Suffering a headache? Neck and shoulder pain? And your colleagues are complaining of similar issues as well? Before you grab that bottle of aspirin, you may want to call IT about screen glare from your computer monitor or flat screen. That’s what we will talk about today, from its causes, how it may bring about those symptoms, to what you can do to prevent this problem

Screen Glare – Why It’s a Problem

When a person sees their reflection, a window, and/or other reflections on their computer monitor or screen, that is typically an indication of glare.

Glare is the reflection of light from a source off of a window or a screen. Those sources can include:

  • Brightness of the screen itself
  • Reflections on the screen from indoor lights like overhead fluorescent lamps
  • Sunlight coming through windows 

Regardless of source, glare can make it hard to see what is happening on a computer screen. 

Screen glare can contribute to computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain. The American Optometric Association (AOA) defines the problem as a complex of eye-and-vision issues related to activities that put stress on near vision. These are usually experienced while using a computer. 

The most common symptoms, according to the AOA, include:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Concentration and reading performance can also suffer according to researchers. 

Two Solutions for Screen Glare

Two technologies – anti-glare and anti-reflective – are used by computer monitor manufacturers to reduce reflection by screen glare. Both represent ways to improve or optimize readability of a displayed image or set of characters which in turn reduces eye strain. 


An anti-glare or AG screen uses a layer of coating to reflect external light. The layer or coating diffuses the light rays, scattering it in many different angles. 

The result is less glare. Viewers using an anti-glare screen under bright light settings like a medical grade monitor in an operating room (OR), can do so without a noticeable reflection. Surgeons need those bright lights to view the surgery on the patient effectively. But they and the rest of the staff need the monitors for interviews to patient vitals. The room’s bright lights and resulting glare make that impossible and even dangerous. Screens with anti-glare solve the dilemma.     

Computer screens with AG are also beneficial in well-lit locations like near open windows during the day or when used outdoors. 


Anti-reflective (AR) works in a totally different manner. Anti-reflective film reduces reflection by bending light through objects. This reduces the light transmitted through the display window. The scientific term for this phenomenon is called the “destructive interference of light.” 

Unlike AG screens, which deal with only external sources of light, AR screens affect light coming from the monitor (internal) as well as light hitting the screen (external).

Advantages of Anti-Glare Screens vs Anti-Reflective

AR is considered a better method between the two in reducing glare.

Unfortunately, it costs more. This is because AR screens go through a specialized and expensive manufacturing process. AG screens on the other hand are done by placing a film on the outer layer of a screen. This makes it more cost-effective especially when it comes to outdoor and industrial applications. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, computer monitors and touch screens, and sunlight-readable LCD displays usually come with AG to deal with screen glare.  

Another advantage anti-glare screens have is that they help keep the screen clean. The thin AR coating means fingerprints and other minor smudges don’t get directly on the glass. This makes the screen easier to keep clean. All one needs is a soft microfiber cloth and regular tap water. Features like fanless design and IP65 sealing can further keep machines like industrial touch screen PCs clean by providing protection against dirt and dust

Buyers should make sure their anti-glare screen is attached to the touch glass using permanent adhesive done in a clean room. This will ensure there will be no dust or bubbles under it. Many companies try to use aftermarket low cost solutions. These just fall off the glass shortly after it is installed after just a few disinfection cycles. 

Rising Demand for Monitors and Touch Screens

Despite the health hazards, people’s time in front of screens does not look to drop any time. The worldwide market for computer monitors like cathode-ray tube (CRT), liquid crystal display (LCD), and light-emitting diode (LED) grew from $37.83 billion in 2021 to $42.23 billion in 2022. This is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 percent. It is expected to grow to $55.51 billion by 2026 (CAGR of 7.1 percent). 

Touch screens, estimated to be worth USD 7.017 billion in 2022, are expected to reach 10.274 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 6.6 percent. 

The demand for anti-glare and similar technologies will most likely rise to deal with screen glare from these new screens.   

Closing Comments

People spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen whether it’s their smartphone or workplace monitor or touch screen. Reflections on the screen or even the screen itself can lead to a host of issues like eye strain, and neck and shoulder pain. 

Technologies like anti-glare and anti-reflective screens can reduce the glare. If your company is interested in how to do so in the most cost-effective way possible, contact a representative from Cybernet. 

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