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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

430661 Views 1,978 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 9:01 AM by Jessiah1 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 23, 2013 2:25 AM (in response to Kxtr73)

    Kxtr73, Apple should hire you!!!! 

  • Kxtr73 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 23, 2013 5:17 AM (in response to Exandas)

    Thanks ;-)

     

    During my tests i realized that in order to localize where the problem is, we must do separate tests of backlight and matrix. First the most important is backlight test. So you need to remove the matrix and instead place sheet of ex. newspaper. If the backlight is good you shouldn't have any bad sensations even after many hours at looking at.

  • Gurm42 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 23, 2013 6:42 AM (in response to Exandas)

    I think _we_ should all hire kxtr73 to build us monitors we can use...

  • spprt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    There is a new Smartphone coming this year, maybe in September. It is the first Smartphone that uses an E Ink display. Provided that its light is a "good" one or can be turned off, we should not have any problems with it. The only problem could be said screen light or flickering status LEDs when you recieve a message. Let's hope any light is optional.

     

    I would prefer an iPhone, that's for sure. For me the iPad 4 is my first iOS device and the first device with a screen that does not cause the usual heavy symptoms I get from looking at LCD screens. Well there is noticable eye strain, but it is strongly reduced compared to other LCDs. I can use the iPad 4 for prolongued time with low brightness setting. I suppose there may be different shippings with different hardware, maybe I got lucky.

    Well, that good experience is the reason I bought an iPhone 4S to replace my old mobile phone. Unluckily, that iPhone 4S caused heavy eye pain after just a minute of usage. So, do you people think there are good chances that its predecessor, the iPhone 4, could make a difference? It is tiresome to buy new phones just to notice the same problems over and over. I already tried other manufacturers with no luck.

     

    (Sorry for my strange english, I'm not a native speaker.)

  • spprt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Same here. Whatever the reason, AMOLED is the most eye strain causing display that I have ever looked at.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 26, 2013 1:52 AM (in response to spprt)

    spprt, sorry to say that but I guess no one here could tell you for sure whether the iPhone 4 that you get will be comfortable to your eyes... It appears that different batches of iPhones have different level of backlight comfort. And the newer batches seems to be worse than the elder ones.

     

    In my case, I have an iPhone 4S which I think is very comfortable, and it was one of the very first batches. However, when my sister got her 4S around a year later, it wasn't so comfortable (but still quite tolerable) compared with mine.

  • spprt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 26, 2013 1:52 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    For all people who have problems with Windows: I realized that the reason Windows Vista and 7 hurt my eyes much more than other OS is Aero (the 3D accelerated interface with glass borders and such). If I turn off Aero by switching to the classical skin, those particular "Windows" eye strain is gone. Same for Windows XP, which does not have a 3D surface in the first place. I successfully tried this on several computers and external displays. Not on a MacBook though, but maybe it helps there, too.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 26, 2013 2:29 AM (in response to Eric Leung1)

    By the way, I would like to share a bit on my experience on an AMOLED screen.

     

    My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and it uses an AMOLED (OLED) display. (I would really hope to use the iPhone 5, but it hurts my eyes badly...)

     

    The default settings of the Note 2 weren't too comfortable to my eyes, but after trying many methods, I think the following works pretty well to me:

     

    1. For "Screen Mode", avoid using "Standard" or "Dynamic", use "Natural" or "Movie". The color will look less vibrant (the display's default color settings are way too much saturated anyway!), but most likely your eyes would feel immediately more comfortable looking at it.
    2. The next thing is to eliminate the flicker. To do that, disable "auto brightness" and set the brightness to max. Then use some 3rd party software to reduce the brightness. I use the app named "Screen Filter" to set the brightness at 40% (good enough for most indoor use) and I think it's pretty good. With this setting, flickering is almost totally gone, and the screen would look very stable with brightness doesn't hurt the eyes.
      Also, due to the characteristics of OLED display, when using "Screen Filter", each pixel emit less light itself rather than having a matrix blocking the backlight and thus the effect is more effective. It doesn't seem to have much impact on power consumption too.
      However, the total number of colors that the screen could display would probably reduced quite a bit if dimming it this way. But that doesn't bother me at all for normal daily use.
      And also, I'm not very sure if keeping the OLED on all the time (removing its flicker) would reduce it's life, though, I have been doing that to my phone for over half a year and it still seems to be working pretty well.

     

    With the above settings, I can look at the phone pretty much freely without too much problem most of the time. Just not use it as an ebook reader and look at it for too long.

     

    I highly recommend anyone giving the above methods a try if they found the Samsung AMOLED phones hurting the eyes.

  • LovesDogs0415 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 26, 2013 6:42 AM (in response to spprt)

    SPPRT!  I suffer from the Apple Screens and had to return my MacBook Pro, the iPhone made my eyes sting like crazy after a few seconds.  On vacation just a few weeks ago, I had to use my husband's iphone 4S to send a few text messages to our pet sitter.  I had tried his before with bad symptoms.  This time, for some reason, still not understood, I used it those few times without discomfort.  So, when I got home I bought an iPhone of my own and it REALLY hurt my eyes.  I had to decide within 14 days or lose all my money.   A last effort was to try a Belkin IRIS (R) ANTI-Glare Screen.  GLARE SCREENS NEVER WORKED FOR ME BEFORE.  Somehow, this does and I am able to use the iPhone long enough to send texts and use the phone. I also have the brightness turned down very low, which also did not help previously. I don't use it for watching videos.  This is very weird and I only report it to support that some phones are made differently and you just have to try.  The Samsung screens hurt and I'm the one who got nauseous just standing in the Microsoft store, the light emitting from the screens was so intense.  I desperately wanted to use the iPhone and kept trying.  This is just a fix that works sometimes and I hope that Apple will eventually turn attention to this horrible problem from which so many of us suffer in America and abroad.

