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Is Dark Mode Really Better?

If you notice that you have significant eye strain or pain; chronic dry eye; frequent headaches or migraine attacks; or signs of an eye infection you might need to see a doctor.

Conditions including dry eye, eye strain, and insomnia can be triggered by overexposure to blue light. A common misconception is that blue light from computers will lead to eye disease but the small amount of blue light coming from computer screens has never been shown to cause any harm to our eyes. Another misconception that digital eye strain is caused by blue light, but the symptoms of digital eye strain are linked to how we use our digital devices, not the blue light coming out of them.

The reason we get digital eye strain is that we blink less when we stare at our devices. Normally, humans blink around 15 times per minute but this 'blink rate' can be cut in half when staring at screens or doing other near work activities.

Here are a few ways to prevent eye strain and reduce blue light exposure:

  • Stay hydrated during the day. This helps your whole body, including your eyes, stay well-lubricated.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Set a timer to remind you to look away every 20 minutes at an object that is about 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds.
  • Shut down at night. Decrease evening screen time and set devices to night mode.
  • Lubricate your eyes with over-the-counter eye drops. This is helpful when you're using the computer for long periods of time.

When switching to Dark Mode, you may feel the need to be 100% certain that it is worth it, and the pros outweigh the cons. If the following benefits don't appeal to you then you can switch to Night Mode instead or try switching up the colour temperature on your phone to more melatonin-friendly orange hues.

Benefits of switching to Dark Mode:
  • Dark Mode increases concentration and decreases distraction.
  • Dark Mode is better for battery life.
  • Dark Mode makes the text more legible.
  • Dark Mode helps eye strain.
  • Dark Mode is better for nighttime..
Dark Mode may work to decrease eye strain and dry eye for some people who spend a lot of time staring at screens. However, there is no conclusive data that proves dark mode works for anything besides extending the battery life of your device.
It doesn't cost anything and won't hurt your eyes to give dark mode a try but if you continue to have symptoms of eye strain and dry eye, you should visit the doctor to discuss other treatment strategies.

Change to Dark Mode on Windows 10
  1. Select Start > Settings
  2. Select Personalization > Colors.
  3. Under Choose your color, select Dark.

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