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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

430940 Views 1,978 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 9:01 AM by Jessiah1 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 14, 2013 12:39 PM (in response to Exandas)

    Yes, the iPhone (4S) is my only cell phone and I use it constantly all day.  People may vary in their ability to absorb and/or retain lutein/zeaxanthin, so it seems logical for those of us with sensitivity to blue light to keep our levels up.  BTW I still strongly recommend orange bell peppers for zeaxanthin (they taste good too!).  I like to put kale and bell peppers in my juicer along with other stuff a few times a week.


    Boy, this discussion has really gone far afield now :-)

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 15, 2013 1:21 AM (in response to mvanier)

    I will try to increase the levels lutein/zeaxanthin to see if this helps and come back.


    I think this discussion will keep on going, since a proportion of the population shows an intolerance to the new led screens. In the company I work (accountancy firm), IT dpt changed almost all the old laptops and screens (macs and other brands) in Y2012, and strangely more people are complaining about eye strain and headaches. They are not the majority but it is a sample you cant ignore. Actually there are people coming to me and ask me about it. I feel justified in a way because when I first told our IT department about my problem, they laughed at me.

  • mojarvinen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 15, 2013 1:33 AM (in response to Exandas)

    I would like to say in the most polite way, that this conversation needs a reality check.


    I have never experienced any symptoms when reading a book, even when reading for hours and trough the night.


    A display should be like a book.


    My current HP zr2740w is like a book. It does not cause any fatigue.


    But my Dell Latitude E6430 is killing my eyes in 1 hour, when I need to use the display in a meeting or at home.


    So we should not spend time on gimmicks like antioxidants or using programs like flux. Flux might be good for helping to reduce blue light that disrupts our circardian cycles, but it does not help with they eye strain and migraine type symptoms that some experience.


    So what ever the problem is, it's not lack of vitamins and antioxidants. A display should be like a book that can be viewed for hours without any fatigue.

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 15, 2013 2:55 AM (in response to mojarvinen)

    I do agree, but LED screens are in the market from 2008-2009 (even maybe earlier) yet manufacturers have not produced any LED screens that i can use. I am an accountant and i work in front of a laptop screen for the 95% of my working time. As i move around a lot, i use mobile phones to check emails, plus i need to use my laptop to the clients i visit. Up to new i have not found any new laptop that has a comfortable screen for me. Also i cant carry with mean external screen from the lists that is proposed in various sites.

    So any hint, from my perspective is welcomed. Natural chemicals in our bodies is probably the reason why some people tolerate the screens and some others dont.

    Obviously after 20 years in the profession (with no problems in using cell phones or computers up to now) i cant make make a career change. If i cant use the technology for more than 30mins, what i am going to do, move to agriculture for a living?

  • scartacus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 15, 2013 3:03 AM (in response to Exandas)

    Could someone with a mid 2010 Macbook pro please tell me what brand their screen is? LG or Samsung?


    My original screen gave me no problems. The LG replacement causes me eyestrains and headaches.



  • LovesDogs0415 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 19, 2013 3:34 PM (in response to scartacus)

    Has anyone here had any problems with the Kindle Paperwhite?  It has an LED screen, but the light comes from the side not behind the screen, aimed at the eyes?  Thank you. ?ie=UTF8&qid=1361316819&sr=8-1&keywords=kindle+paperwhite

  • applesuper Calculating status...

    Absolutely no problems with the paperwhite here, on the contrary, it's the next best thing to paper I have used, maybe even better than paper in many ways. That's because the technology for e-ink is created to be easy on the eyes, the light is shown towards the screen not behind it. It's the best thing we have so far, until liquavista materialises.


