Why Your Eyes Hurt Using a New iPhone, iPad Or iMac

Joshua Lockhart 22-01-2013

Why Your Eyes Hurt Using a New iPhone, iPad Or iMac apple logoThe Apple LED screen is a common source of complaint among consumers. Many new iPhone Instapaper Premium Is Free: 6 Features You Can Try Now Instapaper Premium is now free. Here are the six read-it-later features that could make you both a better and more productive reader. Read More , iPad, and Mac users have reported that it causes eyestrain and general discomfort, yet if you look around on the Internet, you can’t find much backing for the problem. Apple itself hasn’t offered a solution, and some people think that it’s even some kind of conspiracy Learn All About The Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories On The Web Man first landed on the moon, that celestial body that is our constant orbiting companion, on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong recently passed away, which prompted an article all about him and the Apollo missions... Read More . Personally, I think that the Cupertino-based company has better things to do than blind the eyes of the world, but then again, I’m not an evil dictatorial genius.


The screens themselves have been around for a while, but after all that time, there still isn’t an explanation for their eye-trouble-inducing capabilities. I’ve done my research, and I found common concerns about the screens as well as some homegrown remedies. In the meantime, I suppose we’ll just have to work with what we know, and that’s not much.

What Are Some Complaints About The New LED Screens?

Why Your Eyes Hurt Using a New iPhone, iPad Or iMac iphone

These days, the most common displays How Does The Apple Retina Display Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] These days, people are crazy about the Apple Retina Display. Supposedly, it does wonders! A completely non-pixelated screen? Who would have ever thought?! However, many questions loom the supposedly revolutionary technological advancement. Is it really... Read More used for electronic devices are LED screens and LCD screens. LED displays implement light-emitting diodes as backlights, offering bright pictures, vivid colors, and low energy usage. On the other hand, LCD displays make use of liquid crystals laid over flat fluorescent lights that aren’t as bright, colorful, or energy efficient. It’s clear as to which one is superior, but at what cost?

In 2009, Apple started pushing out the LED screens for their hardware, bringing about statements from some users that their eyes hurt from using them. This has been a common annoyance, and finding sound evidence for these users’ reports is a bit tough. I will say that there has been definitely enough of a stir that I was swayed to believe them. Reasonable people don’t usually whine unless something is actually wrong. Here’s a list of most symptoms:

  • Burning eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

How Can The LED Screens Hurt Your Eyes?

Why Your Eyes Hurt Using a New iPhone, iPad Or iMac ipad


I can’t provide a valid reason as to why the LEDs are a cause of eyestrain. Unfortunately, my only sources include the personal accounts of people who simply claim that the LEDs hurt more than the LCDs. It’s my opinion that it’s different for different people, and as with any case of a technology usage shift, humans have to make adjustments. On that wavelength, I’ve found a few possible reasons as to why they hurt, but they are by no means well-founded.

It’s Too Bright

Common sense will tell you that bright lights hurt your eyes, and with an LED screen that is brighter and more vivid than old LCDs, it’s expected. Try adjusting your screen to be a bit dimmer than normal, and see if this alleviates anything. Additionally, try letting your device automatically set the levels for a while. See what’s best for you.

It’s Too Dark

I found a bit of information on LED televisions that is about the screen’s refresh rate. We won’t get into numbers, but the way that LED displays are dimmed is by applying pulse-width modulation to the supply current. This turns the backlight off and on faster than you can see, and much like old CRT monitors, this flickering can put strain on your eyes. If the frequency is too low or if you are already sensitive to the flickering, your eyes will more than likely hurt.

An easy test to see if the frequency is too low is by waving your hand in front of the screen. If your hand has clearly-formed edges, then it’s too low. However, if it is blurred, you should be fine.


You Aren’t Blinking Enough

Lastly, there’s the possibility that you just aren’t blinking enough. Some people say it doesn’t help, but by taking a break every 20-30 minutes to look out a window or just away from the screen for a few seconds, you could find some relief. We use screens a lot these days, and sometimes we forget that our eyes weren’t designed to stare at electronic devices for hours at a time. Speaking of which, our body wasn’t designed for a lot of technological adaptations – that includes sitting down 4 Serious Health Issues From Sitting Too Long (And How to Avoid Them) Sitting too long at your desk or on your couch is a modern epidemic. Here are four deadly risks to a sedentary lifestyle. Read More .

The Verdict

Why Your Eyes Hurt Using a New iPhone, iPad Or iMac imac

Let me be blunt – I do think there is a problem. People wouldn’t go around saying that their eyes were hurting if there wasn’t one, would they? Whether it be the placebo effect, intensified eyestrain, or long-lasting damage, I believe that this is something that should be looked into by Apple. However, I can’t put a finger on what exactly the problem is.

Do the new Apple LED screens hurt your eyes? How do they compare to the old LCDs?


Related topics: Ergonomics, Health.

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  1. Luc
    March 12, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Can anyone give specific referrals for computers that do NOT cause these issues? Someone mentioned an LG--exactly what kind? Does anyone else have any suggestions for technology that DOES WORK for them? Any happy endings to these issues? I suffer from so many eye sensitivities and only older computers with an older OS work for me. I have to buy a new one for work to use all the updated systems and I don't know what might actually not cause these issues.

    • Iskra Sommers
      April 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      Lenovo T470s with FullHD screen (non-touch). Dell XPS 13 also good.
      HPs were "bad" last time i checked.
      If you seach for "PWM" on notebookcheck, then filter by your preferred manufacturer name, you can select. To be sure, zero must be against PWM frequency. Other than "0" the higher it is the better. Low non-zero number are worst.

