The best monitors for eye strain those that are easy on the eyes, so an easy way to counter the harmful effects of staring at your computer all day is to switch to using a curved monitor. Curved monitors provide less distortion, a wider field of view, and better viewing angles to prevent you from tiring out your eyes.
Bottom Line: If your eyes hurt from staring at computers all day, consider getting a curved monitor that lets you take in the whole picture at once without straining your eyes. We recommend the ViewSonic® VP3881 or VP3481.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who spend long hours in front of the computer, chances are you’ve probably experienced eye strain. Digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome) occurs when your eyes become “tired” from staring at digital devices for an extended period of time.
According to the Vision Research Council, more than 59% of digital device owners in America have experienced symptoms of digital eye strain.
In this article, we’ll cover what digital eye strain is and how it’s harming both employees and businesses, the best type of monitor for eye strain, and our top three choices for monitors that prevent eye strain.
Digital Eye Strain
According to the American Optometric Association, digital eye strain encompasses a wide range of symptoms. In addition to visual fatigue, digital eye strain also includes symptoms such as:
- Blurred Vision
- Dry Eyes
- Neck and Shoulder Pain
While these symptoms are usually temporary, if left untreated, they could potentially worsen over time.
Digital eye strain also costs businesses thousands of dollars in lost productivity every year. According to the Optometry Times, eye-focusing problems cost businesses more than $2000 annually per employee.
What Causes Eye Strain?
Digital eye strain can occur for many reasons.
While people normally blink an average of 12 times a minute, when staring at a computer screen, blinking drops down to five times a minute. This lowered rate of blinking can cause discomfort and lead to dry eyes.
Eye strain can also occur when people use devices with a harsh glare, devices with poor contrast, or are viewing digital screens at an awkward angle.
Best Monitor for Eye Strain
Now that you’re aware of the dangers of digital eye strain, what’s the solution?
One often-cited anecdote for reducing eye strain is to limit screen time. While this is a sound tip, it’s also impractical for the millions of Americans that use computers daily for work.
So is there a monitor that can help with eye strain? Turns out there is.
According to research performed by Harvard Medical School, participants who used curved monitors reported experiencing less eye strain than subjects who used flat monitors. Blurred vision was also 4x less common in users of curved monitors than users of flat monitors.
Curved monitors are monitors that come with a curved screen to provide users with a more immersive experience and a wider field of view.
These monitors help relieve eye strain by enabling viewers to take in the entire monitor display at once without straining.
Curved monitors minimize the image distortion that traditionally occurs on the edges of flat panel screens.
Due to the unique nature of their curvature, curved monitors also improve depth perception and cover a larger portion of a user’s field of view, resulting in images that appear larger and are easier to see.
To learn more about the difference between flat monitors and curved monitors, click here.
What to Look for in a Curved Monitor
When searching for a curved monitor that helps alleviate eye strain, here are some important factors to keep in mind.
Depth of Curve
When searching for a curved monitor, you’ll notice that certain monitors have deeper curves than others. These curvature ratings are measured in terms of “r” or radius.
Monitor curvature typically ranges from 1800R all the way up to 4000R.
These numbers represent the distance from a circle’s perimeter to its center, as well as the maximum distance you can comfortably view your monitor.
This means that the lower the rating, the more pronounced the curve. For example, a monitor with a 1800R curvature rating will have a sharper curve than a monitor with a 3000R rating.
As long as you’re using a curved monitor, and your eyes are easily able to take in the entire display without straining, curvature rating is more of a personal preference rather than a health-related one.
Explore the curvature of various monitors until you find one that works for you.
Ergonomic monitors are monitors built to maximize people’s efficiency in the workplace.
Using ergonomic monitors is critical to maintaining your health as non-ergonomic monitors can lead to eye strain, stiff necks, sore backs, and a host of other ailments.
Rather than craning your neck and straining your eyes to look up at the monitor, ergonomic monitors can be easily adjusted to your ideal viewing angle.
When searching for an ergonomically curved monitor to help you fight off eye strain, try looking for a monitor with swivel, tilt, and height adjustment features.
Blue Light Filter
Blue light is a type of short-wavelength, high-energy light emitted by computer monitors and other digital screens.
Studies have shown that in addition to exacerbating eye strain, blue light can also have a negative effect on sleep.
Blue light is most disruptive at night, where it can suppress the secretion of melatonin – the hormone responsible for making us tired and sleepy.
When looking for a monitor to combat eye strain, try searching for monitors that come with a blue light filter to preserve your circadian rhythm and ease the burden on your eyes.
You can learn more about blue light and monitors here.
IPS or MVA Monitors
When searching for a curved monitor, try looking for monitors that use IPS or MVA panels.
IPS (or In-Plane Switching) panels refer to the shifting patterns of liquid crystals inside a monitor display.
In contrast with other types of panels, the liquid crystals in IPS monitors shift horizontally in order to create better viewing angles, impressive image quality, and precise color accuracy.
With IPS monitors, you can enjoy super-wide viewing angles and outstanding color.
MVA (multidomain vertical alignment) panels operate by using liquid crystal cells that naturally align between two panes of glass to create a naturally black display screen.
MVA panel monitors provide better viewing angles, outstanding color reproduction, and higher contrast ratios.
Top Three Curved Monitors
If you’re looking for monitors that help alleviate eye strain, look no further than ViewSonic curved monitors.
Though ViewSonic’s curved monitors are optimized for a wide array of uses from gaming to business, these monitors can help relieve digital eye strain no matter what task you’re performing.
Below is a list of our top three picks.
The VP3881 monitor is perfect for workers who spend long hours in front of the screen. It comes with a stunning 3840 x 1600 resolution and provides an unprecedented level of immersion.
Its 2300R curvature and anti-glare coating enable you to comfortably view the entire screen from up to two meters away without straining your eyes, while its ergonomic design empowers you to adjust it to your preferred viewing level.
Give your eyes a break and use the VP3881 to quickly finish your day-to-day tasks.
Created to provide all-day comfort for office workers looking at their computer screens, the 34” VP3481 monitor comes with an impressive 3440 x 1440p resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio.
With its incredibly precise color accuracy, the VP3481 is perfect for professionals such as video editors, graphic designers, photographers, and others for whom color accuracy is critical.
The VP3481 lets users take in the big picture in one visual sweep, while its ergonomic mount enables users to adjust the monitor to their preferred height.
A gaming monitor that’s also perfect for workers experiencing eye strain, the 32” VX3258-PC-MHD monitor balances both comfort and immersion.
This high-performance monitor also comes with optimized viewing presets, so you can choose between categories such as games, movies, web surfing, or text to achieve the ideal viewing experience.
The VX3258-PC-MHD also comes with flicker-free technology as well as a blue light filter for easy viewing.
In this post, we went over the causes and symptoms of eye strain and covered why curved monitors are essentially one of the best defenses you can have against digital eye strain. We broke down the key elements to look for in a curved monitor and highlighted some of our top choices. To see a complete list of our curved monitors, click here.