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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

434110 Views 1,985 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 11:34 AM by Kxtr73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • upriver Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2009 3:50 PM (in response to cyvi937)
    Good point. I stand corrected. The Macbook does not have LED backlighting.
    15" Macbook Pro Unibody, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • calbryan Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 3, 2009 2:05 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    I can also attest to having severe eye strain from LED displays.

    I have spent countless long days staring at many types of monitors (CRT, LCD, Plasma) with no problems. Then, in January, I purchased a new Macbook Pro with an LED display only to realize that after about an hour I would get headaches and my eyes felt severely strained.

    I have used a combination of full spectrum desk lighting and frequent breaks, but I still cannot work on my computer all day like I used to. I didn't fully understand that it was LED technology causing the eye problems until my Dad purchased a new LED television recently, and I immediately experienced the same eye strain within a half-hour of watching his television.

    That experience led to more research and this thread, which confirms that at least some others are experiencing issues with this display type.

    My advice to others is try out LED displays before purchasing because sensitivity can occur even if you've never had eye strain before. My only solution now is to either sell my Macbook Pro or buy an additional monitor, which will at least help with home work.

    I wish Apple would have done more testing of this technology before making it standard.
    macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Lizz Calculating status...
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    Oct 16, 2009 5:48 AM (in response to Ricktoronto)
    This is a problem whether it's blinding the masses or not. I am glad that other people have reported a problem because I thought I was losing my mind. Don't know what I'm going to do because it's taken me more than two weeks to get to the bottom of this problem. I love Apple, but I also hate them. You get a few choice and live and die by those choices. I waited on the non-glare screen, but still the LED seems to be causing me a problem. Grrrr. I feel trapped.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Lukeintosh Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 17, 2009 7:04 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    I get sore eyes, But i thought this was just because i had glasses, and to speak, I never had this problem with my iBook. The way i found to fix it is to 1. Turn the Brightness Down, 2. Blink More (You have to think about this when you are concentrating).

    Hope it helps
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.4GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.1), MacBook Pro 15" » iPhone 3G » AirPort Express V1&V2 » 40" Sony Bravia » PS3 Slim
  • Jinsai_SF Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 19, 2009 1:44 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    Add me to the list of people strongly affected by this issue.

    I've been using computers since the Apple ][ days and typically spend hours per day in front of screen displays. I have never experienced anything like the nausea and headaches I've been feeling since I purchased the new Macbook Pro.

    It ranges from "unpleasant" to "completely debilitating". None of my other laptops or monitors have caused this problem before.

    Like many of you, I'm reluctant to give up what is an otherwise nice machine (and I'm out of my 14-day return window), but this is not something I can live with.

    If anyone has found anything that works for them, please share. I'm going to do some experiments over the next few days with brightness settings, but I am not optimistic at this point.
    Macbook Pro (13"), Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Lizz Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 22, 2009 5:38 AM (in response to Jinsai_SF)
    Well, I had to give up the MacBook Pro. I'm working on one of the last MacBooks with an LCD screen. I got it yesterday. You see, Apple just announced that even MacBooks are now coming out with LED Backlit screens. I feel fortunate that I figured this out before the LCD screen became extinct. Yes, I miss my MBPro, but in a few days I'll adjust to the slightly slower speed and the smaller screen. My eyes definitely feel better. I visited my eye doctor yesterday before I made the decision and took my computer. She said that she noticed my eyes tearing up from the strain of the looking at the screen in just a few minutes. This is a real phenomenon and I hope Apple will make note and provide the LCD screen as an option.

    Having the non-glare screen on the LED seems to make no difference IF you are sensitive to the light generated by the LED technology. I had had my MBPro for about six weeks. It took time to identify what was causing the problem. I visited two Apple stores, taking material from the Internet, and managers at both places said they had "heard" something about this issue and would have no problem trading out the machine, in spite of the time.