  • Eric Leung1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    LoveDogs0415, I think it's the blue in the iPhone LED that's making your eye discomfort.

     

    Before we have a good blue filter to filter out the troublesome blue light, from what I have tried so far, the most effective way in reducing discomfort from these type of scenario is to reduce overall brightness by using external filters (not just using iPhone's brightness control).

     

    I have an idea for your case, maybe you can try sticking one of those "mirror" protectors for your screen. I'm referring to those that make your screen shiny like a mirror when the screen is off. These kind of protectors have a "side effect" of cutting down the light coming out from the screen. Perhaps it would work better than the anti-glare protector that you're using.

     

    Just a thought

  • Jerry3012 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 8, 2013 12:03 PM (in response to StefanD13)

    Hi StefanD13, I am also suffering from new-tech screens and have symptoms like eye strain and headaches. After reading your posts on color dithering, I did a bit online search and learned how to disable the color dithering for IE (internet explorer). Surprisingly, I felt almost an instant relief when using IE after I disabled the color dithering option in IE. If I understand it correctly, color dithering could come from software (IE,Safari), hardware (monitor, graphic card) and operating systems (Win 7,8). I think that is why I did not feel a complete relief since I was not able change anything to the monitor or operating system (I am using a PC laptop with Win 7). I was just wondering if it is possible to completely eliminate clolor dithering on a computer.

     

    Interestingly, peopole reported that dithering might also cause flicker on MAC (https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=226753). Not sure if this could possibly establish the link between dithering and flicker. By the way, I can get similar symptoms when I have motion sickness or play 3d video games like counter strike. I feel like the dithering issue has to do with the similar reasons that cause motion sickness.

  • Jessiah1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 9, 2013 9:15 AM (in response to Jerry3012)

    Jerry3012, without the dithering you still have issues?

     

    An input for everyone here: In thinking about my feedback and diagnoses from Neurology I would say one thing we can sort of clarify is how there are different symptoms for everyone. There are two main categories we could assume are causing most everyone's issue.

     

    1: Inner ear issue stimulated by movement in ones vision, maybe dithering, flicker and 3D TV's are the main culprits here?

     

    2: Optically triggered Migraines with Vertigo, MY diagnoses and most likely caused more from blue light spectrum/flicker than 3D or motion technology like dithering.

     

    Some simple tests with an ENT or Neurologist could diagnose your issue and possibly your personal triggers, there are physical tests done specifically to find whether or not you have an inner ear issue.

     

    Hopefully these thoughts are helpful, I believe it provides some clarity on why so many people have different but the same reactions to tablets/monitors.

     

    Jessiah AKA Jesse

  • Jerry3012 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 9, 2013 10:34 AM (in response to Jessiah1)

    Hi Jesse, without the dithering in IE, I felt instant relief when using IE. But I am not sure if I completely eliminated the color dithering in the computer by simply changing one of the IE options because, as I said, there might be other sources for the color dithering including hard ware and operating system.

     

    I can easily get motion sickness on a ship or get headaches when playing 3d video games. Not sure if these have the same trigger.

  • rsmith011 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 12, 2013 4:17 PM (in response to RMartin111)

    Hello,

     

    I am currently experiencing difficulty focusing on the screen and mild dizziness (similiar to motion sickness) on my 3 day old MacBook Pro Retina 13.3". I have 20/20 vision. I have found when I read text really fast, it isn't that bad, but when I am taking my time it is very hard to focus.

     

    I am not sure what's causing this -- I currently have an HP Mini 110 with an LED backlit screen, and that works great for me. The only thing I can think of is this HP Mini 110 has a matte rather than glossy screen, but even when there is no evident reflections, I still suffer when reading text fast. Some questions:

     

    - Does the MacBook Pro Retina (I just ordered it a week ago, but I think it's technically the 2012 model) use IPS or TN?

     

    - Does this MBPR use PWM? The darker screen actually seems to make the focusing better. The difficulty focusing is mostly on text, especially code with Eclipse.

     

    Most important: People experiencing any kind of eye strain with MBP's, what did you wind up purchasing? I can't find any company that will sell modern CCFL backlit laptops.

     

    People that purchased any matte screen covering, did that help?

     

    Thank you!

  • rsmith011 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 12, 2013 5:19 PM (in response to Jerry3012)

    Also, just curious. After spending more time with this display, it has become easier on my eyes. People experiencing similiar symptoms to motion sickness and having difficulty focusing, have your eyes gotten used to the MBPR display? I really want to keep the device, but not at the expense of my eyesight. I don't mind putting up with these symptoms for a week or even longer...but the main issue is I have 10 days to return this. I wish I could get more technical information on the displays used in the 13.3" MBPR screen and the HP Mini 110.

     

    Any replies would be greatly appreciated.

     

    Thanks!

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