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A Reader Asks: Headaches and Eye Strain at the Computer - A Reader Asks: Headaches and Eye Strain at the Computer
Fri, March 07 2008 | 6:33PM | PermaLink Feedback?

A Reader Asks... Suffering from Headaches and Eye Strain at the Computer?

Q: I have trouble reading for any extended time on a PC due to the flicker that is occuring when my screen refreshes.

A: After prolonged periods of time in front of the computer, do you ever get a headache or suffer from eye strain? In most cases this problem is traced to a CRT monitor running at a low refresh rate of 60Hz. The fix is easy, so follow along: For Windows 9x/XP, click on the "Start" button, go to "Settings" and then "Control Panel". Once you're inside there, go to "Display". From there click the "Settings" tab and then the "Advanced" button. For Windows 9x/XP go to the "Adapter" tab and you should see the "Monitor Settings". Under that should be a number followed by the "Hertz". The sweet spot is 75 Hz or above, in general you want to get that number as high as possible.

In Win2k/XP you want to click the "Monitor" tab. There you'll see "Monitor Settings" and you should do the same as what's written above. When you press the "Apply" or "OK" button your monitor will blink and adjust to the new refresh rate.

In Windows Vista you can make this change by 'right clicking' on the desktop > clicking on Personalize > Display Settings > Advanced Settings > switching to the Monitor tab, and then changing the 'Screen Refresh Rate' field from '60Hz' to a higher value, say 75Hz. If you use an LCD display the refresh rate will be fixed, however eye fatigue is generally only due to low refresh rates on CRT monitors.

Original URL, circa 2008:

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