Re: micro-stutter related to eye strain? Re: micro-stutter related to eye strain? [Medical / Eye Twitching / Eye Spasms]

There are over 100 ergonomic issues from displays, far more than just flicker and blue light. This forum covers the giant variety of display ergonomics issues.
LNR69
Posts: 6
Joined: 26 Jul 2023, 04:15

Re: micro-stutter related to eye strain? Re: micro-stutter related to eye strain? [Medical / Eye Twitching / Eye Spasms]

Post by LNR69 » 21 May 2024, 05:17

Chief Blur Buster wrote:
19 May 2024, 17:54
RealNC wrote:
14 May 2024, 13:34
I don't get anything like that. I'm on a 27" monitor and when playing games, my eyes are between 45-50cm (18-20") away from the screen.
First things first, let's determine which is which:
- eyestrain caused by microstutter (e.g. microstutter triggering nausea)
- microstutter caused by eyestrain (e.g. sore eye becomes jerky motion)
kyube wrote:
15 May 2024, 07:39
What does "DEFAULT" imply mate? You're still expecting crystal ball service done to your PC when you're giving bread crumbs.
Hang on.
You helped by getting way more than enough breadcrumbs for me to ask the correct question.

The skill art is in counter-asking the correct question, like I am about to do.
Sometimes questions require a Chief Blur Buster rescue...

(Mandatory Skill Modifier Required: +Expert Skill in Display Sherlock Holmes)
LNR69 wrote:
10 May 2024, 10:32
I have had an issue for the last few years regarding perceivable micro-stutters when gaming. I have always found that this issue is not present initially however, it occurs after an hour or so of gaming.

I always thought the issue is with my pc (and It could be still), However I have changed my entire PC except my RTX 3070 and the issue still persists. So I am starting to think that maybe this micro-stutter is not actually related to my hardware but instead related to my eyes. Especially since when I benchmark my games the frame time graph looks acceptable. I have also had someone try my Pc and they could not notice anything.

I am a fairly competitive FPS player and I sit close to my monitor, So this could potentially cause my eyes to tire out. If anyone has any similar experiences I would love to hear about it :)
First -- are you asking this, or asking this:
1. eyestrain caused by microstutter (e.g. microstutter triggering nausea)
2. microstutter caused by eyestrain (e.g. sore eye becomes jerky motion)

If item number 1, there are over 100 ergonomic issues, and microstutter is definitely a trigger for some eyestrain/nauseas/motionsickness in some people. It's not everybody's cause of eyestrain.

Scenario 1
To determine if it's your head (brain) or the microstutter, try temporarily eliminating computer-side microstutters: You can try enabling VRR and using RTSS to cap your framerate well below refresh rate. See if the microstutters disappear, and if your eyestrain disappears too. If eyestrain disappears, then you may have found it. If you still get eyestrain but microstutters disappear, then amplified sensitivity to microstutter is simply a symptom of a different cause of eyestrain, move to scenario number 2.

Scenario 2
If item number 2, then troubleshooting may become more complex and may or may not involve an eye doctor. You should have breaks from the display, and/or use a smaller-FOV (shrink display size, shrink display viewport with a windowbox, etc) to minimize eye movements over long-duration esports play. I've seen people who have vibrating eyeballs (stutter) from involuntary eye-muscle spasming from excessive-duration gaming. So back off and rest a lot, make adjustments, eat better, have more breaks, more exercise, etc.

The type of gaming matters a lot. Does your games involve staring at a crosshair in screen center like snipers (ala Valorant and Counterstrike 2), or requires ultra-rapid eye movements like aiming/shooting while flying/jumping? (ala Rocket League, Rainbow Six arena-style gaming)

Most esports use 24" monitors partially to reduce eye movements which can reduce eyestrain over marathon gaming that isn't immersion-priority but stamina-priority. Learning "stationary gaze at crosshairs, use peripheral vision to identify enemies" is a common esports tactic that reduces eye movements and reduces eyestrain. Smaller displays make peripheral vision easier. However, this may not entirely eliminate eyestrain. And some things requires eye tracking (identifying moving camoflaged objects normally hidden by motion blur).

Also disabling strobe backlight features can be helpful too, as also trying different tech (NanoIPS versus TN versus OLED versus glossy screens versus matte screens), to see if eyestrain is reduced by other factors too as there are often multiple concurrent eyestrain causes too.


Wow... Thanks for that very detailed reply. I am asking the second question "microstutter caused by eyestrain (e.g. sore eye becomes jerky motion)". I was actually just curious to see if others have observed micro stutters that are present due to their eyes/brain. I certainly hope that its not the case otherwise I will have to go visit an eye doctor.

I am currently using a 27inch QD-OLED panel and before that I was using a 32inch Samsung G7. The micro-stutters were observed on both monitors, however the current monitor is definitely better. What you say about the panel size is interesting to me. I used to have a 24inch TN panel and I always found that to be very relaxing for my eyes. I also don't really recall experiencing any bad micro-stutter. however it does not mean they were not there. perhaps observing stutter is easier the larger the monitor is? I am not too sure.

