Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

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.
lynx8249
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Jun 2024, 14:00

Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by lynx8249 » 24 Jun 2024, 14:01

The last 2 years I started having vision problems. Mainly:
  • Having Trouble focusing up close

    Feeling of being "cross-eyed" when I am looking at something close.

    By close i mean the usual viewing distance when you hold your phone

    Blurry vision and the feeling that my eyes are "strained" somehow
My Eye-Doctor attests that I have 20/20 vision. No other organic cause. No brain Tumor (MRI)
I am suspecting that I am PWM-Sensetive so I'm trying IPS-Display phones instead of my S23U. Now I started also looking at my monitors since I work on my PC a lot because I really need to solve this issue as I am suffering quite a lot under it :(

At work I use: 2x HP X27q at home I have 3x Dell S2721DGFA panels.

I read about the Dell S2721DGFA being especially bad because of nano-ips. I was wondering if you would recommend changing monitors looking at the symptomes I have? Also is my work screen safe? Else I'd have to ask my boss to swap them.

Which screens would you recommend? I'd love high referesh rate, WQHD and 27" no curved.

Thanks for your help !

User avatar
kyube
Posts: 160
Joined: 29 Jan 2018, 12:03

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by kyube » 25 Jun 2024, 07:31

Those symptoms do sound like issues with PWM, but they cannot be 100% pinpointed without elimination method.
Are there any displays which have historically been eyestrain-free for you?
I can give you general tips, which may or may not help:

You could try clamping color gamut to sRGB if you fear nano IPS and wide color gamut is causing you eyestrain.

As for PWM, avoid OLED at all cost. I recommend this to anyone, regardless of if they show any sensitivity to flicker.
No human is able to use displays which flicker, it leaves you with issues even if you don't comprehend them.
Even some (modern) LCD monitors have PWM depending on brightness level.
LCD on phones are notoriously bad and potentially suffer from hidden, unexplored issues as well (EMI is also a health risk to human health)

Monitor coating can also play a huge role in eyestrain, especially considering your Dell S2721DGFA has a really smeary display (really strong matte coating), you could consider removing the matte coating w/ some modding if possible or getting a fully glossy panel.

I've seen claims of polarizer orientation also influencing eyestrain (can be easily fixed by rotating monitor around to a different direction)

If you're doing heavy text-based work, opt for a higher PPI display (at minimum 4k 27", best would be 8k 32" or 18.4" 4k)

A few displays, which you could try:
IMac 2013-2015 (just install Windows or Linux, whichever one you need. the 212ppi is amazing for text-based work)
Alogic Clarity (is glossy + 163ppi is also much better over 27" 1440p)
BenQ EW3270U (from rtings, coating seems "ok", not as clear as above options though)
Dough (Eve) Spectrum 4k (this one is a really risky buy, YMMV, some ppl have had great experience while most have had a terrible one. the display is really good though, sadly a bad company behind it)
Desktop OLEDs don't suffer from PWM brightness dimming, but some people have issues with the brightness dip which is related to display scanout (apparently something to do with capacitors, I haven't explored the topic deeper), which I personally suffer from (I've used a S9+ and it strains my eyes regardless of brightness level used)


If you really insist on high refresh rate displays (imo ppi is more important over hz, but one should go for both if possible), the general recommendations apply
Some of these, especially 1080p ones, have really smeary coating, please do your research if u're concerned about coating clarity
i've listed them by best to worst performing in terms of G2G:
1080p: PG248QP (really heavy matte coating, pls do research on anything I've wrote here), XL2566K, Omen X25, 23.8" 240hz IPS (XG2431, 24G2ZU, XG249CM, VG249QM1A etc.), AW2523HF/AW2521H (only if cheap)

1440p: PG27AQN(coating isn't that grainy, could be decent), 27G1S, Q24G2A

4k: Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 (coating looked decent on rtings site), Dough Spectrum (BE CAUTIOUS), rest is the same just coating differences (4k144hz uses same panels across the board)

Hope this helps, you could also take a look at my post history in this forum section + other topics for more help.

lynx8249
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Jun 2024, 14:00

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by lynx8249 » 28 Jun 2024, 17:15

Thank you so much for your extensive post, this really helps me to get a grasp on the basics and experiment with different display types.
So you think the coating of the S2721DGFA can be causing issues? but also the nano-ips? in your opinion what is the biggest issue of the 2?
Should I go and sell the 3 Dell Displays and definitely go for something else? What about the HP X27q ?

