LED eye strain? Time to give up digital entertainment? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 54 Old 03-19-2016, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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LED eye strain? Time to give up digital entertainment?

About a year ago I bought a 144hz asus led monitor coming from my nec ccfl ips display.

My eyes hated this thing...

Eventually I couldn't use the thing at all, not even for a minute without the muscles around my eyes just screaming. I tried at different resolutions, with gunnar glasses, brightness down and all the way up and different environments.

Always the same result.

I stopped using TVS and Computers for several months, when I went back to try, I encountered the same exact thing not even a minute into using it.

Maybe it's the monitor I thought...

So I bought a benq eye care monitor, same issue.

I can't watch most people's tvs without issues now either.

But yet I'm able to use my amoled Samsung s6 edge with no issues whatsoever.

Sometimes laptops give me issues, sometimes they don't.

I tried to use my old 40v3000 ccfl sony tv and could tolerate it, so I'm thinking it has something to do with LED tech....

Which is everything now, and it doesn't seem there's any alternative for me now.

I've checked out oled in store but that hurts my eyes too. Could be their settings but this has stopped me from being able to work and enjoy things I normally do.

I'm not sure what to do, but if anyone has any suggestions let me know.

I've had several eye exams. They are fit as a fiddle.
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post #2 of 54 Old 03-19-2016, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theycallmeloaf View Post
About a year ago I bought a 144hz asus led monitor coming from my nec ccfl ips display.

My eyes hated this thing...

Eventually I couldn't use the thing at all, not even for a minute without the muscles around my eyes just screaming. I tried at different resolutions, with gunnar glasses, brightness down and all the way up and different environments.

Always the same result.

I stopped using TVS and Computers for several months, when I went back to try, I encountered the same exact thing not even a minute into using it.

Maybe it's the monitor I thought...

So I bought a benq eye care monitor, same issue.

I can't watch most people's tvs without issues now either.

But yet I'm able to use my amoled Samsung s6 edge with no issues whatsoever.

Sometimes laptops give me issues, sometimes they don't.

I tried to use my old 40v3000 ccfl sony tv and could tolerate it, so I'm thinking it has something to do with LED tech....

Which is everything now, and it doesn't seem there's any alternative for me now.

I've checked out oled in store but that hurts my eyes too. Could be their settings but this has stopped me from being able to work and enjoy things I normally do.

I'm not sure what to do, but if anyone has any suggestions let me know.

I've had several eye exams. They are fit as a fiddle.
Have you gone to a physician? What you may be experiencing is migraines induced by watching tv.
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post #3 of 54 Old 03-19-2016, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes sir, I have.

At most i have tension headaches but no migraines.

It starts almost immediately when looking at an led display, and if I don't look long goes away shortly after. If I use it for a long time however it can take a long time to go away.
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post #4 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 08:42 AM
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If you actually have had your eyes tested, it's difficult to suggest anything based on what you've already tried, and the information that you've given us.
Being specific about monitors and laptops that you've tested would be useful information.
The combination of displays that you've tested seems to rule out most of what I would have suggested the problem might be.

It doesn't seem to be an issue with flickering at all - the NEC/Sony are likely to use PWM, and the BenQ should be flicker-free even if the ASUS is not.
It seems unlikely to be an issue with the screen finish. (matte/semi/glossy)
It seems unlikely to be an issue with white LED backlighting, since you also have problems with LG's OLEDs.

From the symptoms that you've described, especially since your reaction is immediate, I would have thought it was caused by the displays being set too bright, and that turning down the backlight (not contrast) should have helped.
With your existing displays, what I'd suggest trying would be to get the backlight as low as it can go, set the white level (contrast) control as high as it can go, and then raise the black level (brightness) to intentionally reduce the contrast of the display a bit. I'm not expecting that to be the solution, but it couldn't hurt to try.

I'd suggest demoing Samsung's SUHD displays, and Apple's new 4K/5K iMac displays (not the old ones) and see if either of those are any better for you, as they use different backlighting from typical monitors.
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post #5 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 08:55 AM
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Does a plasma TV have the same effect on you? You might be able to see one at a sports bar still like buffalo wind wings or hooters.
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post #6 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 10:31 AM
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According to Rtings, most TV manufacturers do use PWM and usually with a fairly low (120 Hz) frequency. That might contribute to the problem. Current Sony TVs and LG OLEDs do not use PWM. So you could try watching some new Sony televisions. Even though the BenQ EyeCare model should be non-PWM as Chronoptimist noted, it might have been set to too high brightness.

