2 liters is recommended by the doctors. If you workout more that number can stretch up to 3 or even 4. It also depends on the area where you live actually. I'm from India, 2-3l is quite normal here. 😀

 

I don't think there is an agreed amount of water per day recommended by doctors. For one thing it will vary quite a lot depending on the climate.

 

Drinking too much can have negative impacts on your body.

Out of curiosity, is that actually true? any examples?

 

Do you mean, apart from the fact that it’s the definition of “too much”? ;-)

I have to search for it, but I read an interesting article about how all that “drink a lot” propaganda has been artificially inflated in the past few years.

 

Quick PSA about grapefruit! It’s delicious and nutritious, but also has a bunch of weird medication interactions and messes with how the body breaks down estrogen. If you take medication or have chronic health concerns, do some research and talk to your doctor before deciding to increase your grapefruit intake.

I know this sounds like I’m joking. I’m actually not. Read more here.

 

Very useful, Sarthak, thanks!

I'd stress even more (simply because you can't stress it too much) - to get ENOUGH SLEEP.

"Enough" is not a number, every body has different demands. Enough is when you go to sleep and wake up by yourself without any alarms. Also sleeping when it's dark is crucial, there have been studies proving that. So go to sleep early if you can't get enough in the morning.

 
 

Nice & useful post.

I use Break timer extension to remind myself to walk away every half hour. For screen dimming, I used f.lux before, but now I am using Iris pro version for it's extensive customization ability + other advanced features.

 

I wish i could say that worked for me, I had one in atom but I kept bypassing it because I had to finish just "this bit more" ever time 😅

 

Will give them a try man. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

Thanks Sarthak,

I'mdel an early user of f.lux and I've just installed Aware. Awesome.

A next idea post could be to talk about hand, fingers and wrist 🖐️ 🖐🏾.

After more than 15y of keyboard and laptop usage, I adopted a vertical mouse to avoid wrist pain.

 

Great Suggestion Man. Next topic will be health for sure. 😊

 

Thank you for the article!

To add something here:

If you need glasses anyway: they are glasses that slightly filter blue light. I´ve got some and it helps on darker environments (my office sadly has a bad light setup)

 
 

Is this causation or correlation. Would those people who got prescription glasses have gotten them anyway? Was the incidence rate of need to use corrective lenses disproportionate to a larger, representative population sample?

Should we be providing prescriptive advice before establishing definitive cause? There's no doubt that being healthy is better than the alternative, but if we prescribe solution before knowing cause, we're just contributing to the rise of superstitions rather than scientific predispositions in software geek culture. And this is the very same predisposition that creates a breeding ground for the unhelpful fads that keep software development flitting from wild assertion to wild assertion.

 

Recently I bought glasses with blue-light filter glass. There are some studies about the effectiveness of those so they may be worth checking out!
I personally feel like my eyes are less tired after a day behind the computer :)

 

I lived in japan and if 日本人このsnsで、これZ!が変ですね、痛いから、でもさ、目が本当にリフレッシュして、でもさ🙊🙊おながいします😉。(sorry if i made very little sense and was informal, i'm out of practice and i was only there a year) but I have found these eye drops are a life saver, so much that when my wife could come over with my daughter last (live in the uk, really not the best place to be in an international marriage at a time were already becoming super stupid with nationalism and messing up everything while were at it) I asked her to bring me some, now I had my eyes checked only a year ago and in the las ~17 years of programming I have retained 20/20 vision but i'm self employed and my "agile sprints turn into 3 days no sleep to get just this one more thing done" and I find they ease the eyes after long hours. I am changing this as I can tell I'm burning myself out but have an amount I have to earn to be able to even apply for my wifes visa and its more than what 50-60% of the uk earn. I'd love some advice on getting optimal performance while not sacrificing my two remaining brain cells if you can help

sarthology image
 

About one year ago I used a 17" Sony Vaio notebook and I used to get tired in the evenings. Then I started to use the workrave to take a scheduled rest and it helped. Then I switched to 13" MacBook. I was afraid that the screen is too small, but now I don't have this issue anymore even with much smaller fonts.

So I think that monitor is very important.

 
 

In my experience apple devices have better screens and my eyes and mind don't run out till the day. Earlier I couldn't work productively at home after the workday, but now I can work up to 20 hours a day (fortunately I do it very rarely). It's quite empirical theory and maybe the reason of run out is not the screen, but I think so

 
 

Not quite a definitive guide but a nice read. The biggest problem is that a screen keeps your eyes locked and their natural state is continuous movement. If you. start wearing glasses they'll be locked even more and slowly you'll need bigger prescriptions. Because looking away is a hard thing i made the Blinkk app for mac to remind and give suggestions with things to do from time to time itunes.apple.com/ro/app/blinkk/id1...

