Computer Eyestrain

I know this is sort of an off the wall question but I have been struggling immensely on dealing with computer eyestrain. It has gotten to the point where I can only use it for an hour and cannot use it for the rest of the day on a continuous basis.

People give me advice and tell me to use glasses, reduce computer use and stick to scoring music by hand.

It all sounds good. I got eye surgery, used a projection, used a larger monitor, limit use, but I still seem to suffer this problem. Don’t get me wrong I can score by hand but 80% of my work involves scoring, mixing, mastering which uses computer related software.

Am I like the only one suffering from this? If so, then I really should listen to myself and find another career

Snipers or shooters in general are supposedly told to rest their eyes looking at forests or green color in general, so maybe try customizing your gui (or surrounding) colors that way? Works for me. Plus a good, not only large, monitor with proper contrast might help. Good luck!

What are your symptoms of eye strain?

When reading music or concentrating on your monitor you tend not to blink enough and your eyes dry out. Try blinking hard about 6 times every so often, and change your focus to something more distant to give your eyes a break.

Aloha manhopark, Just a shot in the dark here. (no pun intended)

Sounds like you have no prob with looking at paper for long periods of time;
and since you do a lot of scoring, perhaps (instead of colour)
configuring your monitor to a black and white mode would help.


Hi there manhopark,

For me it helped darkening the overall look of Cubase at home.
Open the preferences in Cubase and go to appearance > general. You can experiment there moving the faders to the left to get the best setting for you. You can also go to appearance > work area and move the work area brightness to the far left. :slight_smile:

Do you have some other screen available? Some old screen or if you can borrow one for a few days just to see if your eyes like another screen for whatever reason. Maybe a shot in the dark but you never know :slight_smile:

I find that VST intruments and plug ins are the worse for eye strain and believe the graphics fonts used along with low resoultion design in them make things too small even on a large screen/monitor with high resolution. It is also frustrating that you can never re-size the plugins either.

This is not necessarily a Steinberg issue but with the VST third party developers - I think everyone is so concerned and concentrate with the sound properties of plugins , the graphics seem to always get overlooked. I think plugins were also designed to run on lower spec PCs with resolutions of 1024x768.

Here’s hoping that one day, not only plugins will all be 64bit, but their graphics be upped to run on hi res with decent size fonts/dials etc along with re-sizeable windows/gui.

Yea, try using green colors. I read somewhere that green is better for your eyes.
I know that some older CRT-screens had a button to turn everything to shades of green.

what type of monitor do you use? what type of connection do you use DVI or D-Sub?

When I’m not on the computer doing music, I’m on it developing for web. So, it’s usually more than 12 hours a day.

Here are some general tips that I use as well.

Monitor interface (from default monitor settings):
Red/Green/Blue: Blue is the most unfriendly color in this lineup. It adds an element of distraction, which leads to tension in the body. (Even get hit right in the face with those bright halogen headlights with newer cars? That sense of irritation is the same, just more subtle with the computer). Touch the blue down a notch or two, not much is needed.
Red is the friendliest color and easiest on the eyes.
My personal method is to touch blue down two notches / green one notch. Then I set the gamma to about 2.2 (thanks to Paul for the tips) or so (darker so I don’t feel like I’m getting a sunburn every time I look at the monitor).
For Cubase itself, I use the darkest grey theme I can find, and touch the brightness of the buttons down just enough so they don’t lose their appeal, but are not glaring bright).

All monitors are different, but you should be able to play with the settings until you find something close to this. It really does help a lot.

[edit- forgot to add other tips]

Also, take a break occasionally like others said. If you occasionally look away, close your eyes and roll them around a few times, this not only helps reset them, but improve the muscles to help with focusing).

When browsing, I usually zoom in/blow up the pages using CTRL+mousewheel – keeps eye strain to a minimum.

I’ve read that the human eye is most sensitive to the same wavelength of blue that the sky generally is. I don’t know if that means you should tint everything on your monitor to that color, or AVOID anything that color. :laughing:

Well, it’s wrong. It’s green that the human eye is most sensitive to, probably due to monkeys able to detect dangers in all the nuances of green in the forests about 10 000 000-8 000 000 years ago when this hot wet rock was truly the planet of the apes! :mrgreen: < < < color

Hi Manhopark

Like Tom said, please give us more information.

Height of monitor relative to your eyes, how many hours a day have yuo generally gon at it, now you’ve got th eproblem how long after you sit at the monitor does it kick in, can you watch normal television of do word processing, is your monotor in a dark room or is there ambiance, do you take headturn and blink breaks, how is your monitor colour-calibrated - to what extent have you fiddled with its settings for comfort.

I’ve had a good read of every post on this thread. You’re a lucky guy … this is all solid gold stuff - Doug’s control-mousewheel was a new one to me.

Do give us some more information and also feedback on how the ideas in all these posts have applied to your problem.

Good luck

Actually it’s just because the frequency of green (and yellwo) is right in the middle of the spectrum our eyes are sensitive to.