The Personal Computer started to be used in many offices from the early 80’s. Dr Jim Kokkinakis has been testing office workers for vision and eye health problems since then and has noticed an exponential increase of these problems that are linked to excessive and inappropriate use of computers and the screens.
In the early days the older Cathode Ray Tube computer screens were known to cause significant eye strain (also known as asthenopia) due to the low refresh rates and low resolutions. Even though things seem to have improved over the last 30 years Dr Jim Kokkinakis is still finding that the prevalence of computer vision eye strain to be greater than ever!
There is no doubt that eye strain is multifactorial (that is there are potentially many factors that can contribute), but for the purposes of this post let us stick to computer screens. LED technology has taken over most of the new screens that are being sold today. These screens have a number of advantages, which include:
- Far less electricity consumption
- Obvious extra picture quality
- Use of less toxic materials
Unfortunately with the advantages come some vision disadvantages. Most LED screens are very bright, which most people prefer to reduce the intensity. This tends to fix one problem but create another. LED computer screens refresh at low frequencies when the brightness is reduced. This in turn causes eye strain with many people. Combined with this we have a significant minority of the population that has a condition called scotopic sensitivity syndrome. This is very well explained in Wikipedia (CLICK HERE FOR MORE). Basically even though the actual eyes are focusing properly the brain seems to not process the visual signal accurately (especially to certain colours of light). This in turn can create a confused image in the visual cortex of the brain, which can be exhausting to the individual.
What are we to do to try and help this bizarre set of circumstances? From a computer screen perspective I have been lucky enough to have been introduced to a new “Flicker Free” screen by Benq Australia. I have been using this great technology now for a few weeks and when choosing reading mode I have to say in my own subjective way it is far more comfortable on my eyes than any of the computer screens I have used to date. Let me say I have used hundreds of different screens since the 80’s and this latest piece of technology is really an innovation.
At $299 for a 27 inch top quality screen it is a great investment for your eyes and your productivity. To find out more about this great screen go to the BENQ WEBSITE HERE.
What we also need to make clear again is that Eye Strain can be multifactorial of which your computer screen is only one factor. It is imperative that you also have your eyes thoroughly evaluated by an optometrist that has a special interest in Eye Strain and Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.
Call us on (02) 9290 1899 or BOOK an APPOINTMENT ONLINE HERE for a comprehensive eye assessment with Dr Jim Kokkinakis to get to the bottom of your Eye Strain.
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About the Author: Jim Kokkinakis is well known amongst his peers as an expert in contact lens fitting and troubleshooting. Many colleagues and eye surgeons refer their patients to Jim’s practice (The Eye Practice) in the Sydney CBD. Practicing in the city means seeing people that use computers and have significant eyestrain issues. Apart from clinical work, Jim also regularly lectures around Australia and internationally to undergraduates, postgraduates and other eye care practitioners.