  2. Jo
    October 2, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Have just found this site and it answers what is happening to my eyes.... My story is that I have been using a Mac Book Pro for three years - no problem. Recently I stayed at a friends place for a month and watched their big screen TV (I don't remember the brand) and noticed my eyes (and the edge of the eyelids near the lashes) starting to burn and my vision got blurry. Now I can't look at my Mac Book any more! The TV has damaged my eyes. Hopefully it will lessen as time goes by, but from the sounds of it in these comments - it might not....

  3. Angie
    August 22, 2018 at 4:15 am

    I am a dedicated android user-never had any eye strain issues- but I recently got an iPad Pro for my art and after working for only about an hour, my eyes hurt like hell and my head was pounding. I tried the night shift mode and it helps some, but then coloration is askew. I’m hoping it’s something I build a tolerance to, because I put quite a bit of money into it. ?

    • Iskra Sommers
      April 7, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      iPad Pro 9.7 is bad, iPad Pro 10.5 is good.

  4. Sanda Roberts
    January 25, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    My eyes are always blurry after using my new Ipone10. I never had the problem prior to this phone. I wish there was something I could put on top of it to take whatever the problem is away. Please solve this problem.

    • Iskra Sommers
      January 30, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Your only option is to sell or return it and get iPhone 8 Plus (best) or iPhone 8 (better).

    • Cheryl Wade
      March 6, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      I get nauseated and have to lay down after studying using my IPhone XR. ?

      • Iskra Sommers
        April 7, 2019 at 2:08 pm

        Better not to study on a small screen. Use a 14 inch or more for real work/reading/study.
        Unlike many other latest gen phones, esp. OLEDs, iPhone XR does not employ PWM but I've never used one for extended periods so cannot comment.

  5. Iskra Sommers
    September 1, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Hey guys, thought I'd educate you more on why Apple products might cause visual disturbance, even if they used the same screen hardware. The thing is that iOS 10 introduced a new color display technology called "temporal color dithering", when they show you several colors of the same pixel in a very quick succession in hope that your nerves are slow enough not to notice and "approximate" the colors. This is similar to what painters do when they mix yellow and blue paints to create green, only more subtle. Why are they doing this? They make so many devices now that buying "best of best" screen panels would not be possible even if they wanted to bear the expense. Truth is, there is only so many Ferraris are made and the most of them are Camrys. So, having a temporal color dither on a simple 6-bit panel can give them ability to "emulate" 8-bit color, or similarly move up from 8-bit "good panel" into "TruColor DCI-P3" color space. But... some of us do notice. A minor number though, unable to weigh in on this. Just wait until the rest of them kids grow up and start to notice. But by the time Apple will use something newer of course. Samsungs do not use tempo dither but they employ PWM which I also cannot stand. I actually had to turn to LG who use neither of those. Life is Good now.

    • Young
      September 13, 2017 at 3:04 am

      Good to be educated! And I notice that 2017 new iPhone X uses PWM on their OLED screen. Sad. I hate PWM very much just like you.

  6. jsp
    April 10, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I can't use any LED backlit screens at all. I'm working with secondhand computers bought from ebay that have CCFL backlit screens and I'm hoping the industry will sort out the LED screens before my secondhand laptops give up.

    It is a real struggle though for those of us who can't get on with LEDs. My neighbours have LED lights, I can't buy a car because the instrument panel is brightly lit with LEDs, I can't buy a new mobile phone because the screens are LED backlit. I'm using an old computer as a tv. The list just goes on and one.

    My most recent trouble is that my Church has bought huge LED backlit screen to display song words and now my family is going to have to change church.

    I really hope they solve this problem soon.

    • CableShuffler
      April 20, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      I’ll give you a quick tip, turn off monitor/device and stare at powered off screen. I bet you’ll get same discomfort as you do when it ’s turned on. It’s same discomfort as you would get if you were watching under water for long hours, or wear glasses with wrong dioptri and staring at sun. Bonus in form of disorientation, block of creativity, mind emptiness, lack of concentration comes from all sort of blinking, tricking eye to see something what isn’t there. I wonder is that blinking is harmony... It is really not that hard to figure out what’s wrong. Someone see it and feel it immediately , someone don’t but influence to mind, body, eye is inevitable to both, difference is in exert of pain, to some years later... Doctors don’t know anything about it cause to figure out cause they would need to know how display work, and that is none of their bussines if you ask them.. I was rumbling about blue light decades ago, ppl thinked I’m freak.. so 10 years later they "invented" Night shit (it does nothing->marketing) .. I also rumbled at first appearance on LCD that it still got refresh rate and IT’S FREAKING blinking and that it’s still important ... Few years, decades later, we got 120Hz, 200Hz backlight ... was like oooo.. so after all rumbling of super health screens in form of TFT which replaced manageable discomfort of super unhealthy CRT’s... i tell you a secret ...they still didn’t solve the problem, they don’t have needed logic for solving that problem and sooper trooper marketing also don’t help and if you ask me, they are selling mind burning bombs, lights..

  7. Victoria
    March 2, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I had to return an iPhone 6s plus for damaging my eyesight after only a few days. The iphone 6 and 7's do not have a flat glass screen like the earlier models. I never had a problem with the iPad mini 2 (retina) or any screen with high quality resolution and clear text. It only happened when reading nonstop for more than 2 or 3 minutes straight. If I was a social media person and only used pictures or videos then I probably wouldn't have noticed anything was wrong. However, since I'm a heavy reader it only took about 2 hours of reading articles to notice an issue. Do not ruin your vision for technology or dismiss it as being tired. My eyes started hurting, getting teary easily, and my vision started to blur. At first it was only when using the phone, then after a week it was anytime I tried to read. Two weeks after I returned the phone all of the eye problems disappeared. I still read for hours at a time on other screens and the eye problems never came back.