    I waited until I saw my doctor, hoping she could prescribe some special glasses, but no. I returned to one of the stores and hoped to get a hard drive larger than the 160, but I would have to get that online. The store manager said I could do the exchange online with no problem. NOT TRUE. I went to my car and phoned Apple and was told that I was outside of the 14-day window, there was no swapping, and was there anything else I needed help with. I didn't see the point in mentioning the letter I had from the doctor or anything since I was right outside of a store and could get the computer that day, rather than wait, after begging. The manager of the store could not have been nicer. I was impressed.

    So, yes, I miss the MBP, but I've rationalized: My old iBook had 60 GB, so 160 is more than twice that. I had a 12" screen before, now I have 13". So, I didn't get to go state-of-the-art with the MBP, but my eyes aren't on fire.

    This is a real problem that a few, very light sensitive people have. Blinking and dimming the screen did not help. Deselecting the ambient light option did not help. There were certain lighting conditions where it didn't hurt as much, but that was a moving target trying to combine time of day, position of window blinds, and position of desk---hard to hit with a searing headache.

    Another option is to keep the MBP and get an external monitor. MBP works closed, a specialist told me, and you can sit the monitor on top of it. Get the magic and avoid the burn that way.

    Good luck.
    iBook G4; MacBook Pro 2009; MacBook (Last Revision 2008), Mac OS X (10.6.1), 30yrs on Windows. First Mac 4 years ago, now on 2nd MacBook.
  • Christianmochizuki Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2009 5:33 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    hey i bought my laptop from mac about a month ago
    and since then my vision has become very shaky
    and becoming worse and worse everyday
    when i drive when i try to focus on cars infront of me
    or to the left or right of me they seem to dissapear
    for a second then reappear and sometimes
    they seem to be doing a shutter movement
    day or night its the same thing
    i just got my eyes checked out to make sure it wasnt that
    the doctor said my eyes are perfectly fine
    i was doing some research yesterday
    and found all of you out there with the same problems
    im trying to return my macbook pro and they arent being coorperative
    i cant drive anymore because of how bad my vision has gotten
    and it doesnt seem like anyone at apple cares what so ever
    macbook pro 2.4 unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • Cliff Neufeld Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 9, 2009 10:13 AM (in response to RMartin111)
    I purchased the new LED monitor for my MacBook Air and it works great.

    However I have experienced severe headaches and feelings of nausea up to dissorientation. I am totaly confident that this is the monitor as my girlfriend and I were doing some work together on my monitor last night and she expereinced severe reaction with nausea and dizzyness. After 30 minutes away from the monitor she was fine. I have experienced this from the first day I got he monitor and it does this in any light conditions in the room, no matter how far I sit from it or light level settings.

    I dont want to give up the monitor but I feel sick every time I use it. The previous monitor I was using was the LCD version of the same monitor and it gave me no problem whatsoever.

    Apple - please address this - it is very real and people are feeling like they are getting the flu or sick.
    MacBook Air, iPhone3G, MacMini, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • DDdaviking Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2009 12:03 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    I found that changing the gamma setting (under Display> Callibrate display ...) helped a lot on eye strain.

    I found that, for me, the Mac gamma (1.8) is too bright. Play with it and see what suits you.
    MacBook, Macbook Pro, iMac 24", Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • PrincessSharpay Calculating status...
    Dear Jasonfromsanantonio, I have read all of your posts and I have exactly the same problem. Please tell me how it's working out for you. Are you keeping your Macbookpro now? Are you using it with the overlay? May I ask if this new one they gave you hurts your eyes WITHOUT the overlay? Mine hurts after 2 minutes I look at the screen.

    Since you got an anti-glare film, I assume you've got a glossy screen as well, haven't you? Have you thought maybe it could be that? I have a glossy too but I don't think that's the problem. At the store, I've worked on a matt and my eyes still hurt. I really think it has to do with the LED.

