Eye Care For Musicians & Producers
Updated: Jul 11, 2019
Whether you’re a DJ, musician, sound engineer or music producer, chances are you’re spending multiple hours at a time in front of a digital device. Pretty much every modern setup involves some implementation of a DAW software. According to NAAM’s Global Report, loops and plug-ins saw a 14.29% increase in sales in 2016 and audio recording software continues to sell at a consistent pace also. With all those digital devices and lengthy recording sessions, it takes a toll on the health of our eyes.
To make it worst, we’re often working off laptops, and unless you carry a second monitor with you chances are you’re cramming lots of visual information onto a 13” or 15” screen. Personally, working in session view within Ableton Live can be pretty tiring on my eyes. Mixing may not be as bad when I’m just doing a rough mix but when it comes time to mastering and paying attention to each dB, incremental change on a compressor, EQ or reverb, my eyes feel it.
So what can we do about it? Should we just live with it and continue to suffer? No. There are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy.
Non-eyewear related tips:
Follow the 20/20/20 rule: Take a break from staring at those screens about every 20 minutes and focus on something about 20 feet away for around 20 seconds. This will allow your eye muscles to relax and refocus.
Blink: You don’t blink as much as you should when you’re staring at a digital device and so your eyes are getting dry. On top of that, if you’re in a studio setting then you’re probably not getting much fresh air. Combine that with the AC and this is going to dry your eyes out quick so take time to blink and get some fresh air.
Adjust the rooms lighting: A low lit room may feel intimate and “inspirational” but you need good lighting to reduce eye strain. The contrast to that of coarse would be to make sure there isn’t too much light on the screens you’re working on. Tilt or move your monitors to reduce the amount of reflections so you’re not working your eyes harder than they need to.
Get an eye exam
According to recent data, if you’re between the ages of 30-40 years old then there is about a 42% chance that you need some sort of visual correction. Make an appoint to see your local Optometrist and make sure your eyes aren’t straining more than they need to because of refractive errors. If you already wear glasses, maybe you need your prescription updated.
If it turns out that you’ll be a first time glasses wearer, make sure to get an Anti-reflective coating on your lenses. This will greatly reduce the glare that digital devices cast on lenses. If you’re really feeling sensitivity to the intensity of the light then ask about a blue light filter or a light amber tint.
Check out this video on how computer glasses work:
For those that don’t need prescription:
If the doc tells you that you don’t need a prescription then you should look into computer glasses by companies like Gunnar Optiks or Felix Gray. The reason why I mention these two companies is because they are the best quality computer glasses (that I've personally tried.) you can get when you don’t need an all-out prescription.
They both come with quality Anti-glare coatings, blue light filters and the frames are very well made. Both are available with a +.25 magnification, which will help your vision to remain focused.
I hope that these tips help you out. I've written a few articles on digital eye strain so be sure to check those out. If you believe your company could benefit from an "ergonomics for eyes" seminar, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org