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  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My post the other day was like a bad omen. The same day I installed iOS 7.1 and since then started to get eye strain on my iPhone 4 as well. I'm pretty sure with iOS 7 was OK. The new accessibility settings don't seem to help


    It seems to me full screen antialiasing was enabled in 7.1. In 7.0 if you go to Safari and open the tab view (the one where open tabs are displayed in 3D) you can see the aliasing effect on the window border. In 7.1 seems to be antialiased (it may however have nothing to do with the eye strain...)

  • jthompson7804 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello all, I have been following this forum for a while now but have not posted as I first started to experience eyestrain with LED monitors on a PC in late 2009, but was able to resolve them fully when I put my monitors' brightness at 100% (and lowering contrast and R/G/B settings to lower illumination) to eliminate PWM effects.  My experience with eyestrain/headaches returned in 2012 when I bought a late 2011 Mac mini (2nd generation i5, HD 3000 graphics) and for some reason, with DVI/Displayport, it started to give me unusual eyestrain/headaches with both OS X and Windows 7 (Bootcamp), within 5-10 minutes of use (both at native 1920x1200 resolution and lower resolutions), on the same LED-backlit monitor (100% hardware brightness), whereas my previous PC (using a ATI 3870 DVI connection on the exact same monitor) caused absolutely no issues; I believe even an earlier (2005) Mac Mini caused no symptoms with a DVI connection to the same monitor at 100% hardware brightness. This led me to believe that PWM is only ONE possible source of eyestrain/headaches and there is probably something else at play. 


    I discovered that when I connected the late 2011 Mac mini to the same LED monitor using an analog VGA cable, the symptoms disappeared with both Windows 7 and OS X. In fact, my main desktop computer is this 2011 Mac Mini running through a VGA cable at 1920x1200 and I have zero eyestrain/headaches with this setup.


    However, I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to update my laptop; I had a LED-backlit 2010 Acer Aspire 1410 running XP, which is starting to get slow (2GB RAM, Celeron CPU).  Over the past 2 years, I have tried several laptops with Intel i5 or i3 CPUs and IntelHD displays (HD4000, HD4400, or even Iris) and they all cause me eyestrain with OS X, Windows 7 or 8/8.1, regardless of the hardware brightness settings I use or the usage of software brightness/color-temperature control problems such as f.lux.   I have tried unsuccessfully the 13" Macbook Air (2012), Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Dell Vaio Pro 13, and late 2013 Macbook Pro Retina, and they each caused eyestrain/headaches (or possibly even a slight amount of motion sickness or tinnitus, perhaps, but this is hard to gauge), although the Vaio Pro 13 was probably the best of the bunch, but was far from perfect (i.e. much less comfortable than my desktop or my Acer 1410).  Even though the Vaio Pro 13 and Macbook Retina don't show obvious PWM (i.e. camera swinging test), they appeared to be more comfortable at higher brightness settings than at lower settings, although they were never fully comfortable at max brightness, even if I used software controls (eg. F.lux, lowering RGB settings, etc.).


    So more recently I resigned myself to try a low-brightness (250-nits or lower at 100%) lower resolution laptop, so I bought a refurbished Acer S3 (i3, HD4000) running Windows 7.  I noticed that if I use the Intel HD drivers a similar eyestrain/headache occurs, but if I use the "Standard VGA driver" in Windows 7, although I no longer have any control of gamma or software colors/brightness (F.lux doesn't work), the system is much more comfortable to use (the fact that peak brightness is 250 nits means that I don't really need to lower brightness much further anyway to be comfortable) and there is practically no eyestrain/headache.  I also installed WinXP on this Acer S3 and while functionality is more limited (i.e. I haven't found drivers for the Wifi/Bluetooth), the Intel HD4000 drivers do not appear to cause eyestrain in Windows XP.  My older Acer Aspire 1410 (200 nits at maximum, I believe) running XP and IntelHD drivers is very comfortable to use. 


    Hence, I can only conclude that there is something in the Intel HD hardware drivers (HD3000, HD4000, HD4400 or Iris) that must be causing some sort of invisible flickering (temporal dithering??)  or something that is causing eyestrain/headaches, when installed in Windows 7 or 8/8.1.  I haven't tried a dedicated Nvidia or AMD/Radeon graphics system with Windows 7/8.x, but that could be the next step - although its' impossible to find high resolution (above 1366x768)  modern lightweight laptops that don't rely on IntelHD graphics.