User avatar
kyube
Posts: 160
Joined: 29 Jan 2018, 12:03

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by kyube » 29 Jun 2024, 11:25

lynx8249 wrote:
28 Jun 2024, 17:15
Thank you so much for your extensive post, this really helps me to get a grasp on the basics and experiment with different display types.
So you think the coating of the S2721DGFA can be causing issues? but also the nano-ips? in your opinion what is the biggest issue of the 2?
Should I go and sell the 3 Dell Displays and definitely go for something else? What about the HP X27q ?
Before doing any kind of trades, you could consider using sRGB color gamut clamping to diagnose whether your issue lies in the wide color gamut (a common issue people have with nano IPS)
The X27Q's coating looks fine on RTINGS' close-up shot, you could experiment with it for starters.
It's trial and error sadly.
It would help if you could list the displays where you haven't experienced eyestrain.

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 11775
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 14 Jul 2024, 17:58

kyube wrote:
25 Jun 2024, 07:31
As for PWM, avoid OLED at all cost.
Bad advice without reading viewtopic.php?f=27&t=12808

The original poster says they have DELL S2721DGFA.

S2721DGFA is PWM-free.

Therefore, lynx8249's cause of eyestrain is likely not PWM. It is a common mis-assumption that "I have eyestrain, therefore my display has PWM", since it is often traced to something else. PWM can be bad, but it is definitely not the only cause of eyestrain. And PWM doesn't cause 100% of human population to have eyestrain -- some aren't bothered. There are tons of other eyestrain causes.

Also, the cyclic PWM dimming depth of a modern 240Hz OLED can be under 5% -- less brightness modulation amplitude than even an incandescent lightbulb (5% dimming from zero-crossing events). Also, people who tested a matte OLED vs glossy OLED, sometimes found less eyestrain with glossy OLED displays (e.g. Gorilla Glass), even formerly thinking they were afflicted (incorrectly themselves assuming) that their eyestrain cause was OLED PWM. So there are many people mis-believing the cause of their eyestrain. Yes, sometimes it IS definitely PWM that caused eyestrain -- but it is not always.

Also, OLED has reduced my eyestrain.

EDIT: To address a discord callout, I'm counterbalancing. LCD and OLED are fair game eyestrain reductions for different segments of human population. YMMV. The problem is there's lots of misinformation about OLED eyestrain, and LCD eyestrain. The two polarized camps tend to not believe each other, so I will aggressively jump in to referree/compensate the discourse a bit. When I see people say "Don't buy LCD, OLED is superior for motion blur" -- I call them out to bash them to tell them LCD strobe backlights outperform OLEDs in MPRT numbers, at the cost of some disadvantages (flicker, colors, brightness, etc). But here, I'm definitely jumping into defense of OLED in this line-item thread. LCD may be better, but take it with a grain of salt about people telling you OLED will be bad. It goes both ways. Also, different blur busting frontiers. A good ULMB LCD is better for strobe-based motion blur reduction, and a good 240Hz+ OLED is better for flickerless framerate-based motion blur reduction. Stop reading this OLED forum if you want to read my LCD cheerleading elsewhere in other threads/forums instead. I'm not biased only on OLED nor LCD, they both outperform each other on line-item metrics, and some people eyestrain differently on different metrics.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

Image
Forum Rules wrote:  1. Rule #1: Be Nice. This is published forum rule #1. Even To Newbies & People You Disagree With!
  2. Please report rule violations If you see a post that violates forum rules, then report the post.
  3. ALWAYS respect indie testers here. See how indies are bootstrapping Blur Busters research!