    • Iskra Sommers
      April 4, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Dear Victoria
      I can only sympathize with your experience. I am having the same issues with my iPad Pro 9.7. I have researched the topic deeply enough to understand it is the blue laser diode used for the screen backlight that's causing me eye hurt. Apple should switch to non-PWM OLED screens soon.
      Just for everyone's benefit, there are two big causes of eye hurt:
      1. Blue backlight bleed in LED-driven screens (IPS, to lesser degree MVA). Feels as "sore, dry surface, teary eye". Not related to amount of tear or blinking, related to CNS reaction to harmful near-UV frequencies from the dangerous LED backlight.
      2. PWM-related stress (look up Pulse-Width Modulation for brightness control and its effects). Luckily Apple and many others have moved away from this technology. Affects my eye to a much lesser degree, even if still used on a good OLED screen like my NOKIA Lumia 930.
      When you'll have a screen that avoids both issues and has great color (hello Oppo R9, Samsungs) this will make your head and your eyes thank you many times over...
      Apple still have to steer clear of blue laser-driven displays. The "True Tone" feature is a gimmick distracting and slightly alleviating the health issues present in their products. And it achieves this at the cost of truthful color reproduction which should be below reproach to true artists.

    • Margaret
      August 26, 2017 at 12:03 am

      Thank you for your post! I picked up a mint-condition used iPhone 6S a week ago, and I have terrible headaches, sore eyes, nausea. I've never had this problem with my Samsung Galaxy phones, my Dell laptop, etc. I'll be selling the iPhone on. I can't wait till my vision returns to normal and this headache goes away!

  8. sajairaj
    February 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I completely support this post. I have bought a brand new iphone. I am using AMOLED display of samsung for the past 3 years using phones and laptops all the time for the past 7-8 years. Never ever in my life I got this much pissed off due to a phone. That too the most costly phone in the planet iphone 7 plus 128 gb jet black. Initially i had so much of radiation issues as well with vision. Then the retailer told that the phone is having some wifi issues and they replaced the phone with a new piece. I tried my level best. But I cant use this phone at all. Still I am very comfortable with any other amoled display including my old samsung phone. Hope apple does something fast to rectify the same. I am going to sell this phone

    • Margaret
      August 26, 2017 at 12:00 am

      I've been using Samsung Galaxy phones since the S3 (have an S7 now), and I never had a problem with it or my Dell laptop or my Dell IPS display for my desktop computer. But last week I picked up a mint iPhone 6S 128GB in mint condition, and almost immediately my eyes were killing me! I made use of the Accessibility options, but it didn't help enough. I thought I needed a bigger screen, so I purchased a brand new iPad Pro 10.5". No better! I saw my eye doc, and he couldn't find anything wrong with my eyes (or glasses), but he told me to get an OTC eye moisturizer, that my eyes looked dry and red. I finally returned the iPad. The sales associate who helped me said that he's heard of this issue, and usually those customers purchase a privacy screen for their iPhones and iPads. Enough already. I'm going to put the iPhone up for sale and continue happily with my Galaxy S7. Apple needs to get its act together if they want to sell me any devices!

  9. Lisa
    January 11, 2017 at 4:17 am

    As son as I began using my new iPhone 7 last week upon purchasing it, my eyes began hurting and got such a severe headache had to rest and sleep to ease the pain some. The headache lingers, and also makes me feel somewhat disoriented. I've downloaded Twilight application and make some other settings adjustments to the phone to try to improve the affect. However, nothing seems to be totally making a sizable improvement.

  10. Loren
    December 26, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I bought an apple macbook air about a year ago. After only an hour of use, my eyes get dark circles and very red. Im seriously considering getting another laptop since I dread using it for this reason and I cant seem to find a screen dimmer or whatever its called.

  11. Joan
    December 8, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Can't use apple products or any other new gadget. They make my vision blurred for several hours after using them. I am using a dell studio 1750 without any problem. The screen views nice , cool, and "creamy". Easy on my eyes. Let me know what type of back light is in this because the dopes at dell can't answer my questions about this problem. The apple boys don't care. Their making money.

    • Rhéal Cyr
      December 14, 2016 at 9:53 am

      My eyes hurt all the time if i have used my iphone or ipad. I don't understand why Apple is so indifferent. I'm seriously thinking of going minimalist and dumping all this crap tech.thats ruining our health.

  12. Hank
    November 14, 2016 at 2:28 am

    I had the same problems when I used iPhone (retina one, not sure if 5 or 5s). That was aweful because just a secound of glance causes eye strains and chest pain. Someone using it around me also bothered me.
    I tried everything like dim, blue light cut glass and sticker, but nothing changed.
    And I switched back to Android eventually.
    I think my eyes are hyper sensitive to some monitors and lights.
    I use LG phones without problems, and for monitors currently I'm using EIZO flex scan. I have 2 flex scans but one of them causes eye tireness. the other one is good. (maybe defective?)

    It's my personal story but I developed a chemical sensitivity (MCS) a year ago.
    There are some people (only small percentages) hyper sensitive to certain things, like chemicals, food, electromagnetic fields, sounds or lights.
    So think I was just hyper sensitive to some of them. And one of them is the light from iPhone?
    Maybe some of us are hyper sensitive to some lights and monitors? I don't know but I am currently trying to recover from it and hoping it could help my eyes tireness to certain monitors.
    Yesterday I was checking new Macbook pro. I think I got healthier so I was not really sure if i can use it for a long period of time for my work but I got slightly more blinkings and slight eye burns while I'm looking at the display.
    I was thinking to buy Macbook air or Macbook pro but these are big concerns actually because iPhone was completely unusable in my experience.

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 10:47 am

      It's not you! The technology is the problem and the silicone boys are not going to fix it. Not just Apple.

    • ElleNoor
      March 4, 2017 at 5:13 am

      I totally get what you are saying. I also have MCS and for me it all started with an iPad.

      Which cellphone are you using that is not bothering you?