    It's also possible that the Macbook Retina or Vaio Pro 13 could potentially therefore be comfortable using the standard VGA drivers too in Win 7/8.x, but these laptops have max brightness in the 300-350 nits range, are are probably not comfortable at max brightness without wearing tinted lenses of some sort (once you use the standard VGA drivers, display brightness defaults to maximum and I'm not aware of how to control it). 


    Anyway, these are my two cents and I'd like to know if anyone knows if there's a way to tweak the IntelHD drivers in some way to make them more comfortable in Windows 7/8.x (or even OS X Mavericks, for that matter).

  • Gareth Jones6 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Hi everyone, my Sony Vaio Pro 13 has arrived. I'm struggling with some of the settings that have been mentioned on here, however.


    StefanD13 - you said that you set the colour mode to 'text' - can you please explain how you did this?


    And also, how do you check whether DPST is enabled? Should it be automatically on when I unplug the battery?


    Many thanks



  • Gareth Jones6 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Actually sorry, I've found the colour mode. Still interested in the DPST settings though

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    Text: vaio control center, picture quality tab, colour mode section

    DPST: win control center, intel graphics, energy, battery tab, display power saving technology on maximum battery.

    (I hope they are named so, since I have it in german)


    DPST should be automatically on and you can verify it by changing between dark or bright content, it takes some seconds for the screen to adjust and this is observable.



  • Gareth Jones6 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks Stefan. I've checked that DPST is on, and I am flicking between this page and a black image and can't see any difference between plugged and unplugged. Should it be very noticeable?

  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    It does sound like what you're experiencing may be due to temporal (really spatiotemporal) dithering.  Does the screen look "snowy" at all?  That's a dead giveaway.  When I got my new Macbook, I couldn't use it for more than ten minutes because of the dithering.  Now I can use it all day without issues.  My eyes and brain just learned to filter it out.

  • jthompson7804 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    the screen doesn't look "snowy" per se, but it's hard to describe but I just feel tension around my temples when looking at it.  And this was consistent throughout all these newer IPS or TN displays (Sony Vaio Pro 13, Macbook Retina Haswell, Acer S3) when using the IntelHD drivers.  I had the Vaio Pro 13 for about a month but the symptoms never improved throughout this period (i.e. I never really "adapted" or "filtered it out") There was definitely an improvement when using the Standard VGA drivers, but the screen is still too bright this way. Interestingly, using programs such as F.lux sometimes even may have worsened the symptoms (is it possible that f.lux or gamma control software could increase temporal dithering?) in some cases.  It would be great if there were a definitive way to turn off temporal dithering in the IntelHD drivers.

  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    I've had some negative experiences with F.lux myself (but mostly positive).  In particular, I installed it on my iPhone 4s (which I had adapted to but which still caused mild eyestrain due to the high blue light) and I found it caused _more_ eyestrain when I made the screen very yellow.  My take on this is that your eyes adapt to the light they see, and any major deviation from the "standard spectrum" that they have adapted to can cause eyestrain.  So I dialed the color temperature to about 6000K and have been lowering it slowly ever since.  Now it's at 5700K and quite comfortable.


    As for (spatio-)temporal dithering, if you install Linux as a dual boot on your macbook, then there will be no temporal dithering because the Linux Intel drivers do switch it off (they use spatial dithering instead).  The reason is  because the driver maintainers don't like temporal dithering :-)  Dual-booting Linux is not for the faint-hearted, though; you need to install rEFInd and follow the instructions on the rEFInd web site to the letter.  OTOH I did it and it works perfectly.  I recommend Ubuntu Linux for this.  Of course, back up your computer using Time Machine before doing anything like this.


    Also, about brightness: turn it down!  The only thing high brightness is good for is for eliminating PWM on cheap monitors.  Macbooks do not have cheap monitors and don't use PWM as far as anyone has been able to determine.  High brightness will cause eyestrain very quickly.

  • Gareth Jones6 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Just a quick post to say that unfortunately the Sony Vaio did not work for me, and I have returned it. I was able to look at it for a bit but it made my eyes feel strained and I struggled to focus on the screen. I feel like the issue, for me anyway, must be related to flicker in some way.


    Back to the drawing board!

  • Jessiah1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I will review my experience with the Sony Vaio 13A as well:


    Purchased from Best buy and kept for the 15 day return period, returned today unfortunately. I really wanted this to work because I am running out of support on my old desktop for Windows XP shortly.