Anecdotally, I had some headaches from watching a computer monitor before getting glasses - it had something to do with the distance to the computer monitor and my mismatched eyes (one short and one long-sighted) somehow fighting with each other at that distance. But this headache appeared quite slowly. Anyway, I was wondering if your viewing distance to the NEC monitor was different to the Asus and BenQ, and if that could affect things.

Last edited by babator; 03-20-2016 at 10:36 AM.
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post #7 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah it seems to be a conundrum.

I brought the Asus down to 20 on the brightness and 50 on the contrast and it seems easier on the eyes but somehow still too bright despite the fact that the image is rather dark.

Definitely seems to be associated with the light coming from behind. I could raise contrast higher but I heard that too high of contrast can cause issues too.

I haven't fully tested out the oleds. It was brief and at the store, and with all the other displays around it could be anything.

How are oleds different? What do you mean white led vs that?

Haven't tried plasma to the other writer.
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post #8 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 01:41 PM
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Well the OLED crazy-high static contrast helps greatly when setting brightness to low levels.

Also LG's OLED displays are not PWM at all.
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post #9 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 02:31 PM
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Did you see an ophthalmologist or optometrist as I believe an experienced ophthalmologist would be more likely to find a relevant issue. One thought is that you look at your cell phone at a different distance then TV/PC.

Here is my experience that may not help you. I don't have your problem but I spend almost entire day looking at monitors and I can not even look at TVs and computers with ''store'' settings. LED screens per se are not my problem but settings are. First thing I do with any new personal monitor is to adjust brightness, contrast, warmth etc to make screen a LOT less bright and text comfortable for me to read, with cool/bluish tinge. I do the same with work monitors except for professional displays which good out the box. I jail broke my iPhones for sole reason of using certain software to adjust the screen settings. I do hate LED TVs and my OLED TV was not easy on my eyes until I did my adjustments.
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post #10 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 03:43 PM
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Just out of curiosity have you tried making the area behind the TV quite bright. It almost sounds to me like you are having contrast problems (not in the TV picture but between the TV and everything else) and if the background is about the same brightness as what's coming from the TV maybe it will help. This might not be noticeable on an S6 due to its small size.
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post #11 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 05:35 PM
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Do you have any issues with LED room lighting? Or CCFL/fluorescent lights?
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post #12 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostonmountain View Post
Just out of curiosity have you tried making the area behind the TV quite bright. It almost sounds to me like you are having contrast problems (not in the TV picture but between the TV and everything else) and if the background is about the same brightness as what's coming from the TV maybe it will help. This might not be noticeable on an S6 due to its small size.
This is actually one of the big reasons I don't like LCDs.

You see, I'm very much a night-owl so I'm almost always awake at like 1am and such actively doing something and not just watching videos or the like. However, because of how late it is, I do not like to leave lights on around the house, so instead I just turn the display brightness way down (usually in steps to let my eyes adjust) and use the "white text on black background" high-contrast theme in Windows.

However, this requires a display technology with very good black levels, so most LCDs are out of the question with this method.
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post #13 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 07:54 PM
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My first suggestion would be to install a bias light for your TV/monitor. It doesn't directly address the issue you're experiencing, but it should help mitigate the discomfort somewhat when watching TV at night with the lights off.

More importantly, you should try and find a specialist won't just test your vision or visual acuity, but one who can look deeper than that, and possibly find the cause of your eye strain and vision-induced discomfort.

Good luck
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post #14 of 54 Old 03-20-2016, 10:20 PM
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I was going to ask myself about the plasma.
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post #15 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NintendoManiac64 View Post
This is actually one of the big reasons I don't like LCDs.

You see, I'm very much a night-owl so I'm almost always awake at like 1am and such actively doing something and not just watching videos or the like. However, because of how late it is, I do not like to leave lights on around the house, so instead I just turn the display brightness way down (usually in steps to let my eyes adjust) and use the "white text on black background" high-contrast theme in Windows.

However, this requires a display technology with very good black levels, so most LCDs are out of the question with this method.
It's 3:48am right now and all lights are off . I agree, which is one big reason I miss my Panasonic ax800u which had very good black levels. On this set I'm using now if I turn the brightness down just a little I can't even see peoples faces in light shadow. The only thing that saves it is being 43" so with the brightness up it's not as blinding as the 58" Panny was. This is why I have my eye on the new Panasonic FALD but it may be out of my price range unless it gets discounted fairly fast (the ax800 did). Maybe the new Philips which in 55" is supposed be $1200 list and FALD will be good too though.