  13. s. reeve
    September 25, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    it is worse with my new iMac el capitan....this is like my 5th Mac, and the first 3 I had no problems....with this one I can hardly see. It is so blurry right now and uncomfortable for my eyes, that I need to stop emailing.
    Rats. I will never go to a PC, but I do not know who to ask or where to turn.

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 10:53 am

      You are going to ruin your eyes for Apple? Eesh! Talk about effective marketing! I have a dell studio 1750 that I can use for hours without vision problems. I cannot, however, use Apple products or even a newer dell laptop because it also fries my eyeballs. the screens make me feel like I am wearing the wrong prescription eyeglasses. Even when these newer products are indirectly near my eyes, I can feel eye strain starting. And I find it interesting that Apple and Dell deny there is a problem.

      • joshua
        January 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

        hello i have exactly the same issues !

        when using old pc screen or a few newly produced screen ,i can stare at the screen for 10 hours without feeling any eye strain. Yet only seconds looking at the ipad pro 12.9 inch,which i just bought and unpacked, i felt my eyes strained and chest pain.
        The store asks me for a 15% penalty if i want to return it. But i think my eyes health worth so much more than that. If my eyes get hurt because of this stupid product, even if i want to ,and be able to pay millions,billions of usd dollars ,no one could give me back a healthy eye by contemporary human technologies.

  14. Billy
    August 26, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    This is acturally a real thing, i've been gaming, watching movies and using cell phones all my life for atleast 12 hours a day and never had any issues at all until recent years when the standards of graphics and screens have become more advanced, i have no clue what this perticular phenomena is but some new screens are really bugging my eyes (not all). I usally just end up ignoring it but sometimes it's a bit annoying to feel tired in the eyes because of a new screen enhancing feature. My only tip is to try and navigate your way through these types of screens and find whats most ergonomic for yourself. I returned four tv's before i found one that was "normal" and luckily the store i bought them in was really understanding and they had no problem with me taking them home and trying them out. The same thing happend when i was buying a new graphics card wich i had returned two before i found a normal one, currently i have an iphone 4 wich is pretty decent but the 5's and 6's are really uncomfortable as with all apples devices imo. My conclusion is that the screens themselfs are not the main issue rather a specific graphic feature thats reacting disfavourly to perhaps sensitive eyes, I think that their will be more ergonomical screen device choises from the big companies pretty soon but until then just try and adapt ..

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Ours eyes are not more sensitive. The products are broken! The reason for possible eye strain that you identified is interesting. I thought the problem was resolution or Microsoft true font. I think the latter makes fonts 3 dimensional . My eyes feel like I am wearing the wrong prescription eyeglasses. My vision is blurred for several hours afterward. I can use my Studio 1750 no problem. I wish someone would tell me what back light is in it and what other specifications changed in the past 10 years to create eye strain.

    • ElleNoor
      March 4, 2017 at 5:21 am

      I think what you are saying is really wise. Could you recommend how to find a 'normal' graphic card? what are some of the parameters?

      I used an iPad with Retina and my eyes and chest hurt terribly. All new computers/screens I've tried hurt my eyes. I got discouraged bc I don;t know what to look for. And these days you can mostly buy screens/computers online, and return is pricey.

      Thank you much!

  15. Melissa
    August 17, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I bought one of those HUGE 27" iMac computers and the first day I had to go lay down because I was so neauseous from using it. The iMac doesnt have all of the programs and features I need, so I'm using it along with my DELL PC right next to it and trying to go back and forth. This is a nighmare. My eyes hurt alll the time and I have to keep one of the monitors covered up at all times so I don't see it in my peripheral vision. I changed the iMac setting to black and white (no color at all!) and changed the wall paper to solid black. That seemed to help a tiny bit. I'm no longer on the couch, but I'm popping Advil for the eye pain. Never a problem on any other computer or devce. Once in a while I get neauseous from too much scrollng, but that it. I seriously want to toss my iMac in the pool!

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Yes! I cannot have those newer screens in my peripheral vision either! I am glad someone else said this. I am tired of the eye strain and headaches.

      • Melissa Summers
        December 22, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        After months of this torture, one day I was on the phone with Apple and was able to talk to a supervisor for some advise. He told me that I could buy an adapter that plugs into the Mac and then runs to my old PC monitor. The screen is pretty much cloned, but you can use the operating system of the Mac. BINGO! Problem solved. I turned my Mac away from me, but I can still use it with my old monitor. I can now get back to work after months and months of trying to figure out what to do. Hope this helps someone!

  16. ServeGod33
    July 27, 2016 at 3:22 am

    I have the same exact problem with eyes burning severely. I initially thought it was the screen and after much looking decided to purchase the Mac Mini computer and just hook it up to our dell monitor that we used for years with no pain at all. Just today my husband hooked everything up and to my utter SHOCK my eyes started to hurt and burn instantly! I realized it was not the screen alone, it's most likely the graphics program and whatever else they put in there! We really wanted to switch to a Mac but with this issue, it seems impossible unless we find a 2007 model.

  17. Andew
    June 28, 2016 at 9:40 am

    One additional problem with the iPad (4) is that there is a hard limit on brightness. The lowest setting is still too high when it is dark. There is even a special browser that dims the screen further, called NightOwl, which does help things. Reversing colours and using Gunnar glasses makes things notably more tolerable, so it is possible to even read books. Overall, the screen is an inconvenience, but it can be improved.

    Not so with the MacBook Air. I like how portable and fast it is, but it's an ergonomic disaster. Watching a film on it is almost guaranteed to make my eyes hurt big time, even in special glasses. Besides, it keeps getting either too cold or too hot for comfortable use, so you need an external keyboard and a mouse.

    I can use my LED Philips 236V screen for hours on end without any significant problems. It might be that the screen of the MacBook is simply too small for long use.

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 11:04 am

      I have a dell studio 1750 that I can use for hours. I go to school online. If this computer ever dies, I won't be able to use a computer any longer. I have a newer dell laptop that I cannot use.

