I've been lurking around this forum for the last year or so. My issues started back in 2016 when I started having issues being able to focus on monitors in general. From the low res, crap monitors at my office that were running windows 7, to my higher quality monitors at home that were using windows 10 and Ubuntu. No matter what kind of screen or OS, I found myself getting headaches by the end of the day. For the 1st time ever, I scheduled an eye appointment and walked away with yellow lensed, blue light blocking glasses (+.25/+.5) that did little to help the issue. Fortunately, I was able to work remote around that time and I decided to see if getting a better monitor (Asus MG24u) would help - it did.
Over the next few years, I just assumed I had an issue with PWM and really made it a point to only use my monitor (easy to do when working from home), or limit my exposures to lower-end monitors as much as possible. This worked out rather well until a little over a year ago, when I decided to change jobs. Forgetting how bad my issue was, and that might have gotten worse over the years, I decided to just power through the pain in that 1st week. That was a massive mistake. Even after buying a new monitor (BenQ PD2700) that was super easy on my eyes, and using it at work starting the very next week, my eyes were screwed up for the next few months. Constant pain when looking up, my right eye would fatigue a few hours into the work day, and the muscle running from left temple to the right corner of my left eye was always tense. That last part was just odd - if I rubbed that area, I could feel a small section at the top of my head tingle in the strangest way. Anyways, I ended up going to a new optometrist and once again got a prescriptions for basic reading glasses (-.25/-.5) with blue light filtering. Again, these new glasses really didn't help, but after a few months I mostly recovered from that week of stupidity, and for the most part would end most work days with a bit of eye strain and feeling way more fatigued that I should.
Fast forward to March of this year. I had already been working remote due as Covid was starting to become more of an issue. At this point, I noticed I had a lot less eye (and mental) fatigue at the end of the day - so obviously something at work was causing some strain, I assumed it was from being surround by crappy monitors with PWM. It was great, I was feeling amazing, until one weekend I decided to move my computer, resulting in me using a different cable (from HDMI to DisplayPort). At 1st I could tell somethimg was not right….I just wasn't sure what. After a weekend of gaming, my right eye was completely shot and the searing pain in my left eye (when looking up) returned. This freaked me out. It was one thing to be sensitive the PWM, but to have pain with this monitor had me thinking that I was completely screwed when it came to any screen. After trying many different configuration, I finally learned that going back to hdmi and setting RGB to limited caused the issue to stop.
That whole situation sent me into an obsessive frenzy trying to find any sort of relief or fix for this issue. I found myself reading through this entire forum for anything that might have even slightly helped others in the past. I'll skip the details of everything that I tried, but I finally found a bit of relief when it came to using botox. It definitely did not totally fix the problem, but it at least kept the tense muscle above my eye at from getting really bad. A unique side effect was that when I'd start having issues from LED strain, I could feel other muscles in my forehead getting pulled differently now that a few other muscles/areas were paralyzed. In a strange way, it almost felt like my the skin on my forehead would start to fall asleep (for lack of a better term) and almost acted as an indicator that something was triggering my eyes, and that I needed to stop doing whatever I was currently doing or else I was going to start getting some eye pains again.
After working with a neural ophthalmologist and passing every sort of eye exam, he asked of any of previous glasses every accounted for the small astigmatism I had in my right eye. Apparently the vast majority have it to some extremely mild degree and a lot of times it's not included in prescription as it really should not make any sort of a difference. Well, he made sure to add it this time. I'm not going to lie, I get the feeling if I did not have my weird forehead indicator from the botox, I would assumed they were not working. But after a few hour of wearing them, I realized I was not getting that sensation at all. Not being used to wearing glasses, after taking them off for a few hours, I could feel it return. Some of my eye pain was still present (like I said, botox didn't completely solve that) but given that the indicator wasn't going off, I decided to stick with the glass for a few more days. It's now been 10 days since getting the glasses and I've been 6 days without the pain I've become used to. Every now and then I can feel indicator flair up (I still have 2 months or so before the botox wears off) and some eye pain - in which I notice the my glasses are low enough for the LED light above my workstation to be hitting a pretty large area of my bare eye. But it subsides rather quickly upon readjusting my glasses.
I still have yet to really push things just yet. After the last few months, I want to give my eyes (and the surrounding muscles) time to recover. I really do want to see how well I do when it comes to deal with dithering (if that is the issue) and attempt to use my current monitor with full RGB while using the DisplayPort cable; but I'm going to wait a few weeks. That being said, I have helped a few coworkers, at their works stations, for a longer period of time (like all of an extra 5-10 minutes) than I usually would, and so far so good. I will say, I am still sensitive the LED's. Since using these glasses now, while they are not giving me headaches or strain, there is something about them that still feels uncomfortable (especially from cars and overhead lights), like they seem like they are brighter or more eye catching than ever. It's interesting, prior to getting these glasses, I feel like I was less sensitive to light overall. My office environment is rather dark, and I could go for a walking break on a bright Florida afternoon, on a very lightly colored walk way, and it still felt good on my eyes. With each day since using these glasses, I find myself thinking that it is entirely too bright out and I really need sunglasses.
I have an appointment in 2 weeks with an optometrist from the same doctor's office that helped me recently. I'm going to do another exam to make sure I have the correct prescription for astigmatism correction, but without the slight magnification for being farsighted. I can only hope I get the same result so brake lights are a little less painful over time. I'll make sure to update this thread with those results when the times comes, but I'll likely not even have those until a month from now.
I hope this is able to help others that have had similar issues. After reading through this forum, it's safe to say a lot of us suffer from same problem but very different causes, so I know this won't be a cure for most people. But I do want to thank every member of this community. Not feeling alone as I've struggled my way through all of this was by far the most important thing that helped me through this process. This post was already way longer than expected, so I left A LOT of stuff out, but I wanted to make sure I hit on the main items that others might be going through. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any questions (other stuff I tried, symptoms, etc.). It may take me a day or so to respond, but I will always make it a point to do so.