I found recently that my eyes were getting extremely tired at work. After a few hours on the computer, while I wasn’t sleepy tired, my eyes would just ache, itch, droop, or water. Some time ago my eye doctor told me to do the 20/20/20 rule for my eyes.
Every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. This is supposed to keep your eyes from focusing too hard on one thing for too long and getting fatigued. Unfortunately, when I get deep into a programming task, it’s hard to remember to look away every 20 minutes.
Another tool I installed last week that seems to have made a significant difference is f.lux. Someone on stackoverflow.com or slashdot or something mentioned it so I checked it out. In the week that I have used it, I have found that my eyes are not nearly as tired as they used to be.
At first, I was a little put off by the pee-pee yellow color of the white’s on my LCD monitor, but after only a few hours I could tell a difference. You can configure it to your liking, and disable it if you need to. I set the daytime levels a little lower than the default. I don’t really use the ‘daytime/nighttime’ settings, and I’m sure I could manually tweak my monitor to match the output I get from F.lux, but by simply installing the software I didn’t have to mess with that. It also works on any monitor I hook my laptop up to, so I don’t have to manually configure each monitor.
If you find that you get dry, tired, itchy, or watery eyes after a few hours in front of the computer, give F.lux a try and see what you think.