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For a variety of reasons, many people suffer from photophobia, or light sensitivity.

Photophobia is a name for hyper-sensitivity to light, and those who suffer from it will experience discomfort when they are exposed to sunlight, fluorescent light, and LED lights. Photophobic individuals will need to squint or close their eyes when exposed to these light sources. Photophobic individuals often wear dimming glasses, and may experience frequent headaches.

Light-sensitive people sometimes are bothered only by bright light. In extreme cases, almost any light can be irritating.

What Causes Photophobia?

Photophobia a name for a group of symptoms that are caused by a variety of conditions, including traumatic brain injury, infection, or inflammation.  Light sensitivity also can be a symptom of underlying diseases that don't directly affect the eyes, such as virus-caused illnesses or migraine headaches.

People with a lighter eye color also may experience more light sensitivity in environments such as bright sunlight, because darker-colored eyes contain more pigment to protect against harsh lighting.

Some other common causes of photophobia include corneal abrasion, uveitis or a central nervous system disorder such as meningitis. Light sensitivity also is associated with a detached retina, contact lens irritations, sunburn and refractive surgery.

Computer and Workplace Solutions for Photophobia

E-Ink Technology

The best display technology for those suffering from photophobia who want to use a computer is “E-Ink” technology. This technology creates words and images with liquid so that there is minimal light that will flicker and irritate the eyes of photophobic persons.

How Does E-Ink Work?

In displays that use E-Ink technology, tiny microcapsules are suspended in a liquid that is encased within a film layer.  The microcapsules, which are roughly the width of a human hair, contain positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles.

If you’ve seen an Amazon Kindle device you may have noticed that while it may not be “bright,” it is still quite clear and readable. The Amazon Kindle uses E-Ink technology for the comfort of its users' eyes - so that they would be able to read for a long time with little eye strain.

Dasung E-Ink “Paperlike” Monitors

The "gold standard" in E-Ink Monitors are the Dasung "Paperlike" Monitors. (pictured, right). These monitors are very 'low-strain', and the lack of flickering and blue light are a dream come true for sufferers of  photophobia.

New 25.5" Monitor Shipping in August 2021

Up until now, there's only been a 13.5-inch available but recently Dasung announced that a 25.5-inch monitor will ship in August.

Asus Eye Care Monitors

Another popular alternative to 'regular' monitors are the Asus Eye Care Monitors.  Unlike the Dasung monitors, these still use the more traditional components (lighting) to illuminate the screen. But, this line from Asus have several enhancements to reduce eye strain:

Get in Touch with an Ergonomics and Assistive Technology Specialist

Light-sensitive users need support and to learn how to benefit from the variety of technology available.  The skilled training that our specialists provide greatly enhance the effectiveness of these aids, and we can make sure you are aware of the world of other assistive technology devices and software that are available to you.

When you contact Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology, our specialists will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. It is important to our caring consultants that you really get the maximum benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology.  For that reason, we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you. We help people of all ages who have experienced an injury or other disability.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830


Individuals who suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) will have a unique set of symptoms due to a variety of factors like:

However, impairments in motor functioning, language processing, and cognitive status are quite common for traumatic brain injury survivors.

In many cases, persons with TBI will find themselves unable to perform some of the everyday cognitive functions they used to. Our firm is frequently called upon to provide solutions for those who are struggling with physical or cognitive issues related to a brain injury.

Our solutions are known as 'assistive technology' and Dragon dictation software is very helpful for many of our  clients.

Using Dragon Software to Overcome Movement Difficulties

Motor dysfunction is a common long-term symptom of TBI that causes predictable difficulties in computing, learning, and thus, academic (and professional) progress.  Children and adults with motor dysfunction have benefitted greatly from Dragon's speech-recognition software.

Dragon software allows you to use verbal commands to overcome your movement difficulties. Dragon allows users to:

The results of many studies indicates that students and adults with TBI benefit greatly from Dragon's speech to text technology. There was a research paper written about this by Melissa Ann Noakes of Duquesne University.

One great thing about Dragon is that it is customizable for the person's specific voice and needs. When properly installed and optimized by a professional, the software becomes a partner that helps you compute, read, produce work and surf the web.

The typical process for installing Dragon is that one of our technicians will provide an assessment of your situation and physical capabilities, then propose a solution that includes software and hardware (usually, a high quality microphone - but there are many other assistive tools to help people with movement difficulties).

