Is Dark Mode Good for Your Eyes or Not?

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Utah Valley Eye is a full-service vision provider, offering eye examinations, glaucoma testing and treatment, and LASIK in Provo. As such, we are always interested in helping you and your family to have the best outcomes and clearest vision available. A growing topic about which we are regularly contacted is the best way to protect our eyesight as more and more time is spent looking at screens. There is a lot of misinformation out there about how to rotect your eyes from eye strain and blue light exposure.

Is dark mode better for your eyes?

One of the common misconceptions that we hear is about using dark mode on your devices and how it is better for your eyes. This one is confusing and there are several factors to consider. For those looking at dark mode to protect their eyes may find that they experience fewer headaches or other eye strain when looking at screens. In fact, numerous studies have shown that reading white text on a black background can increase your eye strain as this is one of the more difficult conditions for your eyes to focus. If you have astigmatism, white text on a black background can be even more difficult to see, with some studies reporting that those with astigmatism have a 50 percent higher chance of having eye strain with white text on a black background.

What conditions are optimal for reading?

As far as readability, dark text on a light background is optimal and less likely to produce eye strain. To help reduce eye strain with dark text on a light background, adjusting the brightness of the screen to match the ambient lighting is far more effective in protecting your eyes than simply using dark mode.

Using night mode or night light

Many devices have the option to reduce blue lighting or adjust the brightness automatically. This author’s phone and computer are set to reduce blue light automatically at sunset. Most phones have a setting in the Display menu, allowing you to set your night light to go on at either at a specific time or like mine, from sunrise to sunset.

So, does it or doesn’t it?

Basically, the decision to use dark mode comes down to how it makes your eyes feel. If you feel it helps you, go for it. One of the most important things to remember about screens and your eyes is that you should take screen breaks of about 5 minutes every hour and get away from the screen (looking at your phone in the bathroom doesn’t count).

If you are concerned or have questions about screen use and your eyes, please don’t hesitate to ask us at Utah Valley Eye; we’re more than just LASIK surgery in Provo.

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