  18. Sorcha
    June 3, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I had the original ipad and it didn't strain my eyes that I ever noticed. However, I just bought the ipad pro a couple of months ago and it really does a number on my eyes. At first I wasn't even making the connection that it was from the ipad, but then it became more apparent that after using the ipad when I looked elsewhere my eyes were blurred.

    I googled something to the extent of, "ipad pro and blurred vision" to see if it was a common occurrence, and came across this article.

  19. Steve
    May 14, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I have a 2011 Macbook Pro with glossy screen. The first few days of owning it from new my eyes started to burn, I originally thought it was me. I stopped using it after three days and started using my old Sony Vaio which was a 2006-07 model and my eyes stopped burning, I used the Vaio for a week. I started using the Mac Pro again and within 10 minutes my eyes started burning again, so it is the Apple screen. I have the same problem with my iPad Air and my iPhone 6. I did call Apple a few months after owning the Macbook Pro and they acted all concerned then told me to turn the brightness down. What is the point of owning a Hi-resolution laptop which produces lovely sharp and vibrant pictures with the brightness turned down?

    Top Tip, I wore some sunglasses when using the Macbook as a test and my eyes stopped burning. I then bought some clear ordinary glasses with UV protection and that stopped my eyes burning. I then purchased some plastic UV protection film and stuck it over the screen, it stopped my eyes burning for a couple of weeks but then it wore off. So the best way to view is with clear UV protection glasses. I think my Vaio has an ordinary LCD screen which caused no eye burn. I was just looking online to replace my Macbook screen with a Hi-Res Antiglare screen to see if that improves things as Apple go, my Macbook still works good after 5 years. By the way, the Mrs has a Mac Air 2015 13 inch and I don't get eye burn using that.

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Apple and other companies do not care. The solution is not to spend more money buying sunglasses for a faulty product for which you paid top dollar! I am going to keep my dell 1750 for as long as I can.

  20. Syldeb
    May 10, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I'm so pleased to have come across this page, as I really thought I was alone. I spoke to my doctor yesterday and was told there was nothing they could do, because not enough was known about all this in Western medicine.

    Until buying a MacBook Air three weeks ago, I had always used PCs and never had any problems. I had the occasional finger burn and pins and needles from using iPhones, which was annoying enough, but I never thought my laptop would actually make me feel this awful.

    My symptoms include:

    - pins and needles in hands and arms
    - burning and itchy feeling in arms
    - headaches
    - teeth pains (notably where I've had two fillings)
    - blurred vision
    - feeling tearful and zombie-like, unable to think or work

    I spoke to Apple about this and they said they were taking it seriously. They sent me a replacement, in case there was something wrong with the laptop specifically, but I'm finding the same issues with the new one.

    • Jody
      August 12, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      It sounds you you might be sensitive to rf emissions. Every one of those symptoms is from rf radiation smart phones put off. Just do a simple search and you will be surprised

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Apple is not the only only problem. I cannot use newer dell pc's either

  21. Carmen
    May 6, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I just received my IPad Pro 9.7 and was so excited to set it up. However, after 15 minutes of using it my eyes started to burn. I fiddled with all of the display settings and then took a break. After 1/2 hour rest, I tried again and my eyes started to burn again. I work in IT and stare at a Dell monitor all day with no issues. I have also used a Surface without eye issues. In addition to my eyes burning, I found it uncomfortable to read text on the IPad Pro without enlarging the font to a ridiculous size and using my readers. I have an IPhone 6 and have no issue reading the small text without my readers. This IPad is being returned as I don't want to damage my vision.

  22. John
    December 31, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    You don't have to set the brightness to max. Just get a pwm free monitor with anti glare coating.

  23. Anonymous
    December 1, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Just wrote an enormous paragraph on this and it was deleted when I was prompted to login. Awesome!

    So here we go again.

    My wife and I just upgraded to the iPhone 6s from the Galaxy Note 3.

    Before the Galaxy Note 3 we both had iPhone 4s. During that time I actually had visited a doctor to have my blood checked because I was experiencing vertigo and heavy brain fog. My blood work turned out to be fine and the doctor told me to lay off the caffeine.

    I didn't realize it until now, but those feelings never occurred during the period that I was using my Galaxy Note 3. I am once again experiencing brain fog and vertigo since I upgraded to the iPhone 6s and this time I am positive it is being caused by the screen.

    Another symptom that I noticed along with my wife is that after we turn our phones off before bed, we are both seeing rapid white flicker when we close our eyes. This never occurred with the Galaxy Note 3.

    Aside from the iPhone frying my brain, I have to mention that the two-year-old Galaxy screen is stunning compared to the new iPhone 6s. This can be seen clearly by opening a colorful app such as Candy Crush side-by-side. But that's a different story for a different day.

    Bottom line is that the iPhone does in fact mess with your eyes, brain, and balance. Switch to an AMOLED to save your sanity.

    • Anonymous
      March 15, 2016 at 4:22 am

      I agree with you. I have been using a 4s and then a 5s without any problems. Last week switched to 6s and immediately started getting eye strain / pain head aches etc. Noticed that my old 5s had a warmer tone for the whites and the 6s is more like greyish. Not sure if that's the problem. I hate android as its not as smooth operation like the iphones. Let me know if you had any luck with your 6s.?

  24. Anonymous
    August 30, 2015 at 2:07 am

    Sore eyes. Foggy brain. I never experienced this with my PC. I bought the Macbook about a year ago. I just got back from vacation where I hardly used my Macbook and realized within 5 minutes, my crazy systems were back. Bummer, not sure what to do now.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 30, 2015 at 5:32 am

      This is really interesting. I'd love it if you could come back here and update us on your progress, Merlin!

    • Jo
      March 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      I agree with you completely.

