eyestrain: it’s a pain

by debianjoe



killx with zenburn theme


One of the few things that I’ve been working on recently is actually one of the more fun projects I’ve done in a while.  Luckily, I’ve had some great help (thanks Wuxmedia and MachineBacon), and it’s something that is playful in some ways.  It’s a simple little theme switcher for console and framebuffer systems.

One of the more useful parts of this project is that some of the themes are lower contrast.  Lower contrast color themes can help to reduce eyestrain.  To quote the medical community “This type of eye fatigue or eye strain is sometimes known as computer vision syndrome. It affects about 50%-90% of computer workers. Some estimates say computer-related eye symptoms may be responsible for up to 10 million primary care eye examinations each year.”


“The problem is expected to grow as more people use smartphones and other hand-held digital devices. Research shows that people hold digital devices closer to their eyes than they hold books and newspapers. That forces their eyes to work harder than usual as they strain to focus on tiny font sizes.”

“Digital devices may also be linked to eye fatigue because of a tendency to blink less often when staring at a computer screen. People usually blink about 18 times a minute. This naturally refreshes the eyes. But studies suggest that people only blink about half as often while using a computer or other digital device. This can result in dry, tired, itching, and burning eyes.”

So, allow me to suggest finding a theme that helps to avoid causing eye strain.  Even if you’re not using a harshly text-only system, mild colors are good if you’re going to be staring at a screen for an extended period of time.  The vt100 is certainly hip, but it’s good to take advantage of some modern conveniences if they help you work longer on fun projects.

Should you like to be able to check out some themes (not all are low contrast) you are welcome to check out our project.