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I use a glossy Macbook Pro at work and often am working on a terminal screen with a black background. It tends to reflect direct or incident light off the screen into my eyes and I notice this as glare. Today I didn't take off my sunglasses immediately when I came in and noticed that the glare was reduced significantly, and my eyes felt a lot more comfortable. Haven't tried this for more than a few minutes, and think I would get weird looks at the office.

Has anyone else tried this and came to any conclusion about whether sunglasses could viably reduce glare from monitor screens without hindering visibility and even causing more eyestrain? By the way. I have anti-reflective coatings on my prescription glasses and I don't notice much of any glare reduction from monitors. The sunglasses seem to work much better.

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is your sunglass polarized? –  Memming Oct 17 '13 at 21:10
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Surprised I forgot to mention that. Yes, they are. –  imagineerThis Oct 18 '13 at 22:34
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5 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since reflected light will be polarized, your polarized sunglass solution may be quite effective depending on the direction of the light source. I would guess it is not damaging to your visual system, as long as you feel comfortable with it.

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Glossy screens are terrible from an ergonomics perspective. In fact, they are illegal to use professionally in some jurisdictions. Why there is a public demand for glossy screens is one of mankind's mysteries.

How you percieve the glare is subjective, so if sunglasses work for you, then use them. There are also special glasses that claim to reduce the glare from glossy screens.

A probably better solution is to apply anti glare film to your screen or even better to buy a laptop with a matte display (MacBook Pro is available with matte display although Apple doesn't like to promote it).

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I had a similar situation at one point, and discovered that the discomfort I perceived as glare from the screen was actually caused by bright florescent overhead lighting located in just the wrong place. I solved the problem by wearing a hat with a brim or a visor, like an old time accountant's eyeshade.

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I think your eyes won't say you thank you for that. There are many other ways to improve visibility of glossy screen. Here's what I'm using:

  • solarized - color scheme, mathematically computed to be perfect for your eyes. Supports various terminals, editors, ides
  • f.lux - application, that changes glow of screen at dark times :). Improves readability of the screen at night. Turned on and off automatically, depending on the time of the day. Found it really helpful.

And the most obvious: don't let direct sunlight reach your screen. As an example find a darker place.

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Take a look at the products from Gunnar Optiks. They're not cheap (+$100) and they're not a panacea, but I know they help me tremendously in a typical office building with horrible fluorescent lights, cold dry air and bright glossy Apple monitors.

My eyes just don't feel as tired after a day in the office, and the difference is stark when I take them off, so much so that I close my eyes before taking them off and then slowly re-open my eyes.

Another option is to go to your optometrist and find out what type of lenses they offer for computer use.

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