  25. Anonymous
    August 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    I've pretty much always had headaches in certains conditions like playing videos games for more than an hour, but since tech companies have started to use LED backlights, my life has become very complicated, because I can't stand half the new devices' screens.
    Apple is the worst, because their screens keep getting worse for me. I think their obsession for thinner products is a side effect of that (and the fact it looks like they're using the same type of screen in all their products). Now, i can't use any of their newer products for more than 5 minutes without getting migraine. The weird thing is that I owned an ipad mini 2 that was ok but the battery failed and it was replaced with a model that is kryptonite to my eyes. So I guess they're using different screens suppliers and one of them really sucks.

  26. Anonymous
    June 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I have found through online research many persons who have experienced eye issues, minor to major, while using Macs.
    I purchased a new iMac with 27" screen a few months back to replace the one I bought
    in 2012. The difference in the screens is quite noticeable and not for the better.
    I cannot sit for more then just a few minutes at the new iMac before my eyes start to blur and begin to experience migraine visual disturbances and lightheadedness. I have owned several Macs and can testify that some of the screens are much harder on the eyes. I am going to contact Apple as my new iMac as it is impossible for me to use. I would be really interested in knowing more how and if screens are tested for safe human use.

  27. Dungrakoti
    April 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Yes I agree. It will be greatest leap in display technology if these companies can develop a non light source based screen as is there in Amazon Kindle with colour. May be it will be less beautiful to look at but will give ua a great choice to opt for it and save our eyes. I am hopeful that will come.

  28. sdsa
    February 28, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Boys, it is all about poor electronics. Low Pulse Width Modulation. And LEDs inself. There are studies that states LEDs led ;) to AMD - irreversible damage to the retina etc.

    Human eyes are not degined to look at the source of light whole day. Also brains.

  29. Peter
    February 17, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I bought a MacBook Pro about a month ago and am still struggling to get used to it. It is crisp and beautiful, but there is something about it that is just very difficult to focus on. And it's making not only my eyes hurt, but my head, neck, and even teeth too. I've tried at least 25 different interventions, including all the most common ones you read about, and no luck. Two things are really strange about this. 1) I've used an iPad and iPhone extensively for years with no problem, and 2) the MacBook hurts my eyes when plugged into my old LED monitor that I always used with Windows. I took the day yesterday and went back to my Windows laptop (plugged into that monitor) and my eyes were the best they've been in a month. The Mac hurts them. Right now I'm waiting for an email back from Amulet Hotkey, who I heard had written a patch to disable temporal dithering on OSX. Failing that, I will try hooking it up to the monitor via VGA to see if that washes the problem away. But it could just be the way the Mac antialiases type. Whatever the cause, I'm bummed out and may end up selling this MacBook if I can't adjust to it.

    • Simon
      May 21, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Hi Peter, I'm wondering if you ever heard back from Amulet about the temporal dithering kernel extension? I'm trying to solve my long-standing issue with eyestrain and migraines on my Macbook...did you have any joy? Please email on si_edgey[@] if you can help out. Many thanks.

    • Peter
      May 21, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      I'll reply here so others can benefit from the response. Amulet was no help... their extension was very specific to whatever their application was, and they weren't willing to release it to me.

      So an update on my personal story... I did try a VGA connection, which did not help. About a week or so after I wrote that last post, I with great sadness decided to stop using the MacBook and switch back to my Windows computer. I eventually sold the Mac. But the eyestrain persisted, even back on my old computer. I started having problems tracking fast-moving objects, some dizziness, and a lag in focusing at far after having focused at near for a while. I've spent the past 3 months visiting doctors, verifying that there is nothing wrong with my eyesight, my brain, etc. One optometrist measured some vertical heterophoria in my eyes (one eye wanting to point slightly up, one slightly down) and prescribed some prism glasses to fix it, but they didn't help, and when she measured me again three weeks later, the vertical heterophoria had disappeared. My eyes have gotten somewhat better (no more dizziness or tracking problems), to the point where I can bear some computer work, but there's still something not quite normal about them, and if I overdo it I still get headaches or a feeling like I have to crinkle my nose in response to some muscular tension in my eyes. I'm afraid I tweaked them somehow... that maybe I got a spasm of accommodation or convergence going, and that they may never go back to normal. Needless to say, I've sunken into a deep depression with severe anxiety, and I've gone on an SSRI, an anxiolytic, and am receiving weekly counseling. I also temporarily moved in with a caring friend and her family so I don't have to be alone so much. Right now, everything seems dark. The optometrist and my counselor both think there is at least a chance that the eye problem has an emotional component, but I haven't made any progress in finding out what that might be. The optometrist also said it might be chiropractic, or maybe even a reaction to a TDAP (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) shot I got a couple weeks before I got the MacBook. I have no answers.

    • Jason Goldovitz
      May 26, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Peter, I'm working with a couple people on - very early stages - a KEXT injector that does the same thing that Amulet's patch does. Basically, Amulet just injects a very specific set of parameters into the IOREG to disable temporal dithering. The fact that they won't release it unless you own their product is probably down to some disagreement with Apple (unless the Amulet people are just jerks, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt). I'm going to write my own KEXT, even if it kills me, and use it to develop an open-source injector to disable dithering on any Mac. Until Apple gives us the ability to disable this via the OS, it's the only way I can get any relief. Ironically, modern game systems (PS4, Xbox One) also do this, with the same Radeon chipset as many Macs. It's just frustrating as hell!

  30. rn10950
    February 5, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I find this weird because when I use the Macs (post 2010) at school, my eyes start burning in 20 minutes, but I can stare at my LED monitor hooked up to my PC for hours

  31. Anonymous
    January 20, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    For some reason the iPad bothers my eyes but other apple products don't, like iMac. Is there any solution to this other than simple ones like contrast or will it just go away?

    • Joan
      December 8, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Sad to say I cannot use IPads either. So glad I found this conversation has finally happened..

