You could save lives.



  • Thank you so much for making this product. Can I make a small recommendation?

    A little over two months ago, I had a concussion. If you've never had a concussion, there's nothing I can say that can describe what it's like. You aren't "you", you can't think right, you get confused, you mix up words, you slur, you stumble, you get headaches, you can't sleep....

    One of the things that is very bad for a concussion is looking at screens. I code for a living. I look at screens about 14 hours out of the day. I basically couldn't work for the first month and the second month was also pretty iffy.

    Helping people with concussions might sound like a niche market, but I actually know multiple people who've had concussions as bad as mine, one of them a top university prof. They say maybe 20% of teens have ever had one -- personally, I just think the teens don't know what they're talking about, maybe I would have said I had one when I was a teen, too, but I didn't until recently. The annual incidence rate is otherwise estimated at 0.6%.

    That's only small if you don't consider how devastating it is. I'm lucky to have mostly recovered (I think. Maybe). A concussion that persisted would be worse than death.

    What I'm trying to say is: there's a real opportunity to make a big difference in people's lives, beyond helping with circadian rhythms. It's so unfortunate I only discovered f.lux now because I probably could have recovered in half the time. I lost so much of my life to this. I really feel like I've been robbed, because I can never get that time in a haze back, nor the income I would have earned, and it's probably set me on a slightly worse trajectory for life. And there are people who continue to have problems for years, because they need the computer to work and so never fully have time to heal.

    Just a suggestion. More than two months out, I still only get about 5 hours of sleep a night due to the concussion, but it's gotten a lot better. I'm really optimistic this can help me get my life back. To me, it's not about circadian rhythms or having a marginally healthier life (though that's important, too, especially since so many people can benefit that way) -- to me it's about basic livelihood, being able to function, live without a massive headache, etc.

    Like I say, people with a concussion are supposed to avoid screens, so it's hard for them to get information. I'm not sure what the solution is -- maybe hearing about this use case before they need it. There are some concussion online forums (e.g. subreddit) that people go to in the short period each day they can stand to look at a screen -- maybe it's worth posting about this there.

    Anyway, heartfelt thanks for such good work. I'm hoping maybe this month I can return to normal productivity and be myself again.


  • f.lux team

    Sorry to hear about the concussion. If you'd like to post any observations about photophobia here, we'd be interested to hear more about what ranges/settings seem to help.

    Here are some questions if you'd be willing to share your experiences:

    1. Does any level of dimming (built-in or using f.lux alt-pgdn) make things easier?
    2. What color settings have you found that help?
    3. Do you know if your monitor uses PWM dimming or not?
    4. Are things worse in the morning or worse at night?


  • Thanks! Here are my responses - sorry for the delay.

    1. Dimming definitely helps in my experience.
    2. I only relatively recently started using f.lux so I don't know I've 100% optimized it, but I keep it at almost sunset level the whole day and it seems to help.
    3. Not sure - I use a Macbook Pro if that helps.
    4. Maybe other people can speak to their experiences (I bet you could find some on the Reddit forum if not here) but morning vs. night isn't really the main difference. The big thing is just: have I overdone it earlier in the day (or even the day before)? Earlier on, when things were worse, my day could be shot after a few hours, so that would make it seem like evenings are worse but they'd only be worse because of the opportunity to screw things up in the morning. Overnight, I partially "reset", but not completely. So anytime after the first few hours of the day is on average worse, but mornings are probably more important all else equal.

    An analogy that might help (though it's not exact) is having a headache. You don't want bright lights when you have a headache. Also, at least during the first few days you have problems with filtering light out - everything has glare. I first realized I had a problem when I looked at my e-mail in the morning, sitting at the same distance from my computer as usual, and couldn't read it (due to glare). (Similarly, years ago I had Lasik -- initially I had some small amount of halos/starbursts around streetlights at night, but that went away in a few days as my brain learned to tune it out. After my concussion, I got those halos/starbursts back with a vengeance, as if my brain forgot how to process that. I suspect people also have adapted to using computers over time -- if you went from 0 computer usage ever to 10 hours a day, you might also have a problem until adjusting.)

    Thanks again for your good work, and for the questions!