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What is Glare?

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Question: What is Glare?
One of the leading causes of eye strain and sub-optimal vision is glare. Yet with a little ergonomic knowledge and technology we can fight glare and improve our vision and productivity.
Answer: Glare is a visual phenomenon that is caused by a difference in luminous intensity, or a bright spot. Brightness is relative and so luminous intensity is a more scientific measurement. But basically a bright spot throws off your eyes’ auto-brightness meter and the resulting glare can cause eye strain, discomfort, fatigue and temporary vision loss.

A bright spot in a dark field is hard for your eyes to adjust to and focus. That difficulty is perceived as glare. You do not want to look at glare. In some cases the glare is so severe that you cannot look at it. In other cases where the glare is mild you can look at it, but the constant muscle adaption can lead to eye strain. Glare is often categorized as distracting, discomforting or disabling.

Glare can be caused by an emitting source of the brightness, like the sun. Glare can also be caused by a reflective source, such as a computer screen. In the case of a reflection the angle of the brightness source to the reflective surface often act as a concentrator for the brightness. There are many things you can do to reduce or eliminate glare requiring only minor changes to the light source, the reflective surface or your eyes.

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