  32. Osobowy
    January 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I don't think this affects everyone, but I know the eyestrain is a real issue. I am typing this comment on my android, which never gives me any problems. But my girlfriend has an iphone 5, and whenever i use it, it is mere minutes before my eyes are painfully burning. I find that, for whatever reason, scrolling on a page is the worst of all. I wish Apple would solve this, because I really like the size of the i6 and would make it my next phone but for the fact it hurts my eyes.

  33. Julianne kroon
    December 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I have an iPhone 5s and have never had any issues, but immediately got a headache when I started using my new iPad air 2. I don't know how to explain that, but it's consistently an issue with the iPad and is Never a problem with my phone, MacBook or older tBlets.

  34. Richard Hanson
    June 8, 2013 at 2:34 am

    There is a lot of discussion on other forums about screens with LED backlighting implementing dimming by flickering the image. This flickering apparently causes problems for a small percentage of viewers. The solution is it turn the brightness to maximum which prevents the flicking. Of course you may then have a bit of a glare issue.

  35. Paul
    May 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I bought a MacBook Pro in 2011 and was absolutely gutted when I had to return it as it caused my eyes to feel like my Retinas were on fire. I didn't know it was an LED screen before I bought it or I woudn't have wasted my time. I had previously had to return a Samsung LED TV for the same reason. Replaced with a regular LCD and eye strain was remedied.

    From what I have read, it is due to the nature of LEDs being either on or off. They are made to flicker 1,000s of times a second to create different shades of colour. Some users are susceptible to this flickers, but most aren't.

    I can't tell you how unhappy I am that the world is going LED. I can't buy a new laptop as they are all LED. I can't buy a 32" tv for the bedroom as they are all LED, thankfully Plasma TVs are still around so I can get a new one for the Lounge. New phones are LED or OLED. Car lights and brake light are LED.

    I think in 40 years time someone visiting my house will ask why all my technology is from 2013, and I will tell them that was the last year before LED technology took over. I had to make a choice between new technology and burning retinas/possible blindness.

    Take time to research so you are buying with your eyes open!

    • Dave
      May 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      I work in IT, so I've noticed this issue getting worse over the last few years. We are looking at tablets for the sales floor so I've just spent the morning setting up a HP Elite Pad at work and my eyes are on fire, the Galaxy tab I set up before that was even worse. I could barely focus on my friends Samsung Galaxy S3. Due to this issue, I booked my self in for an eye test and I have 20/15 vision, with no other issues.

      It doesn't seem to be all LED illuminated LCD either, my HTC One X's screen causes me no problems (yet the illuminated buttons at the bottom drive me mental) All iPhones with the exception of the 5 have been fine too (at least for me). I have noticed no issues with the older generation iPads, the latest iPad gave me blurry vision for 30 mins or so after a short duration of tests.

      It's horrible. I'm dreading my TV or home PC monitor breaking...

      Good Luck everyone.

  36. RustyPolo
    March 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I've never had any problem viewing my iphone, but maybe that's just me

  37. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    That's why I use F.lux on my mac as well as on my iPhone (had to jailbreak it first, though). It definitely helps me sleep more easily at night especially since i like to read articles in bed right before i sleep.

  38. Joshua R
    February 2, 2013 at 4:50 am

    It isn't the brightness, screen size, or any other theory mentioned here. I have used the pppc 6700, touchpro, and touchpro 2 without any issues. I have 20/15 vision and within a few minutes of using the iphone 5 my eyes felt like they were splitting apart; I had a hard time focusing on objects around the house after looking at the screen. I never had a problem with the iphone 4 or the iPad 2, but have heard that people are having issues with the latest ipad as well as the iPhive. So, whatever it is it is the retina display causing the eye problems.

    Hopefully someone will do some serious research on the matter, because I haven't found a solution that works, except not using a retina display. #Opti-grab

  39. John
    January 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Way back in 1970 my job was to set up brand new TV sets out of the box. We had a showroom. I tried my damnedest to get the same quality picture on each one so it looked good. Colour TVs were very unreliable then. We rented TVs out rather than selling them. It was common to go and revisit a newly installed TV causing "headaches and dizziness". What had the customer done to my set up? Turned all the colour and brightness controls "full-on"! (So they got their money's worth) Forty years later I still see 50 inch telly's bolted high up on the wall still set in "showroom mode". I can't imagine its any different with phones and PC screens. Most folk can barely swipe the screen with their opposable thumb never mind find the brightness controls!

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Very interesting, John. I never knew that TVs were rented out, by the way. That's really interesting to me... I love radio/television history, for the record. I could go on and on about it. Ha!

  40. Hilary Predale
    January 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I am glad someone touched on this issue! I definitely agree that the LED screens (my iPhone and iPad) hurt my eyes and I think it takes less time to effect them then the old LCD screens. Dimming the brightness helps, especially in darker settings but it still bothers me. I would be curious to learn more; it could certainly have a long term effect.

    Either way, you were right about taking a break every so often; I keep a little desk lamp next to me at work and try to stare at that for few minutes every so often to give my eyes a break :)

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 23, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Same here with the lamp. My desk (well, right now it's a card table – just moved to a new apartment) is right next to my window, too.

  41. Jimmy
    January 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Could it have anything to do with small screens? :) I have a small flip phone, because I Have a perfectly good 24 inch monitor at home that lets me read everything comfortably at the write size and font size. No eye issues. I could be old fashioned (if there is such a thing in the computer world) but I really do think it's not too smart to use 10 inch and smaller screens to replace large easy to read monitors.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Maybe, Jimmy. I like small screens, though. Much easier to fit in your pocket.

  42. Rob Hindle
    January 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Could it be anything to do with the light wavelengths generated by LEDs.

