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-   -   Eye strain and head aches. (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/eye-strain-and-head-aches-428930/)

180 03-27-2006 06:32 AM

Eye strain and head aches.
 
When I use Linux I suffer from sore eyes and head aches, but if I use Windows I am fine. I would like to use Linux all the time, I don't need Windows anymore, but I can't because of this problem.
I have a dual boot system set up so I'm using the same hardware with both OS's
I use the same screen resolution and refresh rates in both Linux and Windows.
I have now reverted back to an old ATI Rage 128 graphics card because it is directly supported by xorgs own drivers and I still can't figure it out (I was using an NVIDIA FX5200).

If anyone has any ideas on what could be causing the problem I would love to hear them.

Thanks,
David

Slick666 03-27-2006 07:02 AM

I would consult your physician on this one. I've found that when I use Linux the headaches associated with using a computer tend to go away :p

Seriously though it seems as though you have an ergonomic problem on you hand. Why there is a diffrence between operating systems seems odd I think you need to look at the way your workstation is setup, how you work in that station, and the amount of time you spend at that work station.

One thing that might help those strained eyes is to switch from a CRT to an LCD. Or at least turn up the frequency on your CRT. By using a LCD you will be looking at a screen that does not flicker (even if you don't notice it a CRT does, It's how it fundamentally works). This typically reduces eye strain.

I would recomend consulting a physican, practicing good ergonomics, and possibly consulting you optomotrist (if you wear glasses).

Hope this helps

tangle 03-27-2006 07:07 AM

Quote:

When I use Linux I suffer from sore eyes and head aches, but if I use Windows I am fine. I would like to use Linux all the time, I don't need Windows anymore, but I can't because of this problem.
I have a dual boot system set up so I'm using the same hardware with both OS's
I use the same screen resolution and refresh rates in both Linux and Windows.
Use anti-aliase fonts for install true type fonts.

Quote:

I have now reverted back to an old ATI Rage 128 graphics card because it is directly supported by xorgs own drivers and I still can't figure it out (I was using an NVIDIA FX5200).
Both cards are have xorg drivers. Both cards (not 100% sure on the ATI 128) have linux drivers available from their maker. Both ATI and NVIDIA have easy to understand how to install docs.

Bruce Hill 03-27-2006 07:44 AM

To be certain about those refresh rates, in a terminal issue "xrandr" and check to be sure you're using what you suspect. And I'll second that vote for LCD monitors. That's all we use here, anymore, and with the hours I spend on the comps...

Crito 03-27-2006 08:06 AM

Probably the default system fonts and font rendering settings. Seems that's the first thing I have to tweak on every distro I install. For some reason "sub-pixel smoothing" setting, which is specifically for LCDs, looks terrible on mine, go figure. If you can use a DVI cable with your LCD that really helps sharpen image too.

timmeke 03-27-2006 08:56 AM

Head-aches from looking at computer screens are sometimes caused by bad lighting.
Make sure that:
-there is no light source reflecting of your screen
-there is sufficient ambient light around your screen. If your surrounding is dark, your eye pupils will become bigger to catch more incident light. If you then have a bright screen, your eye pupils constantly need to adjust when you look at/away from your screen, causing eye fatigue and hence head-aches .

You can also try playing a little with the contrast/brightness controls. To much difference in brightness between elements in your "field of view" can also cause eye fatigue for instance.

But then again, I'm no physician.

[Edit:] 3rd vote for LCD/TFT screens. CRT just isn't the same.

180 03-27-2006 09:33 AM

Thanks for all the info so far.
I should have added that I have a TFT screen (which is detected correctly in Linux), but I'm not using a DVI cable at the moment because I got sore eyes and head aches in Windows as well as Linux when I used one.
Does anyone know what the difference between a standard VGA cable and a DVI cabel are in terms of how they make the monitor work. I understand that a CRT monitor works by drawing scan lines across the screen from top to bottom. Does using a VGA cable make TFT screens work this way as well? And does using a DVI cable just causes the pixels that need changing to change rather than redrawing everything?

I'm begining to think my problem is a medical one, but I was hoping that I could just change something in xorg.conf that would make Linux use my graphics card and monitor the way Windows does.

Bruce Hill 03-27-2006 09:50 AM

I hate to post this again, but ...

To be certain about those refresh rates, in a terminal issue "xrandr"

You should see something like this:
Code:

bruce@silas:~$ xrandr
 SZ:    Pixels          Physical      Refresh
*0  1280 x 1024  ( 382mm x 302mm )  *75  60 
 1  1152 x 864    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75 
 2  1024 x 768    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  70  60 
 3    800 x 600    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  72  60  56 
 4    640 x 480    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  73  60 
 5  1280 x 960    ( 382mm x 302mm )  60 
 6    832 x 624    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75 
 7    640 x 512    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  60 
 8    576 x 432    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75 
 9    512 x 384    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  70  60 
 10  416 x 312    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75 
 11  400 x 300    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  72  60  56 
 12  320 x 240    ( 382mm x 302mm )  75  73  60 
Current rotation - normal
Current reflection - none
Rotations possible - normal
Reflections possible - none

That first line will tell you. Or rather, the one with the * in front.

180 03-27-2006 10:02 AM

Sorry Chinaman, here is the output that I get from the command "xrandr"

Code:

SZ:    Pixels          Physical      Refresh
 0  1280 x 1024  ( 342mm x 271mm )  75  60
*1  1024 x 768    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85  *75  70  60
 2    800 x 600    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85  75  72  65  60  56
 3    640 x 480    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85  75  73  60
 4  1280 x 960    ( 342mm x 271mm )  60
 5  1152 x 864    ( 342mm x 271mm )  75
 6  1152 x 768    ( 342mm x 271mm )  55
 7    832 x 624    ( 342mm x 271mm )  75
 8    700 x 525    ( 342mm x 271mm )  75  60
 9    640 x 512    ( 342mm x 271mm )  75  60
 10  720 x 400    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85
 11  640 x 400    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85
 12  576 x 432    ( 342mm x 271mm )  75
 13  640 x 350    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85
 14  576 x 384    ( 342mm x 271mm )  55
 15  512 x 384    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85  75  70  60
 16  416 x 312    ( 342mm x 271mm )  75
 17  400 x 300    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85  75  72  60  56
 18  320 x 240    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85  75  73  60
 19  360 x 200    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85
 20  320 x 200    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85
 21  320 x 175    ( 342mm x 271mm )  85
Current rotation - normal
Current reflection - none
Rotations possible - normal
Reflections possible - none

Thanks, I can know say for sure that I am using the same settings in Windows and Linux,
1024x768 @ 75Hz
:)

Bruce Hill 03-27-2006 10:08 AM

Move it up to 85 since that's available. Every bit means those pulses of light are faster, and your eyes blink that much less.

You've gotten some good adivce, especially from timmeke.

But do see an optometrist, or an opthamologist if you think you've got a physical problem. I have presbyopia myself.

Sorry, I forgot --

Welcome to LQ!


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