 

Love f.lux! Sadly the new OS X broke it for me where the darks/blacks would turn cyan; I'm aware that Macs have Night Shift mode now, but I prefer the customizability of f.lux.
Are there any alternatives that people could recommend?

 

Oh man, I absolutely love f.lux! Been using it for years, and now i've got night shift on my mobile devices too! It's a definite eye saver.

And this is coming from someone with genetically terrible eyesight.

 

Redshift is also a good alternative to f.lux!

Good post anyway!

 

My only question is are carrots still good for your eyes too? When I think of good eye foods, I think of carrots. (and Bugs Bunny)

 
 
 

I recently picked up a pair of theraspecs wearover glasses which can be worn over your prescription specs. They are pure luxury for computer work although they do make you look like Elliott Gould's character in oceans eleven

 

My work glasses are both filtering blue light and they are a slightly weaker prescription than my normal outside glasses.

How this works is, normally, when your eye muscles are relaxed, your eyes focus on things far away. Focusing on things close by requires your eye muscles to do work (this is called "accommodation"). The closer they are, the more work they have to do. And focusing on something at the same distance for long periods of time causes these eye muscles to become very tired. Slightly reducing the prescription of my computer glasses means that my eyes have to accommodate less while looking at my screen.

Between the blue light filter and the weakened prescription, my eye complaints have largely been solved. I will never work without these glasses again. Best €120 I ever spent.

 

ohh i was worried about that, thx for any advice.

another things to take care. Every one or two hours take a 10 minutes recess away from computer. Stretch your legs, walk.

Since I live near my job, I go and come back walking. So 30 minutes walking every day and now my eyes dont get tired, I dont have headache, I dont need my glasses until night.

 

they are if you are likely to be low in vitamin A but unfortunately they didn't let me see in the dark which I was promised they would my whole childhood.. maybe you need to put them in a smoothy for that 🧐

 

This is SO important!

I used to live in a constant state of ‘dry eyes’ and it even got to a point where I would wake up in the middle of the night with a severe burning feeling in my eyes (to the point where I could barely even keep my eyes open.)

I’ve found that a combination of 1) having flux always on (set at 3200k) 2) wearing blue light glasses every time I use my computer and 3) taking small breaks whenever possible has completely fixed my dry eyes! Oh and I have night shift on on my phone at all times too.

 
 

Hi,

I hope to get your consent to translate and shared with Chinese developers, I will indicate the source and author.

 
 

Nice article, it goes into my bookmarks.

My eyes gave up after around 7 yrs of ..many hours of PC.

Nowadays I cannot spend more then a few hours without getting nausea and dry eyes, so I'm wearing Protection Glasses (anti blue/UV stuff) and they work.

I saw that most ppl take breaks from computers but they look into their phones :(.

 
 
 

What a coincidence!!!, i just got my blue-light protection new glasses yesterday and today found this guide!!!

I'm getting used to it, and it looks better than the old glasses.

 
 

Been using f.lux for years now, I don't know how I would function without it, especially now that I am trying to get my sleep schedule back on point, thank you for the others on the list!

 
 

Don’t forget to use Material Theme when developing 😁

 

im using safe eyes in linux github.com/slgobinath/SafeEyes, it helps a lot. this is good article, im gonna buy a little ball, also im gonna buy blue filter glasses

 
 

I drink a lot of water everyday !!
And it obliged me to get up from my laptop and go to toilet every 30 minutes !!!!

 
 
 

If you have a window... every time you pause to think — about an email reply or code choice or anything — look out the window. For me it’s now a habit. When I think I look out the window far away.

 
 
 

I second the other recommendations for blue-light glasses, I even got a blue-light iPhone screen protector.

I wear contacts everyday, and am on a screen pretty much 18 hours a day as a Technical Product Manager (and then after work for projects).

I also have Similasan 'computer eye relief' homeopathic eye drops which are nice for before and after putting in my contacts.

Here are a couple of brands that have frames for women where I've bought from (but can be gender neutral as well)
• BOSSLADYGLASSES - currently on holiday sale (preferred)
• Felix Grays

 
 

You forgot to mention redshift for GNU/Linux and OSX and twilight for Android.
Apart from that, great article!

 

I would argue that this is a very good guide for anyone who works with a computer several hours a day.
Thanks for sharing.

 
 

There also is a night mode on some Android phone :) (my OnePlus 3T got it)

 
 

Is it also recommended to turn the night mode on, in editors and IDEs?

 

+1 to all these. Forest is also a fun iOS app for staying away from your phone: itunes.apple.com/us/app/forest-sta...

 

I’m gonna skip that, but if you still wanna know more about it, read here.

It looks like there's no "here" link.

 

Thanks for pointing out man. I updated it.

Also, this is the link.

 

Also; Ubuntu 18.04 now ships with 'night shift' build in; it is under the 'display' settings.

 
code of conduct - report abuse