How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain on a MacBook - AppleToolBox (2023)

MacBooks are amazing for both work and personal use, and many people use their devices for both. But despite the numerous benefits of doing so, protecting your eyes when using screens for an extended period of time is a good idea.

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Digital eye strain is often caused by spending extended periods of time looking at a screen. However, considering that many people work or study from a computer, it’s sometimes unavoidable that you’ll spend a lot of time on your computer. Fortunately, you can still reduce the problem in several ways.

In this guide, we’ll provide you with a list of tips to help you protect your eyes when using a MacBook.

1. Sunlight Before Screen Light

As Dr. Andrew Huberman has mentioned before, going outside first thing in the morning – even when it’s cloudy – can have several benefits.

Even if you like to work early in the morning, adopting a rule where you get some fresh air and sunlight can help you set the right mindset for the day ahead. On top of that, you can use this time to think about what you want to accomplish – along with prioritizing your tasks accordingly.

When using your MacBook, consider waiting for around an hour after waking up before doing so. That way, you’ll give yourself enough time to wake up – and you might also find that you aren’t in distraction mode as much as would otherwise be the case.

2. Use the True Tone Feature

One of the handiest tools for reducing digital eye strain on your MacBook is the True Tone feature. Based on the level of light in your surroundings, this feature automatically adjusts the tone on your device. When you have True Tone switched on, you might notice that your MacBook screen looks slightly more yellow in some instances.

True Tone has been available on MacBooks for around five years now, and you can easily switch it on via your device’s System Settings. Here’s how to do that:

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  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left of your screen and select System Settings.
  2. Go to Displays in the toolbar on the left.
  3. Switch the True Tone toggle on when you see the Displays window appear.

How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain on a MacBook - AppleToolBox (1)

3. Reduce the Brightness on Your Mac Manually

When many people use their MacBooks, they switch the screen brightness to the highest possible level. In some situations, doing so is helpful – but in almost every circumstance, you do not need to have your MacBook screen brightness at its peak.

If you have a MacBook with a touch bar, you can reduce your screen brightness by clicking on the sunshine icon and moving the slider to the left. Alternatively, some MacBooks have buttons on their keyboards for which you can use to adjust your brightness.

You can also reduce your brightness by going to your MacBook’s Control Center:

  1. Click on the Control Center icon in the top right.
  2. Look for the Display slider.
  3. Move the Display slider to the left until you’re happy with the screen brightness.

How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain on a MacBook - AppleToolBox (2)

4. Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend on Your MacBook

Sometimes, the best way to reduce digital eye strain is to lower how long you spend on your MacBook. Although work and studying are by and large unavoidable, you can still organize your time efficiently to ensure that you aren’t spending longer than necessary looking at your screen.

You can use several tools to help you manage your time more effectively. For example, you can block out time in Google Calendar or Apple Calendar. And if you want to put strict blockers in place, you can always switch on Downtime on your device. Once you’ve done that, you have the ability to choose which apps and websites you’re allowed access to during these periods.

5. Set Your Own Night Shift Schedule

Night Shift has a handy option where you can automatically enable the feature from sunset to sunrise. But in some situations, those time frames might not be what you need. For example, if you live in Northern Europe, you’ll have to deal with summers where the sun rises long before you’re awake. Similarly, you might have sunsets that are well after you fall asleep.

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While an automatic Night Shift schedule makes sense during the darker months of the year, you can set your own during the brighter ones. How you adjust your settings depends on your individual needs, but something like 07:00 to 18:00 or 19:00 is a good starting point.

To set your own Night Shift schedule on a MacBook, follow these steps:

1. Open System Settings and go to Display.

2. At the bottom of the next window, you’ll see a button called Night Shift. Click on this.

How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain on a MacBook - AppleToolBox (3)

3. Expand the dropdown menu next to Schedule. Here, you’ll need to choose the option titled Custom.

How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain on a MacBook - AppleToolBox (4)

4. Choose the time period for which you want your MacBook to enable Night Shift. You can also pick how warm you want the tone on your screen to be when the feature is switched on.

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5. Hit Done when you’re finished.

6. Use Automatic Brightness Adjustments

In addition to manually adjusting your brightness, you can set your MacBook to automatically change how light or dark your screen is. Follow these instructions to do that:

  1. Go to System Settings > Display.
  2. Under Brightness, you’ll see another option called Automatically adjust brightness. Toggle the switch on.

