For about three months, I’ve been having awful, blinding headaches whenever I use a computer. It can take just a few minutes looking at a computer screen for me to start feeling dizzy, with blurred vision and a pounding headache. After an hour or so looking at the screen, I then have to lie down.
Doing some research it seems as though the problem is something called ‘Computer Eye Syndrome’. One of the results of getting older, apparently!
Raising the computer a few inches helped to reduce neck strain, and reduced the problem, but didn’t solve it. Changing the lighting in the room also helped but again, didn’t completely resolve it either. Changing the brightness of the display can help too, but that usually just makes the screen too dark to see. So I avoided using the computer, and if I ever posted anything here, it would be very short!
I remembered that my Mom had the same issue about twenty years ago. She told me that she had to get a new pair of glasses to use at work since the computer work she did, combined with harsh fluorescent lighting was giving her the same symptoms I’ve been having. I had no desire to buy spend $300 to $500 to buy a new pair of glasses just to be able to use a computer so I searched for a different solution.
An anti-glare screen attachment can help, but can cost anywhere from $30 to $120 dollars and can make the screen too dim to see, and they don’t usually fit on the computer very well anyway.
I remembered that the Apple store has an expert advice area called the ‘Genius Bar’ so it was off to the Apple store to get some advice. The first Apple store genius had no idea what I was talking about. He was a young guy so he is most likely not at all familiar with the gradual decrepitude of aging. Another Apple store genius overheard us and took over. This Apple store genius appeared to be about my age, so he knew right away what I was talking about. Instead of paying for new glasses, or a clunky anti-glare screen, he suggested trying an app that can be downloaded for free, F.lux. The F.lux program adjusts your screen display, and background colors based on your location, and will continue to adjust it throughout the day as well.
So I gave it a try, downloading the program, and entering in my location in the settings to let the program adjust the color and brightness. The change in the screen color and display is barely noticeable. Though instead of a bright blue brain piercing glow, the screen has more of a softer light, with a pinkish glow. Kind of like the difference between a bright sunny cloudless Summer day, versus the warm glow of dusk.
The headaches stopped immediately!
So thanks Apple Store Genius guy, and whoever developed the F.lux program! You’ve saved me from having to spend anywhere from $30 to $500, and let this old guy continue using the computer!