    I also must say that the technicians at the store changed my macbookpro last week already because the first one I bought let out a weird, continuous beeping like the ultrasounds dogs hear. I thought I was crazy because my mom didn't hear it but at the store they then said people older than 30 years could hardly hear it and it was a computer defect. So they exchanged it. WHat I'm really angry about is that the Mac that emitted the beeping DIDN'T hurt my eyes AT ALL! Does anyone know why that is? Also, do you think I should waste more time and go to the store again and try out another Macbookpro? (I have already brought home an IMac and then returned it because it make a summing sound and I couldn't concentrate.)

    Thanks for your help,
    PrincessSharpay
    Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • joel chip Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2010 11:21 AM (in response to RMartin111)
    Wow, I truly appreciate this post and all the people who have wrote back. I just bought the new 21.5 Imac and without realizing the screen difference between my March 2009 20"Imac and the new Nov 2009 21.5" Imac, I started to get a tense burning in my eyes the first few days of using it. I had never felt this before with the March 2009 20 inch Imac with the LCD screen that I had used for almost 1 year. I am now going to return the new one.

    I want someone to tell me that there is a fix because the new machine is a bit faster and of course it is "newer". However, there is none and the trade off does not compare. I thought I may be over reacting, but now as I am using the old one again the screen looks much softer and not so sharp and my eyes are not hurting me any longer. Nothing more to be said!

    Thanks guys and gals!
    imac, Windows XP
  • Jeffason Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2010 7:26 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    I also was wondering if I was going blind or something.

    I used to have ccfl macbook pro but it got stolen.

    After reading text on my recently purchased used macbook pro my eyes would shift out of focus and I felt like I was tripping on something for a few seconds. Then it goes away. And then it would happen again. Obviously some kind of sync or refresh issue. This doesn't happen to me viewing anything else.

    Yeah so it almost makes the laptop useless for reading text.

    One thing that helps is speed reading. If I read almost too fast it doesn't happen as much. But if I leisurely read it will go all unfocused.

    I have a feeling newer versions have better technology and do not do it as much. Oh there it goes I'm going all cross eyed again or whatever. This is frustrating!
    MBP, Intel MacMini x 2, iPhone 3G, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • sammcj2000 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2010 1:31 AM (in response to Stefan Ro.)
    Ugh, I'm glad someone brought this up.

    Other than the lack of a 2nd hard drive bay for RAID this is my No.1 gripe with my imac, I even went and paid for my eyes to be tested and asked the optometrist about how close I sit to the screen etc etc...

    *He said he's had several complaints of iMacs hurting peoples eyes* even when used on the lowest brightness setting 24/7.

    I've tried applications like shades that reduce the gamma but they mey everything look horrid.
    24' imac 2.8ghz early 2009, Mac OS X (10.6.2), xxxxxx
  • hokeydino Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 31, 2010 1:53 AM (in response to RMartin111)
    I bought my macbook just when it came out in October 2008. It has the led-backlit glossy screen. I have noticed that over the past year, my eyesight has worsened and that seeing long-distance is especially worse off than before. I have also gotten intense headaches, something that I have never experienced before purchasing the macbook.
    I think that my usage of the macbook, that is, looking at the computer screen for several hours a day for the past year has affected my eyesight. Permanently? I'm not sure. If I'm able to change my screen to matte, and I have noticed that I can see normal then I will post back on this forum again.
    2008 Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • lutra Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2010 2:36 PM (in response to RMartin111)
    I have an imac and have experienced what I guess is eye strain ever since getting it. Eye feels like it is pulling or my face can literally ache....dry eyes....gee, it has sure changed my computer experience. I have been to the eye dr. and he found no changes in my eyes. So I have just been winging it and hoping to hear something similar to help me with my problem. I am lowering the brightness, changing to white on black background when I can, wearing sunglasses....eyedrops.....geez.....it almost seems like APPLE should have a complaint page about this issue. Not sure about this changing the gamma setting?? Any more input is greatly appreciated!
    I-MAC 24", Mac OS X (10.5.8)
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