Now in terms of the games I play. I play Valorant and CS at a very high level, and unfortunately I have developed a bad habit of sitting quite close to my monitor which may accelerate eye strain.

However, it could very well be (and I hope) that this micro stutter is occurring due to my hardware. In particular the GPU (RTX 3070). I have swapped out all of my PC components in hopes of fixing the issue except my GPU as they can be quite expensive. I plan to buy one of the new RTX5000 series or AMD 8000 series when they come out to see if it has been my GPU all along. and potentially I may have to go back to 24inch monitors if they are better for my eyes.

Also As a side question I would be happy to sit down one day and really try to benchmark/observe the performance of my pc to see if I can observe the root of the issue. However I must admit that my hardware troubleshooting skills are likely fairly limited. I usually just use RTSS with the frame time graph and the 0.1% and 1% low values to troubleshoot issues. I was wondering if you could point me to any guides/blogs/resources that go into the process of troubleshooting/diagnosing hardware/software issues in computers. If you have these resources on the top of your mind of course :)

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my question, I apricate the detail.

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Re: micro-stutter related to eye strain? Re: micro-stutter related to eye strain? [Medical / Eye Twitching / Eye Spasms]

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 21 May 2024, 16:45

LNR69 wrote:
21 May 2024, 05:17
Wow... Thanks for that very detailed reply. I am asking the second question "microstutter caused by eyestrain (e.g. sore eye becomes jerky motion)". I was actually just curious to see if others have observed micro stutters that are present due to their eyes/brain. I certainly hope that its not the case otherwise I will have to go visit an eye doctor.
When it happens to the eyes, it's called "eye twitching" (Google)

This also will microstutter the real world too (when you look away from the screen).

Although I don't have the problem lately, it has happened to me when I overstressed my eyes in too much exercise, and my eyes went into a few seconds of spasming (eyeball-movement muscles twitches at about 2-3 eyeball shakes per second). This can be confused with microstutter, but was not caused by hardware. Like a muscle twitch of a body part, except it's your eyeballs' muscle!
LNR69 wrote:
21 May 2024, 05:17
Now in terms of the games I play. I play Valorant and CS at a very high level, and unfortunately I have developed a bad habit of sitting quite close to my monitor which may accelerate eye strain.
Yes, it does. The recommendation is extra viewing distance (e.g. double the viewing distance), to medically save your eyes.

Find out why you're sitting too close. If it's because you need an eyeglasses prescription (or need adjustment), then get one.

Your eyes require 2x as much movement at halved viewing distance on a 27", which can exponentially (more than 2x) stress your eye muscles in all the eye tracking. It's good for immersion, fine for relaxed situations (VR style experiences on a 45" ultrawide is lovely) but when playing competitively, you're also pushing yourself hard, and so you may need to reduce your viewport somewhat.
LNR69 wrote:
21 May 2024, 05:17
However, it could very well be (and I hope) that this micro stutter is occurring due to my hardware.
Does the rest of the world twitch? You look at the room and the whole bedroom/game room is twitching (real world microstuttering)?
If so, then it's definitely not your computer hardware. The whole real world vision field "stutters" equally (not just the computer) if you got the dreaded famous "eye twitching" problem. It affects some esports players too, when they drive themselves too hard, especially when they become older (especially hitting 30s+)

Next time it happens, immediately throw your game (who hell cares about your frags if your eyes are about to die, you know?) and begin looking away. Don't focus on the game anymore, see if the rest of the room is microstuttering in real life!

You may have not noticed because you were viewing too close, and focussed too closely and intensely on your competitive game, and did not notice that the twitching was also occuring in the real world. Obviously it may NOT be eye twitching, but YOU NEED TO FIND OUT (even if it means throwing away one of your esports games, to instantly diagnose yourself by looking away from the computer). The interruption to your focus will be critical to help self-answer your question about the cause of the microstuttering you're witnessing.

Perhaps play in some of those practice arenas anonymously under another account, if you've got an rank/ELO/score of sorts to keep, if you're that professional/intense. This will allow you some safe playtime to throw away a game mid-gaming -- this will be the art of diagnosing which side of the screen is the microstutter (your eyes or your hardware)

Figure out this lineitem before we continue further. Further discussion about hardware is unproductive if it's confirmed to be the human ("eye twitching") instead of the hardware (graphics microstuttering). Also, eye-twitching will also shake your stationary HUD graphics (e.g. stationary crosshairs, stationary scores, etc).

An eye doctor may be warranted for some help with eye twitching, but you can do mitigations like never doing less than monitorwidth viewing distance. That's approximately arm's length away from 24-27".

Your Homework Priority:
- Determine if your real world is also microstuttering (immediately look away from monitor when things start weirdly microstuttering), in order to determine if it's biological or if it's hardware
- If real world is also microstuttering, it's called "eye twitching" (eye muscle spasms)


We can Sherlock-Holmes this further, if you later discover it's really the hardware and not your eyes.

That being said... If it is your eyes, please reply to confirm that you found out. Personally, I've had it before (real world microstuttering from eye twitching), and it's no laughing matter when you've overstressed your eyes, especially during a sleep-fatigued or caffienated situation.
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