Archive for July 16th, 2009

Controlling Symptoms and 21st Century Technology


 TVs, computers and other technology have come a long way over the years and now there are some ideas on what technology to use to minimize the symptoms of vestibular disorders.

1) Replace an old-style cathode-ray tube (CRT) computer monitor–the large, heavy kind–with a flat-panel LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen. CRT monitors, because of the way the images are painted onto the screen, are more prone to flickering, particularly toward the edges of the screen. This increases eyestrain and difficulty in focusing.

2) Choose LCD displays over plasma. Plasma monitors may have a wider viewing angle and more vibrant colors, but their images tend not to be as sharp as those displayed by an LCD monitor or TV. Lack of sharpness increases focusing problems.

3) Don’t look for TVs and monitors with a high level of brightness. The amount of light produced by a screen is measured in candelas per square meter, abbreviated as NITS. Anyone suffering from inner-ear maladies should look for a brightness level equal to or less than 300 NITS.

4) Keep the resolution of the display at the setting recommended by the manufacturer. Changing it will degrade the images, increasing the likelihood of problems in individuals with vestibular problems.

5) Purchase an LCD HDTV or widescreen flat-panel LCD computer monitor–as wide as you can afford. These are more likely to be free of flicker, and offer the most flexibility in viewing.


  • When electronics shopping, take along protective devices like baseball caps to cut down on overhead lights, and ear plugs to blunt the noise level.
  • Use a shopping cart if available. The extra support may prevent attacks of vertigo.
  • Keep your monitor or television turned to the lowest tolerable brightness.
  • Use full-spectrum incandescent lights rather than fluorescents.
  • **Please note that this article states “The chance of contracting vestibular disorders may be worse in modern society, with so many people using computers or watching television.” You won’t “contract” a vestibular disorder from technology, the disorder is an inner ear disease…one has nothing to do with the other.