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Can Lower Brightness Reduce Eye Strain?


Sep 29, 2023 | 5 min read


In today’s digital age, we spend more time than ever staring at screens, be it on our computers, smartphones, tablets, or televisions. While these devices have brought numerous conveniences to our lives, they have also raised concerns about their impact on our eye health. One common strategy recommended to alleviate the discomfort associated with prolonged screen time is to lower the brightness of our screens.


But does this truly reduce eye strain, eye fatigue, and the symptoms of computer vision syndrome? In this comprehensive guide tailored for our Indian audience, we’ll explore the relationship between screen brightness and eye strain to help you make informed decisions about your screen usage.


What is Eye Strain?

Eye strain, also known as asthenopia, is a condition that occurs when your eyes become fatigued after prolonged use, often characterized by symptoms such as:

  1. Burning or Itchy Sensation: Your eyes may feel irritated, itchy, or like they’re burning.
  2. Blurred or Double Vision: You may experience temporary blurriness or see double.
  3. Headaches: Eye strain can lead to headaches, especially if you’ve been concentrating on a screen for an extended period.
  4. Dry Eyes: Your eyes may feel dry, gritty, or excessively watery.
  5. Difficulty Focusing: It can become challenging to focus on the screen or nearby objects.
  6. Sensitivity to Light: You may become more sensitive to light, both natural and artificial.
  7. Neck and Shoulder Pain: Straining to see the screen may lead to neck and shoulder discomfort.


CVS, or Computer Vision Syndrome

A specific type of eye strain linked to prolonged computer use is known as computer vision syndrome, or CVS. It includes a variety of issues with the eyes and vision that are brought on by or made worse by spending hours looking at digital screens. Eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, and impaired vision are typical signs of CVS.


The Role of Screen Brightness

The brightness of your device’s screen, or the level of illumination it emits, is a key factor in how your eyes interpret and respond to digital material. The rationale for lowering screen brightness to reduce eye strain is based on the notion that lower brightness levels are kinder to the eyes, particularly in low-light situations. How screen brightness affects eye fatigue is as follows:


  1. Reduced Glare: Dimming the screen’s brightness can help make it less reflective and glare-free. This is especially useful when utilizing displays in well-lit spaces.
  2. Less Blue Light: Dimming your screen’s brightness can help cut down on the quantity of blue light it emits. Blue light is known to interfere with sleep cycles and, when watched for long periods of time, especially at night, can cause eye strain.
  3. Reduced Intensity: In general, dim screens are less intense and may be more comfortable for your eyes, particularly in dimly lit environments.
  4. Pupil dilation: Bright screens may make your pupils contract, diminishing the depth of field and thus making it more difficult to focus on the screen. The screen can be made darker to promote more relaxed pupil dilation.

While lowering screen brightness can help reduce some factors that contribute to eye strain, it may not be a solution that works for everyone. Individual differences exist in the link between screen brightness and eye strain, and other factors also affect eye comfort.


Factors to Think About

  1. Ambient Lighting: The ambient lighting in your surroundings is important. Reducing screen brightness can be helpful if you’re using your device in a room with strong lighting. Lower brightness, on the other hand, may cause your eyes to strain harder in a dark environment as you struggle to see the information.
  2. Screen Type: Your choice of screen is important. When compared to previous LCD screens, OLED screens may be more comfortable at lower light settings due to their ability to produce deeper blacks and greater contrast ratios.
  3. Personal tastes: There is also consideration for your particular tastes. While some individuals would prefer a display with less brightness, others could find it more pleasant.
  4. Screen quality: Your screen’s resolution and anti-glare coatings might have an impact on how your eyes react to different brightness levels on the screen.
  5. Blue light filtering: Some gadgets have “night mode” or blue light filtering capabilities that lower blue light emissions, which can be good for the eyes, especially when using screens at night.
  6. Regular Breaks: No matter how bright the screen is, it’s important to regularly break away from screen use. The 20-20-20 rule, which suggests taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at anything 20 feet away, can dramatically lessen eye strain.



In conclusion, there are many different ways in which screen brightness and eye strain are related. In well-lit areas, dimming the screen’s brightness can assist decrease glare, lessen exposure to blue light, and improve viewing comfort. It’s not a perfect solution, though, and a number of things need to be taken into account, such as individual tastes and ambient lighting.


In the end, minimizing eye strain and lowering the chance of computer vision syndrome requires a variety of tactics, such as:


  • Changing the screen’s brightness to suit your comfort level and the surrounding lighting.
  • If available, putting blue light filtering characteristics into practice.
  • Taking frequent breaks from using screens to give your eyes a rest.
  • Preserving ideal screen ergonomics, such as the ideal distance and angle.
  • Keeping hydrated and blinking often can help with dry eye.

It’s important to keep in mind that your eye health is a valuable resource and that you should use digital gadgets with caution. Consider seeing an eye care specialist for a thorough eye exam to rule out any underlying disorders and obtain tailored instructions for preserving healthy eyes in our digital age if you still feel eye strain despite making adjustments.

Can lower brightness reduce eye strain

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