Eye strain solution?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by user1234, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. user1234 macrumors regular

    user1234

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Hi!

    I got my first iMac delivered 11 days ago, after using MacBook Pros with external displays for years.

    The problem is that I'm getting severe eye strain and blurry vision when using the iMac. I only have until monday to return it so time is scarse.

    My question is, has anyone had these kinds of issues with retina iMacs and managed to mitigate them successfully? With successfully I mean still using the machine without issues.

    I have always been sensitive to some displays while other work fine. All other Apple retina displays I have used have worked better than any other displays I have used in the past, so this was a bit of a surprise. I have brightness turned way down and it doesn't help much.

    My options now are to either solve the problem and continue using it, return it (in which case I'm kinda screwed since it's the only Mac powerful enough right now), or use it with an external display and not use the internal display at all, which seems like a huge waste. It would be great if there was a Mac with the power of the iMac without a display and a price to reflect that difference.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. liorp macrumors newbie

    liorp

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    #2
    I don't have experience with retina displays yet, but I did have an eye strain issue from computers in general for years. I use f.lux, which gives your screen a yellow tint (that you can adjust, btw). Otherwise, I used Gunnar glasses for a while which also do the same thing.

    Also, if possible, frequent breaks are good to take. Look out of your window and try to focus on something that's as far away as possible. Helped me before.
     
  3. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

    Joined:
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    #3
    All good advice, but I work with photos and video, so I need my display to be color accurate which means that f.lux is not an option. Taking breaks and looking at things far away is also good advice, but I get issues after less than 5 minutes of use, and I can't take breaks that frequently :D
     
  4. liorp macrumors newbie

    liorp

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    #4
    Oh, that's not cool at all. I'd go to a doctor ASAP and probably return the iMac. You can always order a different one.
    If you have your own separate display that you know is fine for your eyes, maybe output your iMac to that, if you wanna keep it, of course :)
     
  5. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    #5
    I have been to several doctors. I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease a few years ago, and still have symptoms from that, but even prior I have had issues with different type of displays, especially ones with flicker and low pixel density.

    I just wish Apple would have decent computers without displays to choose from. It's difficult to be a desktop Mac user these days.

    Of course, using my iMac with an external display as primary display is an option, but it would be a share to pay for a great monitor and then not use it. If I had tons of money I wouldn't care. I would also have to use the iMacs internal display for logging in, and troubleshooting. And of course I can't be disabled, so sometimes apps would probably open on it and I'd have to look at it.

    I wonder what the chances are of having Apple extend my return window so I could try for a bit longer...
     
  6. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #6
    not to overlook the obvious ... have you turned down the brightness? iMacs are incredibly bright at the default max screen brightness and are painful to me at that brightness. I run mine at about 1/3 to under 1/2 normally.
     
  7. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    #7
    I have, and I mentioned this in my first post, but it probably got lost in all the text :D

    I run it at about 1/6 to 1/8 brightness unless I'm doing exposure and color work, in which case it's calibrated brightness is 3/4 of a step under half
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
  9. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    Mar 3, 2009
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    #9
    Only briefly so far. I'll test some more, but it would be a shame to give up screen real estate. It's got the equivalent to 2560*1440 with standard scaling already. But I'll try.
     
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
  11. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    #11
    Not specialized computer glasses but I wear regular glasses
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #12
    I had special glasses made for the exact distance from where I sit to the screen with a non-glare coating. I really like using them with the iMac as opposed to my regular everyday glasses.
     
  13. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #13
    What hfg wrote.

    "Normal" glasses really won't cut it for computer work IMO. For me, being terribly nearsighted, I have my reading glasses, computer/office task glasses, driving glasses (and a pair of Cocoons always stashed in my Benz, which has a special blue tint on the glass), and "normal" glasses. I also mount my computer displays on arms so I can vary their position as I see fit and for varying resolutions.

    For the reading and computer specs I simply went to a drugstore (Walgreens here) and purchased cheap reading glasses that suited me, popped out the lenses, and took the frames to my optometrist for suitable lenses - no need to spend a fortune on frames that never go outdoors except when in my briefcase!
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    As above you need the correct glasses for the job.
     
  15. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

    Joined:
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    #15
    It would sure be good to have, but I tried a pair about a year ago, but they gave everything a magenta tint, and had severe issues with glare. Any light source behind me gave magenta glare on the inside of the lenses, making it impossible to see through them. And this was high quality glass. They were even sent to Schneider Optics to be analyzed for errors, but we're apparently to spec.

    I don't have the money to spend for another pair of glasses right now unfortunately. I have saved everything I could to get this computer since my old one just wasn't able to handle what I used it for anymore. I may try to save up for computer glasses, but it's yet another pair of glasses that need to be changed when my vision changes.

    Oh if money was not an issue... :D
     
  16. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #16
    Contact lenses. Yes a pain but no gap for glare
     
  17. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    Sweden
    #17
    I'll have to think about how to do this right. I obviously need to find some money for computer classes of some kind. Gunnar optics does not seem to deliver subscription glasses outside the US, but I'll have to look into that more closely. Another thing is that their option for color accurate work only blocks 10% of blue light while the standard model blocks 65%.