    I tried many times to get used to it and the experience was the same each time, I could use it for 1-2 minutes before feeling slightly dizzy and weird and after 15 minutes I had a full blown Vertigo problem. Standing up from my couch was very interesting, like suddenly realizing how drunk you are after sitting while drinking. I will say that the screen does feel better than my iphone or my wife's Mac book Pro in regards to immediate migraine problems, the instant eye pain and migraine headaches are not there in the first 15 minutes with the Sony so something is different. However, my symptoms are on the way after 15 minutes and I can recover in an hour while limiting my exposure to short amounts of time but cannot recover quickly after any longer.


    The screen does appear to be doing something better in regards to "stillness" but I can still detect an issue with some sort of image clarity and movement. Could be flicker, could be some kind of dithering, I cannot say really....


    My theory on why it is a better monitor: There is better color, it appears more accurate and definitely uses less blue light than most monitors these days. There is a sense I immediately get with most new monitors that they are bright and offensive to my brain like hot knives that this one did not create. It is a step in a positive direction however I would not recommend it to anyone who gets severe Vertigo and Migraines, it is unlikely to work for you.


    IMO, there seems to be a clear picture forming from following this forum and reading about everyone's trials and testing. There appears to be two groups of people here:


    1: Those who are experiencing severe eye strain sometimes with headaches and sometimes only eye strain. This group has good luck with making changes to the OS or using F.LUX. and CCFL monitors are usually not a problem for this group.


    2: Those who experience severe Migraines associated with Vertigo. This group is intolerant to most fluorescent lighting, LED lighting and many other forms of bright lighting finding only old technology and incandescent lighting comfortable. OS modifications and F.LUX are not helpful to this group. CCFL monitors are often also a problem for this group.


    I am certainly in group 2 and I have met several people here and through my website who have almost cookie cutter copy versions of my issue. If you are in group 1 I would suggest trying the Sony Vaio, you may find it very easy to look at and obviously if you feel you are in group 2 the Sony is probably a bad bet for you.




    Hope this helps someone!



  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Forgot to tell you that in the meantime I visited an optometrist with following result:

    - I still have 100% vision

    - my right eye is specialized for seeing at the distance

    - my left eye is specialized for seeing close

    - there is a light strabismus on my left eye, especially in relaxed state, the left eye moves to the exerior

    - strabismus has no phyiscal cause, but kind of sensorial (due to not using my left eye for distance seeing, and only using it for reading at a more or less fixed distance, the brain has kind of lost exercise controlling the left eye)

    - strabismus cannot be corrected by glasses (since no phisical cause), but I should do eye training...


    I decide to try it, although I'm skeptical, also the optometrist after I described my computer display issue didn't say the training will fix it, but there is a chance it could, so it is worth trying.


    Also I now wear glasses since a couple of years and by this I started to use my left eye also for seeing at the distance (first time with glasses was like going to 3D cinema) so I wonder that my brain has not learned in the meantime to better control the left eye...


    Another thing worth reported is that I had to read recently longer PDF documents on my new Vaio Pro and after some 15 minutes started to get eye strain. After disabling font antialiasing in Adobe Reader I could continue reading without problems.

    I remember when Win7 was introduced at my company the IT admins got many complaints which mostly got fixed by disabling clear type and using the same system font as in XP. For me the OS font settings never brought some improvement neither under Win7 nor under MacOS, but after the Adobe Reader experience it seems font rendering can be a cause as well.



  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Has anyone tried Benq BL2405HT?


    Benq claims to be flicker-free and low blue light.



  • kvoth Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    - strabismus cannot be corrected by glasses (since no phisical cause), but I should do eye training...

    Stefan, you can correct strabismus with Prism in glasses. That's what I use and it helps.

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just want to share the results of my tests with some smartphones.


    While i dont know why, i have conlcuded that i can use two (low end) smartphones: the one is Xperia M and the other is Samsung Galaxy Grande. I have used both phones, each one for a couple of weeks. The Grande is the device i am now using because of the dual sim function.


    Both devices make my eyes sore after significant use (that is for me more than an hour continually) under any external light conditions.

    But it seems i can use both devices if i make moderate use, i.e. use them up to one hour in a well lit room. If i get sore eyes and if the use I made is around 1 hour, the symptoms disappear after an hour or so of not looking at the display. I know that it may not sound that great, but at least i can moderately use of a smartphone to help me with my everyday work.

    Furthermore, for some reason i dont know, the eye strain i get is definitely not near to the one i get from the iphone/ipad. At least i just have sore eyes! The symptoms from the iphone affected my cognitive functions.


    Sony Z1, while it has the triluminus display, makes me dizzy within 10 mins. The same is happening with Lumia 925, 625, 920, and HTC One (the one sold now at the market).