1 What is screen fatigue/CVS?
Screen Fatigue, also known as Computer Vision Syndrome ( CVS) and computer eye strain, are headings for a cluster of symptoms that include the following:
Eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, migraines, overall tiredness with reduced productivity, blurred or double vision, a sore, stiff neck and struggling to see.
These symptoms arise due to the repetitive stress our body faces when spending hours at a time on screen.
When working with a digital display screen, your eyes struggle to cope with the close-up work, the black text on a white background, all of which tests their capacity to focus and re-focus constantly. As a result, one eye often ‘gives up’, which leads to the suppression of vision from that eye, which causes stress on the visual system.
58% of display screen equipment users ( people who work using a digital display screen – it doesn’t have to be a pc) suffer from screen fatigue.
Screen Fatigue is debilitating, leading to increased error rates, musculoskeletal disorders and work-related upper limb disorders.
2 How do I know if I suffer from it?
We have a post that explains the difference between other causes of poor vision ( needing an eye test) and having screen fatigue or CVS. Still, your eyesight will improve, and the symptoms will be mitigated; they may even disappear once you stop looking at the computer screen with its high contrast and bright white background.
3 Is screen fatigue permanent?
The current thinking is that it isn’t, but we see that more and more screen users are finding their eyesight is deteriorating. Like any repetitive injury, after a while, there will be consequences that may be irreversible if not addressed early.
4 What can I do to prevent it?
The best place to start is with our post that outlines 14 things you can do to prevent screen fatigue. Most are quick and easy and won’t take long to implement, but the most important are reducing your time on screen, taking frequent breaks, and looking after your eyes.
5 What does the DSO do?
The DSO improves the comfort and accessibility of display screens for the user and ultimately improves the efficiency of access to on-screen text by selecting your optimal background colour based on an objective test.
Engineering a safer world where people and critical infrastructure interact is what our mission has always been
6 How does it work?
You take a challenge that consists of scanning a page composed of ten lines, with the same random words repeated against different coloured backgrounds.
Your reaction times to the text and colour are logged, and from this, the software extracts the best-coloured background or contrast for you.
Once the challenge is over, you download and install the file that contains the custom coloured contrast theme, open it, and that’s it. You should see that your settings page will open to confirm that you are now using your DSO colour theme. (Windows systems only at present).
The scanning challenge takes around 10 to 15 minutes. The challenge has been described as scanning ‘gobbledygook’ as the words make no sense, but that is deliberate as it’s not a one-off speed-reading test. We do not want you to become familiar with the words, as this will affect the accuracy of the scanning rate analysis.
7 Is the scanning challenge hard?
No, though, you will need to resist the urge to read the words. Instead, it would be best if you scanned them. You may feel a little tired afterwards because the words do not make sense, and some of the colours will mean the text is more challenging for your eyes as you scan.
You will need to concentrate for the 10-15 minute challenge, which can be mentally and visually tiring.
8 Is it easy to use?
Yes, it’s a few clicks, and that should be it – we have detailed instructions in both pdf and video format.
9 What if I don’t like it?
The gains of using the DSO are immediate, but like having a new prescription for your glasses, it may take a little time to get used to it.
We suggest you give the DSO a few days before you uninstall, as it will be different to reading black text on a white background. You will need to experience the difference it makes before making a snap decision. Plus, the colour you’re provided with may not be one you instinctively like, but it will be matched to your eyes and brain, mitigating any vision stress or eye strain.
You can uninstall the theme by using the ‘white’ theme provided or reverting your theme settings back to your original.
10 Can I change my colour?
The coloured theme that you receive is individual to you and chosen by the programme as best suited to you.
To change the colour would eliminate any benefit; however, the brightness of the colour hue will reduce over time, so we suggest completing a fresh DSO every 12 months or if you change screens.
11 Will it improve my reading speed?
Many people have found their reading rate has increased, but this is a happy by-product of improved accessibility.
12 Which devices can I use it on?
In addition, we are working on an application for Mac users, iPhone and iPad.
Currently, we are only able to offer a theme to change the background colours for Windows. Still, you will have hexadecimal and RGB values you can use with plugin apps such as ‘Colour Temperature(ChangeLux)’ – that you can add to your browser.
13 When is the best time to use the DSO?
We see best at dawn and dusk (8 am and 8 pm roughly) and the worst time is at 2 pm.
It seems our eyesight deteriorates a little in the afternoon, and tiredness and exercise can also affect it.
We suggest taking the DSO reading challenge in the morning when you are fresh and ready for the day!