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After completing the steps listed above, your changes should take immediate effect.

7. Take Regular Breaks

Taking regular breaks is age-old advice, but it has a lot of legitimacy to it. Besides giving your eyes a chance to rest, taking regular breaks can also help you stay focused on tasks for longer – and ultimately complete them sooner.

How often your screen breaks last depends on your personal working style. Experiment with longer and shorter bursts of work to see which options you prefer.

Use These Steps to Reduce Digital Eye Strain When Using Your MacBook

Many technology users, including those with MacBooks, suffer from digital eye strain. Thankfully, setting boundaries and reducing your personal risk has become much easier. You’ll find several handy tools on your device that can help, such as True Tone and automatic brightness shifting.

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In addition to the tools you have on your computer, you can also try other simple tactics – such as regularly taking breaks. You might need to experiment a little, but you can start with the tips we’ve given you in this guide.

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Danny Maiorca

Danny is a freelance writer who has been using Apple products for over a decade. He’s written for some of the largest technology publications on the web and previously worked as an in-house writer before carving his own route. Danny grew up in the UK, but now writes about tech from his Scandinavian base.

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How to Reduce Digital Eye Strain on a MacBook - AppleToolBox? ›

Put a Light Source Behind Your Screen

RGB lights or some form of halo light settings behind your screen can also reduce eye strain or headaches caused from using your Mac. This works by reducing the contrast between your bright computer screen and a dark background.

How can I reduce eye strain on my Mac? ›

Put a Light Source Behind Your Screen

RGB lights or some form of halo light settings behind your screen can also reduce eye strain or headaches caused from using your Mac. This works by reducing the contrast between your bright computer screen and a dark background.

What is the 20 20 20 rule for eyes? ›

Spending long periods looking at a screen can strain the eyes. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent this problem. For every 20 minutes a person looks at a screen, they should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Following the rule is a great way to remember to take frequent breaks.

Can you reduce blue light on Mac? ›

Use the built in blue light filter

If you have a newer MacBook running macOS Big Sur or later, you can use the built-in blue light filter by going to "System Preferences" > "Displays" > "Night Shift." From here, you can adjust the intensity of the filter and set a schedule for when it should be on.

How do you prevent digital eye strain? ›

Tips for computer work
  1. Blink often to refresh your eyes. Many people blink less than usual when working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes. ...
  2. Take eye breaks. ...
  3. Check the lighting and reduce glare. ...
  4. Adjust your monitor. ...
  5. Use a document holder. ...
  6. Adjust your screen settings.
Sep 15, 2022

What is the best MacBook setting for eye strain? ›

macOS's Dark Mode. Apple has introduced two built-in macOS features to help with eye strain. The first is Dark Mode, a system-wide theme that was released with Mojave. It allows you to set up all your system apps to have a darker profile that's easier on the eyes.

How do I put a blue light filter on my MacBook? ›

How to set up Night Shift
  1. Choose Apple menu  > System Settings (or System Preferences).
  2. Click Displays.
  3. Click Night Shift.
Nov 9, 2022

How much screen time is healthy for eyes? ›

Take frequent breaks.

The American Optometric Association recommends the 20/20/20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes, focus on an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. In addition, children should walk away from the screen for at least 10 minutes every hour.

What is the 10 10 10 rule for eyes? ›

The 10-10-10 rule can also be followed in the process of resting the eye. It simply implies that you should take a look at something else ten feet away for ten seconds for every ten minutes.

How often should you rest your eyes when using a computer? ›

To prevent eyestrain, try to rest eyes when using the computer for long periods. Resting the eyes for 15 minutes after two hours of continuous computer use. Also, for every 20 minutes of computer viewing, look into the distance for 20 seconds to allow the eyes a chance to refocus.

Is night mode better for eyes? ›

Studies show young people are particularly susceptible to blue light affecting sleep. Luckily, our technology has adapted. A simple way to avoid both sleep disruption and eye strain is to turn on night mode on our iPhone or Android devices.

Do I need blue light glasses for MacBook? ›

You don't need glasses to reduce blue light on your screen. iPhones, Macs, PCs, and most Android phones have night modes that significantly warm up the white balance of the screen to reduce eye strain. On Windows 10 it's called Night Light, and on iOS, iPad OS, and macOS it's called Night Shift.

