Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 2,339 Replies Latest reply: Nov 27, 2015 6:56 AM by harrision_1234 Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • Me-U-andthe-Forum Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had my macbook pro pretty for about almost a month now and I have just recently been getting what i know as eye strain headaches from it, and at first it bewildered me but then i thought maybe it was the reflection on the monitor, but after reading this it makes sense and I am thinking I might have to get a different computer.

    For those of you who traded in for another Mac, what did you trade in for? This ***** b/c I LOVE this computer
  • greene-r74 Level 1 (5 points)
    I stare at screens for 9 hours a day and occasionally get eye strain headaches, but not every day. And I do take frequent breaks in between. But whenever I use my macbook it seems like every time within a half hour or less I start getting headaches.

    I've never used a machine with a LED backlight, I don't know if thats the culprit but it sure seems like it might be. I wish there was a way to measure the flicker. I know if you take a video of a monitor with a digital camera you will see it roll as the lines scan across the screen. This screen looks solid when you take a video of it. I cant detect any visible flicker but I do also experience headaches.
  • lenn5 Level 4 (2,530 points)
    I'm curious to find out if you guys having eye strain have the matte or glossy display? I'm going to be getting an early '08 MBP and haven't decided on which display to get.

  • Stefan Ro. Level 1 (0 points)
    hello R Martin,

    I understand what you are talking about, same problem here with the new MBA.
  • pitchcorrect Level 1 (0 points)
    I used to get eye-strain and had the subtle, yet noticable flicker with my macbook pro 2.4 (early 2008) when brightness wasn't at 100% - my computer suffered from the well-documented dark-lines "curtain effect" led problem..

    Apple replaced my entire screen, and along with it the inverter board (it's built into the screen assembly) and now everything is fine, screen is absolutely rock solid.

    it's probably the same problem - a defective inverter board, probably causing the pulse width modulation driving the LEDS to not cycle consistently.

    I'd suggest to all people that have this problem, have them replace your screen, or at the very least, the inverter board. trust me, it's not the LEDs..
  • Thomas Artner Level 1 (0 points)

    I've got the same problem here. Working a lot with computer, also with my old macbook pro (without led backlight), I bought a new MBA. Its impossible to work longer than 15-20min at a time without getting some sickness.
    Looking at the MBA screen, and my old MBP screen side by side shows the issue very well. The MBA screen iss much more exhausting than the MBP screen.
    My MBA is going back now...

  • jasonfromsanantonio Level 1 (0 points)
    I have purchased my first Apple computer this past weekend, a 13" MacBook Aluminum. After the first day of setting it up I noticed my felt strained after an hour or so. I noticed that the auto adjustment of the brightness was rather sensitive to slight light changes, so I disabled that feature hoping for better results. The second day I used the machine, I recognized that my eyes were still uncomfortable. After a couple more days of limited use, I still experienc this discomfort. I was thinking my eyes would get adjusted to the fonts, colors, shading, etc that make up the wonderful interface and the pain would go away. A search of Google has led me here and that the issue may be with the LED backlighting.

    I have worked for years (and continue to do so) on more traditional laptop displays and have never experienced a discomfort like this. I will go talk to a Mac Genius at the local apple store to see if they can recommend anything. I really want to keep the MacBook but if my eyes continue to reject the change, I will have to give up this new beauty.

    Message was edited by: jasonfromsanantonio
  • gpzbc Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the exact same problem. I'm not sure what to do because I really don't want to give up my new computer. I keep hoping that I will get used to it.

    Has anyone successfully "gotten used to it"?
  • jasonfromsanantonio Level 1 (0 points)
    I visited with a Apple Genius today at the NorthStar Mall location in San Antonio, TX. I went through the changes I had tried... Deactivating auto brightness, resolutions, adjusting brightness, and even creating a new color profile under display. He went through routine, 'what are you using the mac for?' 'do you do things differently on your pc laptop?' Indicated that bright whites and such could be causing the problems... I indicated I had been using the mac the same way i do my PC.