@OP I see someone mentioned a bias light. But I'm talking light levels that will balance out the TV day or night and should light up anywhere that is in your field of view.

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post #16 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NintendoManiac64 View Post
I just turn the display brightness way down (usually in steps to let my eyes adjust) and use the "white text on black background" high-contrast theme in Windows.

However, this requires a display technology with very good black levels, so most LCDs are out of the question with this method.
I eventually gave in and enabled the auto backlight eco function on my Samsung CCFL LCD. After putting in the acoustic treatments and the dark background to stop light bleed on the AT screen from illuminating the wall, I found that the increased contrast between the LCD and background in the darkened environment demands that the backlight on the LCD comes down some as the room illumination decreases, or I also get headache and eye strain despite using the softer 'movie' mode.

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Originally Posted by theycallmeloaf View Post
At most i have tension headaches but no migraines.
I have separate issues that make using smartphones a nightmare, including chronic tension headache, mild farsightedness that seems age-related, and mild astigmatism. If I use the tiny screen for very long, especially in dark environment without some drug store correction for the farsightedness, my vision goes blurry at all viewing distances and the blur persists for several minutes. If I get bright light in my eyes, including unfiltered sunlight, I can develop an instant and incredibly painful headache too.

None of my chronic visual issues require correction except for when reading fine print, or e.g. restaurant menu in dark environment when I lose the 'pinhole camera' advantage of restricted irises, but corrective instrument at the opthalmologist did afford me temporary clarity of sight I never really had even when much younger. I am still debating whether to trade in my drugstore glasses for prescription but given the cost and likelihood my vision will change more as I age and the ability to sort of function without such correction I am sort of just putting it off and being more careful how I manage my screens.

So if you also have tension headache or tension migraine or marginal vision issues, you might be experiencing an 'aura' in the form of visual anomaly that precedes a flare. Do you see bright flashing lights or get blurred vision, or is it all just tension headache?

Either way it sounds like you are just getting old like the rest of us and the tech is causing your marginal vision and/or nervous system to develop issues similar to what we all endure. Try adjusting your screens and if you still cannot tolerate using them go back to the eye doctor and ask for correction on any and all optical issues. There is some possibility too that backlight glare to you is like flyback whine to a teenager, so you might just have to live with the discomfort and/or adapt.

Quote:
It starts almost immediately when looking at an led display, and if I don't look long goes away shortly after. If I use it for a long time however it can take a long time to go away.
If specific to LED, it might have something to do with the spectrum. Here, check the many ways that LED's are used to generate light of varying colors: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-...ng_diode#White

The new Christmas LED lights are much brighter but if you noticed this year, the spectrum looks unnatural and calls attention to itself as sort of 'cold' regardless of color. The older incandescent Christmas lights call attention to themselves immediately for the 'warm' broader spectrum they emit and look more natural for being both less bright and wider band. Maybe your eyes just do not like very narrow spectrum light.

Flicker might also be part of the issue. Combined with narrow spectrum and high intensity it could be just enough to trigger your headache-prone nervous system. Plasma has lower intensity, plus it has very fast (600Hz) 'shutter' frequency. It does not bother my eyes no matter how the settings are adjusted.
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post #17 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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No Auras, I've had probably under 10 Auras with migraine my entire life. The muscles to the sides of the eyes and above towards the outside edge is what hurts, sometimes the sub occipitals will get really tight during this time.