What is the best blue light filter for MacBook? ›

  • 1 Forito Blue Light Screen Protector – Editor's Choice.
  • 2 Filmext Blue Light Blocking Filter – Best for MacBook.
  • 3 Vitez Blue Light Screen Protector – Best for Desktop.
  • 4 Thinkup Anti Blue Light Film – Best Value.
  • 5 Ocushield Anti Blue Light Screen Protector – Best for iPhone.
Jan 17, 2023

Can you reverse digital eye strain? ›

The good news is that computer eye strain is treatable. Many people feel better after adjusting their screen habits and rearranging their workstation. If your symptoms are severe or don't go away, it's a good idea to visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

How can I make my computer screen easier on my eyes? ›

How to Protect Eyes from Computer Screen
  1. Use the 20/20/20 Rule. Your eyes aren't designed to stare all day at something directly in front of you. ...
  2. Ensure Your Room Is Well Lit. ...
  3. Have Regular Eye Exams. ...
  4. Reduce Glare. ...
  5. Use High-Resolution screens. ...
  6. Reduce Blue Light. ...
  7. Adjust Screen Settings. ...
  8. Keep a Sensible Distance.
Dec 2, 2022

What are 3 symptoms of digital eyestrain? ›

Eyestrain symptoms include:
  • Sore, tired, burning or itching eyes.
  • Watery or dry eyes.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Headache.
  • Sore neck, shoulders or back.
  • Increased sensitivity to light, called photophobia.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Feeling that you cannot keep your eyes open.
Sep 15, 2022

Are Apple laptops good for eyes? ›

Not only does improved resolution decrease the strain on your eyes, but the hardware Apple puts into the Retina Display models of their products are even better than their non-Retina counterparts. The Macbook Pro is a great example of this.

Is Apple screen good for eyes? ›

An OLED display comes with numerous benefits, but it has a dark side as well. Many of these displays flicker at lower brightness levels, which can end up causing eye strain and headaches in some cases. You can solve the OLED flickering problem by keeping your iPhone's brightness level above 50 percent.

What Colour screen is best for eye strain? ›

Again, that normal position should be 20 to 30 inches from your monitor. When it comes to color combinations, your eyes prefer black text on a white or slightly yellow background. Other dark-on-light combinations work fine for most people. Avoid low contrast text/background color schemes.

Is it better to have blue light on or off monitor? ›

Blue Light can suppress melatonin production (a sleep-inducing hormone). So, filtering out Blue Light could help improve your sleep, reduce Digital Eye Strain, and make your eyes feel fresher after a long day in front of your computer screen.

Should I use blue light filter all the time? ›

Is it bad to wear daytime blue light glasses all the time? As long as you're working with screens or in artificial lighting, daytime blue light glasses will protect your eyes and health. If you're out in the sun or not being exposed to any artificial light, however, there's no need to wear blue light glasses.

Is blue light filtering worth it? ›

A recent study suggested that blue light-blocking glasses do not improve symptoms of digital eye strain. The American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend blue light-blocking glasses because of the lack of scientific evidence that blue light is damaging to the eyes.

Is 7 hours of screen time bad for eyes? ›

Vision experts generally don't consider screens as a source of permanent vision damage, even if extended use can cause eye irritation. If you only look at screens for a few hours a day and don't experience any vision issues, you probably do not need to worry.

Is 20 hours screen time bad? ›

Excessive screen time has been shown to have negative effects on children and adolescents. It's been linked to psychological problems, such as higher rates of depression and anxiety, as well as health issues like poor sleep and higher rates of obesity.

Is 5 hours of screen time bad for eyes? ›

The eyes can also get dry and irritated during long stretches of screen use. Studies show that people of all ages blink far less often when concentrating on a screen, which in turn causes the eyes to dry out. A clear and stable tear film on the eye surface is essential for clear vision.

Can +0.25 eyesight be cured? ›

Is There A Cure For Myopia? There is no definitive way to permanently end shortsightedness just yet. However, prescription glasses, contact lenses and eye surgery are effective measures for improving eyesight. Regular eye check-ups with an optometrist will help monitor myopic cases and ensure optimal eye health.

Is 10 vision legally blind? ›

In the United States, legal blindness means your central visual acuity—the part of your vision that allows you to see straight ahead—is 20/200 or less in your better eye when wearing corrective lenses.