    The only other option he suggested was trying the 'inverse' color option (command, option, control and 8 key all held together) and see if cutting down on the amount of bright white helps. I don't think its an acceptable solution but I'll try it occasionally to see if it does any good. He made reference if there was anything wrong with the technology that everybody would be having this problem. Slightly aggravated I will try every option they give me to show that its more than browsing webpages with white backgrounds that's causing the problem.

    At this point I have had my MacBook for 5 days and there is a 14 day return period. I will try a couple more days and if things do not get better, I will return the computer. I believe I will try downgrading to the 'White' MacBook with a matte screen to see if it works better with my eyes. I feel that the quality of the mac product as a whole eclipse the chincy looking and feeling laptops from the PC manufacturers.

    If my eyes automagically adjust to the MacBook aluminum display, I'll be very happy. I'll make updates on what i find. If you have any recommendations, please post them here!
  • Torrance Hodgson Level 1 (5 points)
    I thought I'd post here what I posted on a similar thread (

    I was having problems with headaches and eyestrain immediately after getting a new MacBook. But it turns out that it was my eyes and not the screen that was the problem after all: something about the new screens was making my previously unsymptomatic (and undiagnosed) 'astigmatism' become symptomatic. Basically, I could see fine, but my eye muscles were (unconsciously) straining to pull things into focus, and this triggers tension headaches.

    So it won't help those people who were noticing flickering, but if it's just headaches and eye strain, consider getting an eye test.
  • gpzbc Level 1 (0 points)
    So which came first, the chicken or the egg?
  • greene-r74 Level 1 (5 points)
    A couple things I've noticed with mine. The first thing is that I don't see the flicker unless I play a few games of Guitar Hero first then use my macbook. Then I REALLY notice the flicker. I thought that was strange. Another thing I notice is that the 1440x900 res makes me strain harder to read the screen. I find myself using the zoom a lot especially if I already have a headache. And thirdly, I tried a pair of Gunnar Optiks gamer glasses. (Had insurance pay for it.) My vision and staring at computers is part of my job. And they do a decent job. They have a slight magnification and they kind of curve your view a little. Like an IMAX theater. There lightly tinted yellow so they block out a litte of the blue light. I find looking at the screen more relaxing. I think most of this issue is eye strain. Turning down the blue tint might help. Calibrate your monitor on the warm side. And none of us are used to having monitors this bright. I've had my macbook for about a month now and I'm not having the headaches that I was when I first got it. I also have my macbook hooked up to a 26 inch Samsung TV and I get headaches from looking at that as well.
  • Thomas Artner Level 1 (0 points)

    the headache comes definitely from the display. I've use a new MacBook Air for about 4 days, and had headache for the last 3 days I used it.
    Then I switched back to my old MacBook Pro, and there was a big difference. It was much more exhausting looking at the MBA than on my old MBP.
    I tried this test pattern: ( you have to zoom in to show it on 1:1 Zoom Level)
    This testpattern was terrible flickering on the new MBA. On my old MacBook Pro and on an other iMac i have the picture was very good. No "jumping", no flickering...

    I guess there is something wrong with some of these displays.
  • gpzbc Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for providing the test pattern. I did it and my screen seems to be just fine. So my eyes just must not work well with the LED.
    Crap! I don't want to send this back for an exchange.
  • lakeshore Level 2 (295 points)
    It's the glass. People may have used glossy screens before, but not glassy. The glass is crystal clear and has no functional or apparent anti-glare coating. The reflections caused by the glass are exponentially stronger than on a regular glossy LCD screen. The reflections alone cause the eye to continually refocus in order to see past them, but this is an illusion caused by the eyes and brain working overtime to disregard them. To compensate for the intense reflections, Apple has tuned the screens to be exceptionally bright. So, yes, it's the brightness of the screens that is causing the headaches, but the reason the screens are so bright is because Apple had to find a way to compensate for the tremendous amount of reflection caused by the glass plate. If you want to avoid headaches altogether, get a computer with a matte screen.
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