Extended exposure to loud audio from tech devices can harm a person’s eardrums and degrade hearing. Bright lights from computers, smartphones, and other devices can fatigue the eyes. However, some devices when properly adjusted can reduce fatigue and injury.
Displays and Vision Care
I use a 42-inch 4K display for my all-day computer work, and on my mobile devices I select the dark mode and night tint to reduce the wavelengths of light, like blue light, known to tire the eyes. Using an oversized display and larger fonts results in a bolder contrast that makes reading very easy even when the brightness on the display is set at a lower level. The end result is less fatigue over extended periods of screen time.
Big screen televisions are commonly found in the 75-inch to 86-inch size. Best Buy has some of the 85-inch and larger displays for about $1,200. [View] That’s a lot of money to pa for a television, but much lower than the smaller television years ago that cost many thousands of dollars.
The benefit of a 42-inch display is that it is considered to be “small” by today’s standards, and for this reason the price is small. This size is available at Costco in the $170 to $300 price range. [View]
audio and Hearing Care
My approach to achieving low-fatigue high-contrast audio is similar to using a big display with big fonts that are easier to read. With audio, using a sub-woofer and high quality studio speakers can ensure that even at low volumes, the full range of sounds can be easily heard. Usually people turn up the volume when there are nuances they are not hearing. This can happen with music or spoken audio. Turning up the volume to the point that you can hear those nuances can result in harmful audio levels for extended listening.
In general, we tend to turn up the volume to hear low frequencies (drums and bass sounds), and we turn up the volume to hear higher frequencies that our ears are less sensitive to.
If the speakers are not easily able to reproduce low frequencies and high frequencies, we turn up the volume even more just to generate those frequencies we are trying to hear. This results in blasting the audio until we can hear the full range of sound, but it harms or fatigues the ears over time.
Good speakers with a sub-woofer need not be a big expense. Best Buy has some in the $60 to $270 price range. [View]
A good pair of headphones would be another option. Headphones can offer noise cancelling and good audio frequency reproduction, allowing for good quality sound at lower volumes. [View]
Look for ways to reduce fatigue and stress injuries across the variety of devices you use regularly. To learn more, visit Iowa City Tech.
A similar article on this topic is available, from Nov 2021, “Tech Tips to Protect Your Eyes and Ears.” [View]
Photo: The photo at the top of the page, and shown below, is of the Advanced Technology Laboratory building at the University of Iowa on 6 Oct 2016.