What is the average eye number? ›

Having 20/20 vision means you have normal or average, vision. Some people have vision that's better than 20/20, like 20/15 vision or 20/10 vision. This means that you can see something 20 feet away (like a line on an eye chart) that most people can see when they're 15 feet away (20/15) or 10 feet away (20/10).

Is closing eyes enough to rest? ›

closing your eyes to the value of sleep

Resting with your eyes closed can calm your mind and help your muscles to relax. Your blood pressure drops and your heart rate slows. Resting can also: reduce stress.

Should I wear glasses if I look at a computer all day? ›

Do I need screen glasses if I don't wear glasses? If you have 20/20 vision and don't need to wear prescription glasses, you can still suffer from digital eye strain due to prolonged screen use. Screen glasses can help to make looking at screens easier on your eyes as well as providing benefits for your overall health.

How can I restore my 20 20 vision naturally? ›

Anyone can take advantage from these easy and achievable applications:
  1. Cold Water Therapy: ...
  2. Eye Massage & Exercise: ...
  3. Best Foods For Your Eyes: ...
  4. Quit Smoking: ...
  5. Get Sufficient Sleep At Night: ...
  6. Make Best Use of Eyeglasses: ...
  7. Visit Your Eye Specialist:

Does lowering brightness help eyes? ›

Particularly, when using the display for work, you'll often be comparing paper documents with documents on the screen, so by adjusting the brightness of the screen to the brightness of the paper under the lighting, you'll reduce the strain on your eyes, making this an effective measure against eye fatigue.

Is dark mode on Mac better for your eyes? ›

Dark mode doesn't directly reduce eye strain, but it can offer some relief. For example, in a dim setting, a bright screen has your eyes working harder. On the contrary, a dark screen in a brightly lit room will have the same effect.

Is blue light filter good for eyes? ›

People have stated that the regular use of blue light glasses while using digital screens has reduced their headaches, fatigue, eye strain, eye irritation, as well as improved their sleeping patterns. Many people confirmed that blue light lenses have enabled them to sleep better.

What color glasses are best for computer use? ›

Amber and yellow are the most common tints for glasses intended for screen use, as these shades enhance contrast. An anti-reflective coating is also helpful for environments with fluorescent or other bright lighting sources. Choose frames compatible with lenses for reducing eye strain during screen use.

Do blue blocker glasses really work? ›

Wearing blue light glasses may sound like a good solution, but a recent study determined there was little evidence to support the use of blue-blocking filters in the prevention of digital eye strain.

What are the disadvantages of blue light glasses? ›

Cons of Blue Light Glasses

The blue cut lenses alter the colour of everything you see in the yellow hue. Another blue cut lenses disadvantage is that they are unable to protect skin that also contains melanopsin, a photoreceptor that tells your body whether it is day or night.

Is there an app to stop blue light from computer? ›

lux blue light filter app. Using computers, television and mobile phone screens all the time can lead to eye strain and pain in your eyes because you're constantly exposed to blue light.

How do I get filters on my Mac? ›

In the Photos app on your Mac, double-click a photo, then click Edit in the toolbar. Click Filters in the toolbar. Tip: To quickly see filters while editing, press F. Click the filter you want, then click or drag the slider to adjust the look of the filter.

Is there a screen protector to block blue light? ›

Medically Rated. Blue Light Blockers. Our medically (FDA & MHRA) rated screen protectors & glasses filter out harmful blue light, to protect your eyes, skin and help you sleep better... Use Ocushield to screen proof skin by blocking blue light from reaching you in the first place.

How long does it take for digital eye strain to go away? ›

The symptoms of eye strain usually improve within a few minutes to several hours after a person stops using the screen or performs visual rest activities such as focusing on distant objects or taking frequent breaks.

Is digital Eyestrain permanent? ›

Computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, is not permanent. Your symptoms should go away after a good break from your device. The severity of your symptoms can depend on the amount of time you're spending looking at a screen, as well as your computer set-up and the frequency of your screen usage.

How common is digital eye strain? ›

Almost 2 out of every 3 Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. A survey by the AOA found that 80% of children ages 10-17 experience blurry vision and burning, itching, and tired eyes after using a digital device.

