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This document provides some simple tips to protect your vision and hearing when using tech devices.

Tech Device Visual Adjustments to Reduce Eye Strain

When using smaller fonts, the eyes typically need more light from the display to see precisely. However, with larger fonts, the screen brightness can be much lower. Consider increasing the font size you use, and reduce the brightness of your device display. This will be easier on the eyes.

If you are using a larger font, you may notice that a small screen isn’t adequate to display all of the text you want to see at one time. Entire web pages, spreadsheets, emails, or documents won’t fully fit on your screen when using a larger font. So, consider purchasing a 42-inch 4K (high resolution) display or TV to do most of your computer work. This will allow you to view the same amount of information, in a larger font size.

Three Font Size Considerations

There are three considerations when adjusting the font size on a device:

  • SYSTEM ZOOM — It is a good idea to have your overall operating system zoom setting adjusted so you can easily see the text under icons, in menus, and in other areas of the system interface. This is a good place to start with zooming. Consider setting the zoom to 125%.
  • APPLICATION ZOOM — You will likely spend most of your time in specific applications like your Internet browser or word processor. In these programs you can set the zoom adjustment for easier viewing of content pages. Try 150% for very comfortable reading. To use these larger percentages, a bigger display is helpful. Some email programs like Apple Mail can have different text sizes for displaying your inbox summary of emails or available folders. These font sizes might be set separately from the default font used when creating emails.
  • FONT SIZE SELECTION — Besides setting the overall system zoom and application zoom, you can choose to use a larger font in your applications. An example of this is described below under the heading “Font Size and Zoom in Microsoft Word.”

Font Size and Zoom in Microsoft Word

The default font in Microsoft Word might be 12 point. This is uncomfortably small for most people on most devices, even when printed.

Microsoft Word offers the ability to zoom the overall view of a document page (found under the View menu or tab). This can help with your own viewing of the document. However, once printed or shared as a PDF with someone, the font would be too small for them to read easily.

Consider using a combination of changing the actual font size and also changing your zoom setting to be comfortable. Microsoft Word makes it possible to change the default Normal style to be a font style and size that you prefer. To do this, under the Font menu, set the font size and style, then click on the option to set as Default for all future documents. Then all new documents will start out with the nicer larger font.

High Quality Headphones Help Reduce Ear Fatigue

In the same way that large fonts allow a person to use a display that isn’t so bright, high quality headphones allow a person to listen to audio at lower levels. Here’s how that works… With poor quality headphones or speakers will require the volume to be turned up for all of the nuances of the sound to be audible. Very low frequencies and high frequencies may not be adequately reproduced by most speakers unless the volume is turned up.

With high quality speakers that include a subwoofer, or high quality headphones, the full sound spectrum is smoothly and evenly reproduced. So, it’s not necessary to turn the volume up as loud. The end result is less volume and less fatigue on the ears.