I was hoping not to get old in my early 30s. Crap

Thank you all for your replies, I'll try to address the other stuff in a bit

I'm looking at maybe possibly trying out anow OLED display since my phone doesn't ever bother me and just crossing my fingers.
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post #18 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 10:49 AM
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Do led light bulbs have any effect like led tv's?
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post #19 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Unsure. I know that fluorescent lights in stores cause the same issue. Yet CCFLS do not.
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post #20 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylJosie View Post
demands that the backlight on the LCD comes down some
Just a minor FYI, when I said brightness I meant in general terms since CRT, Plasma, and OLED do not have backlights.
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post #21 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 04:30 PM
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Have you had lasik done on your eyes recently?
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post #22 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Nope, never.
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post #23 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 08:13 PM
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My brother has some sort of dry eye thing so monitors irritate his eyes. I have a friend who gets motion sickness due to the choppy motion of LCD displays so he only owns CRTs and plasmas. I was on medication ages ago that made my eyes slow to react/ dilate / contract so I couldn't drive at night. Not sure any of those are applicable.
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post #24 of 54 Old 03-21-2016, 09:10 PM
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PWM I would guess? Try turning your brightness all the way to max, and see if it still happens.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles...modulation.htm
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post #25 of 54 Old 03-22-2016, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theycallmeloaf View Post
Unsure. I know that fluorescent lights in stores cause the same issue. Yet CCFLS do not.
Store lighting is driven by 60Hz AC, has very unnatural spectrum, has very high brightness, and has 120Hz flicker. Causes me tension migraine, most readily/quickly when I already have a headache (for the past 10 yrs that is always). Same goes for most office lighting too. The 'natural spectrum' fluorescents in my kitchen are lower intensity and less likely to provoke outright migraine but still need to use sparingly. Sunglasses help but are PITA as well as unlikely to always be over my eyes every time I am in the vicinity of fluorescents, most especially when I dropped something tiny on the floor and hunting for it.

When you say 'CCFL' if you mean LCD backlight, you are referring to no-flicker light driven by DC and filtered by LCD pixel colors that normalize its apparent spectrum to whatever the color temperature is set to, and with whatever flicker characteristic is imparted by the LCD itself. Even though such light is also easier on my eyes it still causes me problems when the intensity is set too high, especially when the background is very dark. The actual spectrum is still just trichromatic as is all pixel light but the phosphor on the CCFL may broaden the spectrum some rather than targeting the three pixel shades exactly. If you ever compared the appearance of a Mits. Laservue no-signal blue screen to a CRT or LCD or plasma you would immediately note not only the darker blue color (Laservue light source had wider gamut capability even though HDMI version it shipped with did not support it) but also the purity of the spectrum making it have a 'ghostly' look.
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post #26 of 54 Old 03-22-2016, 11:51 AM
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I notice eye strain when looking at my mac air 13"(well my wifes). I have no probs with my dell ips 24" triple screens or my 75 in main tv or the 55/32in tv's in bedroom/office

I hate the macs 13in screen....it hurts to look at for long times.

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post #27 of 54 Old 03-22-2016, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttnuagmada View Post
PWM I would guess? Try turning your brightness all the way to max, and see if it still happens.

http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles...modulation.htm
It shouldn't be that.
His NEC and Sony displays almost certainly use PWM-controlled CCFL backlights (the Sony LCD I am sure of, and the NEC probably uses high-frequency PWM) while the BenQ eye care monitor should be completely flicker-free.

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Originally Posted by torii View Post
I notice eye strain when looking at my mac air 13"(well my wifes). I have no probs with my dell ips 24" triple screens or my 75 in main tv or the 55/32in tv's in bedroom/office

I hate the macs 13in screen....it hurts to look at for long times.
I suspect that's just the higher than average pixel density more than anything else.
At 130 pixels per inch without any support for DPI scaling in OSX, everything will be displayed 30-40% smaller than your Dell monitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylJosie View Post
Store lighting is driven by 60Hz AC, has very unnatural spectrum, has very high brightness, and has 120Hz flicker. Causes me tension migraine, most readily/quickly when I already have a headache (for the past 10 yrs that is always). Same goes for most office lighting too. The 'natural spectrum' fluorescents in my kitchen are lower intensity and less likely to provoke outright migraine but still need to use sparingly. Sunglasses help but are PITA as well as unlikely to always be over my eyes every time I am in the vicinity of fluorescents, most especially when I dropped something tiny on the floor and hunting for it.

When you say 'CCFL' if you mean LCD backlight <snip>
I think he meant CFL lighting, as in Compact Fluorescents, not CCFL backlighting in the display, since he was comparing it against fluorescent tube lighting.
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post #28 of 54 Old 03-22-2016, 07:52 PM
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I have a friend who gets motion sickness due to the choppy motion of LCD displays so he only owns CRTs and plasmas.
Does he get motion sickness on LCDs with motion interpolation?
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post #29 of 54 Old 03-22-2016, 09:29 PM
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Does he get motion sickness on LCDs with motion interpolation?
He says he notices it on all LCDs. Sony, Samsung, LG. Says it seems less unpleasant with all motion enhancement off but still won't watch for any extended viewing and he watches a lot of TV.
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post #30 of 54 Old 03-22-2016, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
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Says it seems less unpleasant with all motion enhancement off
That to me sounds like the issue is with interpolation and not choppiness, because it'd be more choppy without interpolation. That would also explain why he likes CRT and plasma.
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