    I seem to recall that the first people found the light from the first "white" LEDs somehow uncomfortable. The reason was that the white was constructed from a combination of the 3 primary colours but each of those was a very specific narrow wavelength. A normal "real world" red, for example, would include a wider part of the spectrum with some almost purple and some almost orange components.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Yes... That's true. I'd like to look into that a bit more. Hm. Good input.

  43. Scott Krupnick
    January 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    People are going to blame what they want to blame. If you stare at the screen for 8+ hours, then stare at your phone for travel back and forth to work/school and don't look away, of course your eyes are going to hurt. From time to time you have to take your eyes off the screen

    • Peter
      February 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      I had been using a Mac for many years, for all day long, then i was looking at my cell phone / PDA, and then at home i was watching TV, WITH NO PROBLEM!!!!
      As soon as i replaced my old mac with a new MPB (that has a LED screen) i cannot work for more than 30mins without getting eye strain, headaches, and dizziness.
      My eye doctor told me my eyes are in perfect health.
      I am in a extremely difficult position since i am a 40 year old accountant looking at screens all day long. Getting a PC did not solve the problem for me since new PCs also use LED screens. I honestly feel trapped. What am going to do, switch to agriculture for a living in order not to use screens?

      • Richard Hanson
        June 8, 2013 at 1:58 am

        Here is a a solution from a Mac Powerbook user who posted on the Apple Support forum. He suffered from the same problem and claims the problem stems from a basic limitation in LED screens. Dimming them requires them to flicker. This flicker is not seen by most people. His solution was to turn the screen brightness to maximum -- no flicker and his symptoms disappeared.

  44. Taha Al Masri
    January 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    its almost every new product have a bright screen so its not apple fault, that's why their is ambient light sensor to lower the brightness when needed.

  45. Mac Witty
    January 22, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I'm not sure if it is the screen but I get more "tired eyes" when using the new iMac than the old 2009 iMac. Luckily for some in the family I only use the new one when I really need ML otherwise I stay on the old one with SL

  46. Muo TechGuy
    January 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Rubbish. The screen is too bright? Have these people ever heard of BRIGHTNESS CONTROLS? Here's what I do when it's too bright - double click the home button, and turn it down. Immensely difficult, wasn't it?

    People complain because they have nothing better to do in their lives. You know the kind - the ones who write a letter to the BBC because they were offended by a late night comedy show that made fun of the queen. The kind who write to Watchdog to express their concerns about the 960g pack of maltesers now only being 945g.

    Please, don't dignify these people by taking notice of them!

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 22, 2013 at 10:55 am

      Well... On that note, it may be that they do not realize the screen is too bright. Or too dark. Take a look at the other symptoms.

      Granted, it does seem like I'm reminding people to breathe, doesn't it? (Or blink.)

    • Osobowy
      January 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Hey Muo TechGuy. I'm not looking to manufacture complaints myself. I just notice that I am fine on my Samsung III, but when I use my girlfriend's iphone 5, my eyes start burning like crazy within a matter of minutes. It is not simply down to the brightness. She keeps hers turned way down and it doesn't change the result for me. I have my samsung turned right up because the brightness makes it easier to see and it never gives me any problems. I am just wondering why this is happening and if anything could be done about it. Not everyone who raises an issue is simply whinging!

    • spookiewon
      February 12, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Osobowy, I have the problem described on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. And my Samsung Galaxy S4. It's not Apple displays. It's LED displays.

    • DC
      March 30, 2015 at 4:00 am

      I bought a retina display macbook pro at 6pm today and ended up here at midnight. Some people have issues some don't. It's not a brightness thing for me. The computer is getting returned tomorrow.

  47. Lorre Ruy
    January 22, 2013 at 8:13 am

    From experience what I see is that many people use there screens with wrong settings. Worst example I had was someone using a nice 24" screen with 800x600 resolution, result was kind off blurry as you can imagine.

    And then they complained about the phone being painful to read.
    My guess is that they got used to a blurry screen and now have trouble handling the sharp image.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Great, great point, Lorre. Didn't even consider that.

  48. Naz Lazar
    January 22, 2013 at 4:04 am

    In my opinion, being a forty year old who has been a computer junkie for ever, I think it's not just Apple products. I've been hearing that staring at a computer screen for to long can strain the eyes. I also think that the LED screens are brighter and do contribute to more eye strain.

    It could also be that people who buy Apple products love them so much that they end up using them a lot more than they have used other products and it's just a matter of take more breaks and give your eyes a rest. Yea, I'm a Mac junkie, there.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      January 22, 2013 at 9:40 am

      That's true, Naz. Sometimes people keep going at it. When we're not using our Mac, we're using the iPhone. When we're not on the iPhone, it's the Mac.

      We should go look at some trees or something.

      • Kirby
        January 24, 2013 at 2:41 am

        The color green do have a relaxing effect on the eyes.

    • zander
      January 20, 2015 at 3:28 am

      It's the jitter of LED lights.... Try swiping led in front of your face vs a normal bulb, you'll likely see the led 'stutter' or trail in an way different than a standard bulb...

      • Pete Mac
        November 24, 2016 at 6:31 pm

        I too have this issue but it seems to affect me more with certain programmes or apps. Using Facebook for example on my apple products (iPhone 6 and iPad air2) is a complete no no, yet when I use Twitter i have no issues. I literally have had to stop using Facebook unless for less than 5 mins because anything after that literally gives me a headache and my eyes feel strange. But Twitter is ok or atleast affects me significantly less. I don't wear glasses. When I use my laptop I have no issue, I could spend hours on it without any annoyance. I can't figure it out it's beyond me. But after buying my new iPad Air I am seriously considering selling it and buying a notebook or something small and handy to replace it. Although reading above I see a lot of new products have this LED tech which is extremely worrying for me to be honest. I often wondered is there not some kind of filter like a Polaroid you could place over the screen that might help. I've actually noticed my iPad is worse than my iPhone, maybe this because it is newer and the tech is better/stronger.