    I'm pretty sure I will keep the iMac though. I'll either have to make it work with external monitors or glasses, whatever works best. Although, I stare at screens a lot so glasses wouldn't be a bad thing.
     
  18. paulryp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    #18
    yeah, I've just received my 2017 iMac and its burning my retinas and giving me old school eye strain. Very frustrated now. My 2011 iMac is ice cold with no strain at all. Weird. One step forward 2 steps back. Not sure I can live with this as is.
     
  19. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    Mar 3, 2009
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    Sweden
    #19
    I have now requested to see an eye doctor, and they will have time for me in about 3 months. They told me to use eye drops without preservatives for now.

    My thought was to get it checked out before getting computer glasses but not sure I can wait that long.
     
  20. Imran7979 macrumors newbie

    Imran7979

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    #20
    Hi
    I have been using i phone for a 10 days . Its updated to 11.2 . I use for 2 hrs at one time . I am gaving eye strain and headache . My wife and sister are heaving same issue . I googled it and came to know its happening with many users because of pwm in oled . Can it be fixed with a software update ?? If yes when can we expect it ? Helpp please
     
  21. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

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    #21

    You may get better help by starting your own thread, but basically no. PWM is a hardware technique that is used due to the way the OLED display works.

    Unlike an LCD display, the OLED display is not lit by a backlight (which can be of constant intensity, no PWM needed, although many devices still use PWM for brightness control, the more modern and better ones uses analog dimming). OLED driving works by varying the intensity of each individual sub-pixel to mix the required color at the required intensity. As such, the lower the brightness is, and the darker the color is, the lower the duty cycle will be. A low duty cycle will cause the OLED sub-pixels to say off longer, making the flicker worse. So turning up the brightness and avoiding displaying dark colors can make the problem a bit better.

    Ironically, too bright displays can cause eye strain, so a common recommendation is to lower the brightness, but with an OLED display this will increase the flicker intensity. The driver will likely work at a fixed frequency. Most seem to be at around 250 Hz. This will not be visible, but will still be detected by the brain. This may, from what I have been informed, lead to the pupils constantly making tiny adjustments that is unnoticeable but will cause strain.

    The bad news is that the frequency is limited by the hardware. It's not likely that it can be adjusted, but if it can it probably can't be adjusted much, and most likely not to a higher frequency.

    This is a problem that was solved with LCD's several years ago. PWM backlight frequencies increased to several thousand Hz, and then analog dimming was used. Unfortunately OLED is a huge step backwards in both this, and useful life. The blue LED's will basically destroy themselves over time (blue light is high in energy, the organic material decays quicker by high intensity light, thus the blue pixels will age much faster than the red and green, turning the whitepoint towards yellow. Look at two of the same OLED devices, one heavily used, one brand new, and the older one will be significantly more yellow and also darker. Calibration can solve this problem to some extent, but the maximum brightness will be lower since the red and green sub-pixels will have to be dimmer to compensate. There's also the problem of uneven ageing (commonly known as burn-in) which will cause the screen to be uneven in color and intensity. This turns up as ghosting/image retention effects).

    You'll have to excuse the wall of text but I feel that OLED is a huge step backwards in most areas, whereas it's a step forward in some areas (dynamic range, black levels, color intensity, thinness, less blue light exposure than LCD). I personally don't think it's ready for prime time, and I will chose LCD wherever possible, which is a problem now that all good phones get OLED displays.

    To avoid eye-strain the best display would be LCD with analog dimming. It has no flicker at all (unless it's displaying content that flickers of course). A lot more computer monitors even in lower price ranges are coming to market with "flicker free" displays though, which is a good thing!
     
  22. Imran7979 macrumors newbie

    Imran7979

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    #22
    Thanks for the reply . Hi . I am selling my X due to PWM and buying 8+ . Is 8+ screen free of flicker and pwm ? Easy on eyes ?
     
  23. user1234 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1234

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #23
    The 8 and 8+ should both be flicker free. They use some of the best LCDs on the market. Night mode and true tone should help against eye strain too. Notebookcheck didn't find any flicker on the 8 models. The X was measured at 240 Hz.

    Hopefully the rumored LCD iPhone with an X form factor next year will be a good option to the OLED versions. Another thing that could cause eye strain in the X is the Face ID IR laser. We know relatively little about it, but if it's close to visible light it could cause issues. I'd like to know more about it.

    You can find the compete list here of PWM tested devices here, it's a great resource: https://www.notebookcheck.net/PWM-Ranking-Notebooks-Smartphones-and-Tablets-with-PWM.163979.0.html

    Please report back if you get the 8 and if it works out for you. I'm interested to know as I too have eye strain issues with displays. I have never had issues with LCD based iOS devices though (have only used the X in a store for 5 minutes, not enough time to tell)
     

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