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 11775
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 14 Jul 2024, 18:00

lynx8249 wrote:
28 Jun 2024, 17:15
Thank you so much for your extensive post, this really helps me to get a grasp on the basics and experiment with different display types.
So you think the coating of the S2721DGFA can be causing issues? but also the nano-ips? in your opinion what is the biggest issue of the 2?
Should I go and sell the 3 Dell Displays and definitely go for something else? What about the HP X27q ?
You may wish to test multiple displays before settling on one.
- What displays have you had eyestrain on before?
- What displays have you had no eyestrain on?
Etc.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

Image
Forum Rules wrote:  1. Rule #1: Be Nice. This is published forum rule #1. Even To Newbies & People You Disagree With!
  2. Please report rule violations If you see a post that violates forum rules, then report the post.
  3. ALWAYS respect indie testers here. See how indies are bootstrapping Blur Busters research!

gregtsakil
Posts: 6
Joined: 14 Jul 2024, 18:13

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by gregtsakil » 14 Jul 2024, 19:14

I have a Dell g2724d and it causes me nausea and general tiredness and sick feeling.I also have a Dell g3223d and have the same isues... my 3rd monitor the Dell P3221D 60 hz have minimum or no isues at all the difference between them that I think is casusing me problems is the polararized filter that they have , the first 2 that I mentioned I cant see them though my polarized glasses and are causing me symptoms the 3rd one the Dell P3221D i can see through my p.glasses and I have no symptoms. What do you guys think ?

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 11775
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 17 Jul 2024, 14:46

gregtsakil wrote:
14 Jul 2024, 19:14
I have a Dell g2724d and it causes me nausea and general tiredness and sick feeling.I also have a Dell g3223d and have the same isues... my 3rd monitor the Dell P3221D 60 hz have minimum or no isues at all the difference between them that I think is casusing me problems is the polararized filter that they have , the first 2 that I mentioned I cant see them though my polarized glasses and are causing me symptoms the 3rd one the Dell P3221D i can see through my p.glasses and I have no symptoms. What do you guys think ?
I suggest not making assumptions -- see this post first before deciding. There are over 100+ niche ergonomic issues because of 100+ differences between displays and real life. Displays are imperfect windows to real life, and in more ways than PWM and blue light. And also more than just polarized light.

While polarized light can be a potential trigger, it's fairly rare/hard to trace. Humans do have SOME sensitivity to polarized light in peer reveiwed research (e.g. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4528539/ and ilk), but monitor manufacturers haven't spent money researching eyestrain reductions by changing polarized lights. People who work outdoors often can get a ginormous excess of reflected light in front of them, (oblique angles) that polarized sunglasses help, and it is unknown if it amplifies/attenuates sensitivity to polarized light from a screen.

TN and IPS LCDs often have different polarizations so switching 90 degree rotation may create an effect of improving/worsening things. Most humans won't tell a difference, but it's definitely non-zero of humans -- some gets more eyestrain with one polarization angle when human eyes evolved to have maximum comfort with random polarization.

Especially if longterm exposure to polarized light (e.g. sunny downhill skiing outdoors without sunglasses and without polarized ski goggles) may have possibly affected your sensitivity to one polarized angle, creating an ergonomic issue that formerly did not exist earlier in your life. This is an underresearched frontier, but the research that exists -- indicates some humans DO have a sensitivity to polarized light.

However, this neglects to acknowledge the other issues of the over 100+ ergonomic issues.

The prevailing Blur Busters advice is "Go dramatically left field" (change as many things as possible about your display simultaneously), if you've been eyestrained by dozens of displays.

But if you've been eyestrained badly by only one display, then minor tweaks may be all you need. Sometime as simple as bias lighting or a viewing distance change, or a redo of your eyeglasses prescription. Other times, yes, a total monitor replacement is recommended.

_____

After a recent discord conversation that attempted to falsely call me out as an OLED shill:

I have to acknowledge the real science/research that tons of other people have done, and the disappearance of OLED eyestrain when certain people switched from 2018-era OLEDs to 2024-era OLEDs, the improved flicker dynamics of 360Hz OLEDs that are shallower than incandescent-lightbulb flicker (your standard 60 watt philips bulb flickers more than a 360Hz OLED, buddies... so stop the PWM biblethumping please, it's only 50-50 odds now.). And to other things like switching between glossy/matte (Gorilla Glass) and other tweaks that prove that PWM is definitely not 100% of all causes of OLED eyestrain (yes it can be but I will aggressively mythbust here, if you try to biblethump a false claim I'm an OLED shill).