    I have a question too: Is anyone using the recently released imacs and can they get back to us on how the feel about the screen? There was an excellent post a while back rating the devices a user owned from best to worst, and they rated the ipad 3 despite the retina as worse overall in eyestrain than the ipad 2, and that would be my impression as well, maybe due to the double the quantity leds they use to light it up due to more pixels or the colour temperature they use. In any case, about the new imacs, if we could have some feedback please, especially if a la typical apple fashion they are too bright (make it shinny and bright to sell, apple's moto these days, forget about ergonomics) or if they can be dimmed to a low setting. And of course about pwm flicker and all. Thanks. Great thread btw.

  • scartacus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 21, 2013 6:54 AM (in response to scartacus)

    Out of desperation, I have arranged for an engineer to swap out my shiny new apple MBP 13 inch screen with an older 2010 used one, pulled from another MBP.  Here's hoping it works and gets rid of the eye pain.


    Would be super grateful if someone with a mid 2010 MBP 13 incher could give me the model number of their screen.


    My current screen model, which gives me headaches and eyestrain is:



    Color LCD


    To identify your screen make and model, cut and paste this line into the terminal App and press return


    ioreg -lw0 | grep \"EDID\" | sed "/[^<]*</s///" | xxd -p -r | strings -6



  • shalegria1 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2013 5:17 PM (in response to scartacus)

    Hi scartacus, I entered the line into Terminal but don't see any info. Where will it show up?

  • Beverly Corrigan Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 8:15 AM (in response to scartacus)

    Hi scartacus,


    I have a MacBook Pro 2010, which doesn't cause eye strain (I have experienced eye strain with the 2012 model). Below is the display info:



    Color LCD

  • GKphone Calculating status...

    Hi, I had a problem with my 2005 macbook which was a "LCD" screen, face going red, sun burn effect. prickly skin, eyes drying up.


    I moved to a "LED" 2008 Macbook Pro no big problems....Ive just recently bought a Mac Book Pro Retina. Which gave me the same problems as my old 2005 mac, skin going red, sun burn effect!!!


    So sent it back to Apple. Then bought the non Retina screen....same problem!!! Now looking for a second hand 2011 Macbook pro, before they changes the screen technology and hope it solves the problem. (1440x900)


    What has Apple done!!! I have the same problems with Low energy bulbs. Now in the small print of low energy bulbs they have had to print that they shouldn't be used as desk lights, due to skin being burnt. High EMF and High UV.....after to many people reporting this problem.


    LED torches, in the small print, you are advised not to look straight at the light, due to damaging the your eye sight?


    Have Apple gone to far with the screen technology?

  • scartacus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 12:56 PM (in response to shalegria1)

    you press the enter return key and the screen model number should appear by the cursor

  • scartacus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks beverly. Finding an original 2010 screen, that isn't an LG is proving a big headache

  • Rezberlin Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2013 1:38 PM (in response to ap7547265)

    I'm an author and my eyes hurt more than ever, writing on my Macbook Air 13 2011. I've now written Apple my feedback via the FEEDBACK FORM and I advise every user to do the same, so that Apple gets the message.


    Before reading ap7547265's message, I had tried dimming the screen to under 50% thinking that it's the brighness levels. But now that I've read the post and attachments, dimming doesn't make sense to me anymore, since I now assume that it's the dimming that's causing the low voltage pulse frequency that may be the reason for my eye strain!


    So long story short, I've amped my brightness to MAX now, hoping that there won't be any dimming going on, and that the LED pulse frequency may finally be in tune with my eyes.


    I'm testing this now (with the blazinginly bright screen) and will let you know how I feel in a few days.


    You're welcome to take part in this experiment and share your results!

  • logoo88 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2013 5:09 AM (in response to Rezberlin)

    I bet it will not change anything.


    - There is no consensus on this forum about the presence of PWM in Mac's screens.

    But everyone agrees that the symptoms are the same.


    - Then, the Shade software (wich darkens the screen in order to use it at maximum brightness) doesn't change anything for a great number of people.

    (There is no correlation between this and the question about the presence of PWM because some screens use PWM even at maximum brightness).


    Btw that's not a long term solution. Mac's screens are meant to shine in the Apple Store. If your room is not as bright it's not going to be good for your eyes either.

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