Macbook Pro


My dizziness and headaches has been hideous over the last few weeks, i put it down to hormones because it was the time of the month at the beginning of this bad spell. That has finished now and I am still crawling about almost due to being so bouncy and with headaches/migraines from hell.

The only thing that i can figure that is different is that my boyfriend got me this Macbook Pro for my 40th birthday (that i am typing on right now) I love this laptop so much but i do spend a lot of the day on it because I am a stay at home mum and i like to go on websites and social networks etc (plus this forum)

I know there have been threads about computers causing problems before on here but I guess I did not think it would affect me. Could i be reminded of any ways i can continue to use this lovely laptop without feeling like hell? I don’t wanna give it up :frowning:

I should try a ban for a few days to prove the theory too but it’s hard.

Why can’t i even have the pleasure of sitting quietly on my laptop, do I really have to give that up too for this stupid condition?!


I got tension headaches, eyestrain, and “off” foggy symptoms when I first switched to my macbook pro. I looked online a bit, and it seems like the backlighting is a factor. I just decrease the brightness, and also played around with the system preferences display color and found a color more soothing. It hardly bothers me anymore. I hope it gets better for you, too:)

I cannot use the new Mac computers. Instant visual vertigo hell. I’m afraid if you’re not adapting to it over time you might have to move on to something else.

I would like to know if there is any vestibular rehab for this but I haven’t heard of anyone getting over this. Severe cases improve with migraine drugs.


Were you already using a laptop regularly, or is this your first one?

If it’s the first time you’ve used a laptop a lot you should be aware of your posture using it - are you keeping it in your lap and bending your head down looking at it, are you slouched while using it for several hours? Have you been spending a lot more time using it than you used to spend on computers?

I find that posture and muscle tension really play a part in how bad the VM can be, so it’s definitely something to consider. These days we spend a lot of time with our heads bent over looking at phones, tablets and laptops, which puts a huge strain on many muscles in your head, face, neck, chest, shoulders and back.

Personally I’ve been using an iMac since 2010 and it doesn’t seem to affect my symptoms, but what does affect them is what kind of posture I’m in while using it and spending far too much time on it without taking a break.

I switched to Macs about a year ago and as a result, only had those when MAV hit. In the beginning, working on both the Macbook and the Imac was hell, but somehow my brain seems to have adjusted to them (or the medication works), and I can work just fine on both as before. I am also using computer glasses with a pinkish ‘tint’ to them, they’re good. Also an app like f.lux helps as it makes the screen color warmer and easier to the eyes. :slight_smile:

I was using a PC laptop before but did not notice the symptoms as bad with that although prolonged periods on that did not help.
I also use a Blackberry phone and i lie down using it in bed, maybe the little screen is not helping either.

I wish i knew the answers, have reduced the mac and the Blackberry use today and so far i feel not too bad but do have a very dull headache.

Thanks for the replies.

I would be willing to put $1,000 down that the problem is PWM.

Any LED backlit screen that uses PWM (pulse-width-modulation) to dim the screen is going to be hell on anyone who suffers from migraines. I don’t know for a fact that the MacBook Pros use PWM, but a majority of laptops seem to do this. Lowering your brightness actually makes things WORSE not better. Usually 100% brightness is the only setting where the screen ISN’T strobing like a migraine-induction box.

Your best bet for using the machine is probably to hook it up to an external monitor that doesn’t use PWM to control brightness. Of course, that means you really no longer have a laptop, which sucks. You could also try using it at 100% brightness, but that will probably fry your eyes out, and it isn’t guaranteed to not flicker at that setting, though I find most screens do not.

I had horrible trouble with computer screens (even while on Topamax) until I got rid of all PWM screens from my life, (both computer and TV). I used to get sick in 30 minutes. Now I can use them for 10+ hours with no problems. Admittedly I am still on the Topamax, which did help quite a bit even with the PWM screens, but I am going to attempt to come off next month. We will see how that goes.

Thanks for all your advise, I have not been quite so dizzy in the last two days despite using the mac so I expect I just had a blip in the MAV. Still not back to my ‘normal’ level of crap yet but seem to be getting there. Am definitely going to try to reduce my time on screens and computers though.

I think it’s simply the way text and graphics are displayed and not necessarily a property of the display.

I’ve had a screen where I had two different results with two different video cards. One was totally fine and the other made me so sick it was insane. The same iPhone with iOS 6 (no symptoms) but with iOS 7 loaded caused intense visual vertigo and nausea.

FWIW, I’ve found that whatever I use, it will take some getting used to, but I will eventually adapt to it.

I’ve never used a modern Mac PC, and I refuse to use any smartphones (just another thing to manage) so I can’t speak for those. But I would agree with Scott that it’s how the things are displayed just as much as the properties of the display that is affecting how you feel. Try playing with the settings or using an external monitor to see if it helps.

At work, we are forced to use el cheapo Dell laptops whose built-in monitor screens are not the best. Mine has the distinct non-fixable motherboard issue of turning the monitor to FULL BRIGHT whenever I unlock the PC, take it out of screen saver, etc. I have a short cut to the nVidia settings right on my task bar as a result. I can’t stand how it looks at full bright. I also use a split desktop setup with an external monitor, and I use the external monitor as my “main” one since it’s easier on the eyes.

At home, I use an HD Hannspree monitor without issues. For me personally, keeping the brightness down and contrast up seems to help more, but that’s just what works for me - set it for what’s best for **you **and go for it.

Not sure if this helps, just my 2 cents.