I am a big fan of the refresh rate race, LCD, OLED, etc. There are performance metrics of LCDs that OLED can not beat this decade (e.g. 0.25ms MPRT strobe) but there are also cases where there are humans eyestrained by almost all modern LCDs but got zero eyestrain with certain OLEDs. Teaching OLED is always the cause of eyestrain is just assumptions or Cardassians teaching Captian Picard that five light is actually four (or vice versa). Sometimes it's actually five and sometimes it's actually four -- depends on the human vision and how they eyestrains.
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

Image
Forum Rules wrote:  1. Rule #1: Be Nice. This is published forum rule #1. Even To Newbies & People You Disagree With!
  2. Please report rule violations If you see a post that violates forum rules, then report the post.
  3. ALWAYS respect indie testers here. See how indies are bootstrapping Blur Busters research!

gregtsakil
Posts: 6
Joined: 14 Jul 2024, 18:13

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by gregtsakil » 17 Jul 2024, 22:53

Thank you for your detailed answer! Firstly, I want to say that I read the article from the link you referred to and im not trying to make assumptions. I'm trying to troubleshoot my current situation as your post guided me and in the process, help each other figure out what is causing our problems in a reasonable spectrum of different eyesight and peoples negative triggers. I have spent 6 to 10 hours per day for 2 weeks now and have read nearly every post there is about the causes of eye strain and other symptoms , which may be more than 200+. I think I'm narrowing it down to 3 simultaneous reasons for my problem. I know I'm sensitive to PWM. I had a ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD and almost threw up from the effects it had on me. PWM is easy to see by testing with a smartphone camera. So the 3 reasons I think might be, one, the angle of polarization for me and my eyes personally secondly, I have found that using my older 970 GPU was way easier for me. I tried putting a 970 to view from my 3090 and I believe the dithering is happening again but differently and the final reason might be the diference of the refresh rate. Today, I'm getting a microscope to see if I can record my setup and have proof of my findings and share it with the world.I hope I can see what the pixels are doing in a microscopic level,I can see with my naked eye a small pulse like wave on the colors when looking on my monitor but its not something diferent that I can recall seeing in the past and confirming its normality.This link shows possible known triggers that people are aware of ledstrain-eyestrain-triggers , I tried eliminating one after another to come up with a final assumption.stand by that those 2 gaming monitors feel different than the one that I stated in my first post and feel more comfortable on the non gaming one.That being said I can't really have all the info on my disposal to see the rest of the differences between them from exact panel type that each monitor uses the exact technic and materials of the matte filter that they are using and other detailed characteristics so i can see what might truly matter of the final output of the image.Finally, it seems very weird that NVIDIA and Microsoft push all these new tech updates and don't give people full control of fine-tuning certain elements like the highly discussed topic of temporal dithering.I believe they should use an ai algorithm that auto sets everything based on individual eye and brain of ours to have the best possible experience with our pc usage that some people spend more than 8 hours everyday in front of.

User avatar
kyube
Posts: 160
Joined: 29 Jan 2018, 12:03

Re: Are my PC monitors responsible for this untold misery (severe eye-strain) ?

Post by kyube » 19 Jul 2024, 07:40

gregtsakil wrote:
17 Jul 2024, 22:53
PWM is easy to see by testing with a smartphone camera.
It is not as easy to capture high PWM dimming frequency with a smartphone camera, it requires a good oscilloscope + good probe.
gregtsakil wrote:
17 Jul 2024, 22:53
I think I'm narrowing it down to 3 simultaneous reasons for my problem. I know I'm sensitive to PWM. I had a ViewSonic VX3276-2K-MHD and almost threw up from the effects it had on me.
You're not alone. I dare to safely say that every human being dislikes brightness fluctuation of any kind, whether it be PWM (single-strobe / DyAC / PureXP or multi-strobe such as PWM)

gregtsakil wrote:
17 Jul 2024, 22:53
So the 3 reasons I think might be, one, the angle of polarization for me and my eyes personally secondly, I have found that using my older 970 GPU was way easier for me. I tried putting a 970 to view from my 3090 and I believe the dithering is happening again but differently and the final reason might be the diference of the refresh rate.

