Updated: Feb 3, 2020
All of the key triggers to visual stress are found in computer screens – the screen itself is a light, the image flickers as it refreshes, the text and other information on the screen is a pattern, the images are colour, and the scrolling, mousing and ads are movement. This all adds up to fatigue, headache, eye strain and discomfort.
While the reduction of screen time is a standard part of post-concussion rehabilitation, it is also something that must be considered for individuals with migraines, learning difficulties and other neurological conditions where visual sensory processing is a problem. We spend so much time on screens these days that any way to reduce the exposure to these triggers needs to be considered.
Recent research published in the Journal of Neurotrauma investigated the use of non-LCD screens as a tool to help individuals with persistent post-concussion symptoms manage screen usage. These screens use eInk technology, the same used in Kobo and Kindle eReaders. They have 16 shades of grey rather than colours, are not backlit so do not expose the eyes to light (blue or otherwise) and do not have a high refresh rate – so do not constantly flicker.
The study found that there is a clinical use for these eInk devices in the management of photosensitivity and computer screen intolerance in patients experiencing persistent post-concussion symptoms. It also identified that the device has the potential to facilitate return to work and school plans, and ultimately return to function in concussed individuals.
Since individuals with migraine and other visual sensory processing difficulties often report screen intolerance, the paper recommends further study into the application of the device for these conditions as well. We know from experience with our clients that the eInk device can also be very useful for improving screen time for these individuals.
Opticalm carries an excellent eInk device called the BOOX. It works not only as a computer monitor but also as an e-reader and a fully functioning tablet. Click here to go to our store.
Fortunately, because this is a recognized workplace accommodation, disability and MVA insurance adjusters may cover the cost of the device as a rehabilitation tool.
Contact us for more information.