What is the best brightness level for laptop for eyes? ›

A brightness of 300 nits is considered to be the best average. It offers good visibility, makes colors pop on the screen, and prevents strained eyes. The most important tip is to adjust the screen brightness to your surroundings. If your surroundings become brighter, increase the brightness.

What font is best for eye strain? ›

Stick with sans-serif fonts - As mentioned earlier, fonts without serifs, such as Arial, are much easier on the eyes. Increase browser display size - With the increase in wide-screen computer displays, websites are often shown as a column with empty margins.

Should light be in front or behind computer? ›

To prevent glare, the task light should not be placed behind you, as it will shine directly on the screen. The best location is either resting on or mounted just above the desk. It ought to be positioned on the same side as your paperwork.

How do you get rid of digital eye strain fast? ›

Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor. Take eye breaks. Throughout the day, give your eyes a break by looking away from your monitor. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

What does computer eye strain look like? ›

Computer Vision Syndrome is the name given to eye problems caused by prolonged computer use including: Eye irritation (Dry eyes, itchy eyes, red eyes) Blurred vision. Headaches.

Can an eye doctor see eye strain? ›

Digital eye strain can be diagnosed during an eye exam.

If a diagnosis of digital eye strain is confirmed, your doctor may prescribe specific glasses or a vision therapy program to improve your visual skills and can also discuss necessary behavioral changes to reduce your symptoms.

Does computer eye strain go away? ›

Eyestrain can be annoying. But it usually isn't serious, and it goes away once you rest your eyes or take other steps to reduce your eye discomfort. In some cases, symptoms of eyestrain can indicate an underlying eye condition that needs treatment.

What is the best screen setting for your eyes? ›

To reduce eyestrain, you want to increase the contrast. What you are attempting to do is make the text you are reading stand out from the background. This keeps your eyes from working too hard. Most people are comfortable with the contrast set around 60 to 70 percent.

Do eye drops help with computer eye strain? ›

Use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops as needed to ease dryness and irritation. Give your eyes rest breaks from the computer screen. Every 15 minutes, look up and focus on a distant object for about 2 minutes.

Do I need blue light glasses for Macbook? ›

You don't need glasses to reduce blue light on your screen. iPhones, Macs, PCs, and most Android phones have night modes that significantly warm up the white balance of the screen to reduce eye strain. On Windows 10 it's called Night Light, and on iOS, iPad OS, and macOS it's called Night Shift.

Is blue light filter mode good for eyes? ›

A filter that cuts 94% of blue light has been shown to lessen damage. There's evidence blue light could lead to permanent vision changes. Almost all blue light passes straight through to the back of your retina. Some research has shown blue light may increase the risk of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina.

What relieves eye strain? ›

How is eyestrain relieved?
  • Resting the eyes.
  • Changing the work environment to reduce reflections, glare and bright lighting, and increasing the room's humidity.
  • Wearing the proper prescription glasses or adjusting the font. ...
  • Using over-the-counter artificial tears.

Can digital eye strain reversed? ›

It is sometimes called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome because of its connection to staring at electronic screens, a major cause. Eye strain is a sensation most of us have experienced in our lives and is usually reversible.

How long does a digital eye strain last? ›

Anecdotally, it seems that digital eye strain will typically go away within an hour of your last interaction with your screen. If your eye strain comes with other symptoms, such as headache, dry eyes, neck or shoulder strain, it might take a little longer for your symptoms to resolve.

What color screen for less eye strain? ›

When it comes to color combinations, your eyes prefer black text on a white or slightly yellow background. Other dark-on-light combinations work fine for most people. Avoid low contrast text/background color schemes. If you wear contacts, your eyes have to work harder when staring at a screen.

Is night mode screen better for eyes? ›

Dark mode doesn't directly reduce eye strain, but it can offer some relief. For example, in a dim setting, a bright screen has your eyes working harder. On the contrary, a dark screen in a brightly lit room will have the same effect. -Easier to read.

What is the best eye drops for digital eye strain? ›

Best for digital eyestrain: Systane Gel Drops. Best preservative-free eye drops: Refresh Optive Mega-3. Best for severe dry eye symptoms: GenTeal Lubricant Eye Gel. Best for nighttime relief: HydraSense Ultra Night for Dry Eyes.

What is the best computer lighting to reduce eye strain? ›

Exposure to blue light would lead to eye strain. Low blue light monitors filter harmful blue light to offer the best care for your eyes.


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