Today, I'm getting a microscope to see if I can record my setup and have proof of my findings and share it with the world.
I hope I can see what the pixels are doing in a microscopic level,I can see with my naked eye a small pulse like wave on the colors when looking on my monitor but its not something diferent that I can recall seeing in the past and confirming its normality.
This link shows possible known triggers that people are aware of ledstrain-eyestrain-triggers , I tried eliminating one after another to come up with a final assumption.stand by that those 2 gaming monitors feel different than the one that I stated in my first post and feel more comfortable on the non gaming one.
That being said I can't really have all the info on my disposal to see the rest of the differences between them from exact panel type that each monitor uses the exact technic and materials of the matte filter that they are using and other detailed characteristics so i can see what might truly matter of the final output of the image.
Finally, it seems very weird that NVIDIA and Microsoft push all these new tech updates and don't give people full control of fine-tuning certain elements like the highly discussed topic of temporal dithering.
I believe they should use an ai algorithm that auto sets everything based on individual eye and brain of ours to have the best possible experience with our pc usage that some people spend more than 8 hours everyday in front of.
Dithering can be a eyestrain concern and I've personally had issues with static dithering (older laptop panel, 16.2mil a.k.a 6bit+FRC, not the usual 16.7m 6bit+HiFRC which should be miles better)

Sadly, barely any reviews tackle this topic due to ignorance / lack of care from people.

However, I've come across this
https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/dell/s2721dgf
It seems like the Dell employs PWM backlight dimming at a frequency you may not tolerate well.

The X27q also has some kind of minimal brightness fluctuation, which may cause a trigger
https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/hp/x27q

It's sadly a matter of trial error.

PWM (single / multi-strobe), motion performance (especially if low MPRT), PPI (usually, higher is better), color gamut, backlight used (SPD), coating (matte/glossy), polarization, dithering and external biological/psychological factors can all be factors which contribute to overall wellbeing of eyes.
I have a Dell g2724d and it causes me nausea and general tiredness and sick feeling.I also have a Dell g3223d and have the same isues... my 3rd monitor the Dell P3221D 60 hz have minimum or no isues at all the difference between them that I think is casusing me problems is the polararized filter that they have , the first 2 that I mentioned I cant see them though my polarized glasses and are causing me symptoms the 3rd one the Dell P3221D i can see through my p.glasses and I have no symptoms. What do you guys think ?
This, however, is really intruguing to me. There is a possibility you have issues with the polarization but nobody can be 100% sure about this, except you.
You need to trial out more display sadly, no way around it.
You could also be having issue with the KSF phosphor backlight of newer 1440p high refresh rate panels, which is a lot of people report on.
The Q24G2A, in particular, is a 1440p 165hz 24" panel which doesn't employ KSF phosphor, you could go for that (it's cheap as well)
I don't know what dithering technique it employs (it's 6bit+HiFRC, uses MV238QHM-NF0 panel) and what polarization it has, but it's a good starter imo (the SPD - spectral power distribution difference / lack of KSF phosphor might be the key to alleviating your issue)

For more information about dithering techniques, visit this (check the bottom of the page):
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php

KSF phosphor backlight
Image

Standard LED backlight (Q24G2A)
Image

Desktop OLED could also be a viable option btw, but things such as:
non-RGB layout (causes text rendering issues), slight flicker (regardless of brightness used)
may be an issue for some.

QD-LED backlight is also an option, as it's different to usual KSF-based ones
For example: MSI MPG 274URF-QD (27" 4k 160hz), MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD (27" 1440p 165hz),MSI G274QPF-QD (27" 1440p 170Hz)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV46Q_xs9M4

A nice source to read up on backlights used by monitors: https://pcmonitors.info/articles/the-ev ... acklights/
Check comments here (talks about backlight used by LCD)
https://blurbusters.com/beautiful-red-p ... ion-badly/

Post Reply