Does PWM on Displays Hurt Your Eyes? - ByteScout
  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Does PWM on Displays Hurt Your Eyes?

Does PWM on Displays Hurt Your Eyes?

Our reliance on electronic gadgets such as computers, cell phones, and tablets has grown as digital technology has become more sophisticated. While these technologies have made our lives less complex, long-term use may lead to eye strain and pain. Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), a technology used to adjust the brightness of screens, is one element contributing to this. In this post, we will look at the impacts of PWM on eye health and offer suggestions for reducing their influence. This article is all about PWM on Displays Hurt Your Eyes. Let’s take a look at it in more detail.

  1. What is PWM?
  2. PWM’s Effect on Eye Health
  3. How to Reduce the Effects of PWM on Eye Health?
  4. Conclusion

Does PWM on Displays Hurt Your Eyes

What is PWM?

The method of pulse width modulation is used to adjust the brightness of screens. The display backlight is rapidly switched on and off in this approach, resulting in a sequence of pulses. The duration of each pulse, also known as the “pulse width,” controls how much light the display emits. The brightness of the display may be changed by modifying the pulse width.

PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) is a technology used in displays to alter the brightness of the screen. It may be found in LED-backlit displays such as laptops, monitors, and smartphones. However, there are worries over whether PWM can harm users’ eyes. In this essay, we will look at the effects of PWM on the eyes and if they are hazardous.

PWM’s Effect on Eye Health

Extended viewing of high-frequency PWM displays can induce blurred vision, headaches and migraines, and uneasiness. This is due to the fact that the quick flashing of the display backlight can impair the retina’s ability to react and force the muscles in the eyes to work more diligently, leading to exhaustion.

High-frequency PWM, according to research published in the Journal of Optometry, might influence the eye’s adaptation reaction which is accountable for shifting its attention on items at different ranges. The study discovered that viewing displays with high-frequency PWM caused a delayed adaptation reaction, resulting in blurred vision and irritation.

A further study published in the Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering discovered that high-frequency PWM on screens might cause migraines, exhaustion, and discomfort in the eyes. The degree of symptoms increased with the frequency of PWM, with higher frequencies producing more discomfort, according to the research.

The impact of PWM on the eyes is a contentious issue. Some feel that PWM can cause eye strain, migraines, and other eye-related issues, while others say it has no effect on eye health. The biggest problem is that the backlight’s quick flashing might induce eye strain and weariness.

When the display is dimmed using PWM, the lighting flickers at a high frequency, which might be uncomfortable for persons with sensitive eyes. This flashing can cause the pupils to quickly dilate and contract, resulting in eye fatigue and strain. Furthermore, the flicker might trigger headaches and migraines in certain people.

The influence of PWM on eye health, however, is dependent on a number of parameters, including the brightness level, frequency of PWM, and individual variances in eye sensitivity. Individuals with light sensitivity, for example, maybe more susceptible to eye strain and headaches when exposed to displays with high-frequency PWM.

PWM on screens may not often harm the eyes, although it might cause pain and eye fatigue in certain people. As a result, it is critical to utilize eye-friendly displays and take frequent pauses to avoid eye strain and tiredness.

How to Reduce the Effects of PWM on Eye Health?

There are numerous methods for reducing the influence of PWM on eye health:

  1. Lower the Brightness: Lowering the display’s brightness can lower the frequency of PWM and hence its influence on eye health. It is advised to set the display brightness to a level that is pleasant for the eyes.
  2. Use High-Refresh-Rate Screens: High-refresh-rate screens (those with refresh rates of 120Hz or 144Hz) have a larger number of images per second, which lessens the rate of PWM and its detrimental effect on the condition of the eyes.
  3. Flicker-Free Screens: Several displays employ Flicker-Free technological advances, which reduce PWM and produce an uninterrupted steady illumination. This technology alleviates strain on the eyes and discomfort and would be beneficial for people who invest a great deal of time in front of a screen.
  4. Take regular pauses and glance away from the display to help prevent eye strain and discomfort. It is advised that you take a 20-minute break and look away from the monitor for no less than 20 seconds.


The method of pulse width modulation is used to adjust the brightness of screens. While it is a useful approach, extended exposure to high-frequency PWM displays can induce eye strain, headaches, and discomfort. It is advisable to adjust the brightness of the monitor, utilize screens with high refresh rates or Flicker-Free technology, and take regular pauses to reduce its influence on eye health. Individuals can avoid eye strain and pain when using electronic gadgets by following these guidelines.


About the Author

ByteScout Team ByteScout Team of Writers ByteScout has a team of professional writers proficient in different technical topics. We select the best writers to cover interesting and trending topics for our readers. We love developers and we hope our articles help you learn about programming and programmers.