Over the Xmas Holidays this year, my dad bought this gorgeous LG B6 55" OLED TV for the living room, after our 46" Sony Bravia LCD TV finally kicked the bucket. Link below:
The picture really is stunning. Total blacks, very white whites. I was excited because OLED (Organic LED) is a new display technology that I thought would bypass my issues with normal LEDs. OLEDs are not lit by a backlight - instead, the light source comes from the screen itself. I also heard that (please someone verify!) OLEDs have a lot less blue light than normal LEDs, and might even have lower blue light than CCFLs. My theory all along is that I am sensitive to HEV (High Energy Visible) light like blue light.
As a summary of my issues:
- I cannot seem to look at any LED displays, even PWM-free LEDs
- I am currently using a Dell U2410 CCFL both at work and home, and I don't get the "LED Symptoms"
- The "LED Symptoms" referenced above are not your garden-variety eye strain. It's more of deep localized eye/head pain.
Perhaps it's better if we all explain the type of "symptoms" we are getting. Here's my best description when looking at an LED:
I get a sharp pinch in the center of both eyeballs, feeling like it's coming from the back of the eye. If I continue to look at the display, this sharp pinch will seemingly travel "into" my head towards the back, as if they were rods. If I continue to ignore this, and continue looking at the display, I will then have very sharp pain in the eyes, center, and back of the head, as if I'd been skewered by rods. This is a sharp and intense headache that can last for days before finally settling down. It feels like my brain is "fried" in this state, as if the visual processing center is totally overwhelmed.
The "max headache" example above I have gotten looking at a colleague's LED at work for 30 minutes. The intense headache never went away for 4 days. I've never been sure what to call this headache, as migraines are typically one-sided, and have "aura". Is there such a thing as a visual headache?
With the OLED TV though, I was able to watch a hockey game for about an hour or so, before I started feeling the initial "eyeball pinch". This is my warning sign that I have to give my eyes/brain a break, or else it'll be badtimes! Although I can last much longer on an OLED display, this finding was obviously disappointing.
I believe this is through no fault of the TV. It's a very impressive display that can be enjoyed by everybody except me. The problem is definitely with my body/brain, and the frustrating thing is that I have not really found anybody else that describes the same set of symptoms that I have with LEDs.
One potentially interesting aside is that I once had an "Irlen Assessment" for "Irlen Syndrome" through the suggestion of an ophthalmologist. This is apparently a controversial disorder, and isn't typically diagnosed through an M.D. It was suggested that I did have Irlen Syndrome, but when testing different colored lenses, I wasn't able to find anything conclusive, because I wasn't testing against an LED. The Irlen practitioner explain the theory of Irlen syndrome as being a "hyperexcitability of the photoreceptors in the optic nerve". Interesting eh?
Another interesting aside is that I got some "migraine glasses" with an FL-41 tint through a company called TheraSpeca that fit over my regular glasses, featured here:
Wearing these glasses gives me about a -60% to -80% reduction in symptoms when tested against an LED, but the issue will eventually occur (just takes longer). I don't wear them often enough though, because I'm a stubborn ass that would rather not see red everywhere =)
Hope my story will be interesting to at least someone!