Then, our technician will install and train you on how to get the most out of the software. They will walk you through the process of opening programs, dictating words, making corrections, and sending your creations.

Having Text Read to You by a Screen Reader

Screen reader software like JAWS can also be helpful by reading out out loud what is on your screen. This is great for those with impaired

vision (as we've written about here), but it's also great for people with TBI, as it can reduce the cognitive load of reading and allows them to hear the words.  This software is also great for those with learning disabilities like dyslexia.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

There are services that help your computer 'read' what is contained in documents (like .pdfs) that web browsers and word processing programs can't 'parse.'  A couple examples are SimpleOCR and AbbyFineReader PDF.  This technology is often referred to as "Optical Character Recognition" or OCR.

Microsoft Office Lens Helps You "Read" PDFs and Whiteboards

The Microsoft app called "Lens" facilitates taking pictures of documents and whiteboards, and opening them in your computer. It helps you read and store information from documents like pdfs as well. This app is popular with our team because it's free and easy to use.

CO:Writer Software Helps You Write with Predictive Text

Using a speech recognition system is great, and so is having text read to you. But there are even tools to help you "find the next word you need", to make writing as easy as possible.  CO:Writer is just such a product.  Developed by Don Johnston Human Learning Tools, CO:Writer installs  on your computer or mobile device and uses its Neuron Predictive Engine to suggest the next word or phrase that you are looking for.

This software is great for those recovering from a traumatic brain injury, as it reduces the cognitive load of having to search for just the right word. This software is great for overcoming bad grammar and spelling as well.

Get in Touch with a Specialist to Set Up Dragon and Other Programs

Dragon dictation software and all of these other solutions will work wonders for a TBI recovering person, but it is not recommended that you set them up yourself. A Dragon Specialist can check your hardware to make sure it has adequate resources to support Dragon and then install the software correctly.

Then, they will help you configure your speech devices and most importantly, provide some basic training to get you up to speed with the various commands. Once installed, a Dragon specialist can show you how to "teach" Dragon how to interpret your unique voice more accurately.  The software can be customized to perform basic operations on your computer, and more quickly and easily recognize your frequently used terms, names, and phrases (and emails etc.).

Doug Lear is an Assistive Technology Specialist on our team who specializes in implementing Dragon software for professionals and students in all fields. Doug has a special affinity for helping people with Dragon after he used it himself to overcome a work-related injury.  Read more about Doug and the other members of our team on our staff 'bios' page.

To speak with one of our team members, contact us by calling the number above or filling out a form to the right.   Our team assists with ergonomics and assistive technology of all kinds to improve people's lives and we look forward to improving yours.


At Northwest Ergonomics & Assistive Technology, we stay on top of the technology that allows those with injuries and disabilities to compute and create. Our specialists are trained to assess the needs of our clients and then properly install and educate them how to take advantage of the latest and greatest technology available. Here are a few devices that are helping our clients become productive and happy.

Eye Tracker - The PCEye from Tobii Dynavox

The PCEye from Tobii Dynavox gives individuals with physical disabilities a flexible way to use a computer with their eyes. PCEye provides an intuitive way to access and navigate the Windows operating environment with eye gaze. The PCEye can enhance the use of a dedicated communication device by fitting all kinds of devices, including tablets, laptops, and computers. PCEye comes allows users to use their eyes to:

The PCEye is frequently combined with other software and hardware to help our clients compute and communicate. Find out more information from the Tobii Dynavox site here.

Motion Controlled "Hands-Free" Tracker Pro 2 Head Mouse from AbleNet

The TrackerPro 2 Head Mouse provides reliable 'hands-free' mouse control for individuals who are unable to use a traditional computer mouse. By installing the Tracker Pro 2 signal-receptor (pictured), an individual can then wear the adhesive reflective dot on a hat, glasses, their forehead, or anywhere else, and control the mouse with slight movements. The software will create a keyboard on screen that can easily be operated using the reflective dot as well.

TrackerPro 2 Head Mouse works with Windows, Mac, and Android operating systems.

Find out more information from the AbleNet site here.

Motion Controlled "Hands Free" Quha Zono Mouse

Some people have injuries or disabilities that make it difficult for them to grasp and operator traditional mouse. Quha Zono is a wireless gyroscopic mouse designed for these individuals with special needs.  It can be placed on the head (or anywhere else) to control a mouse cursor on a computer. The Quha Zono works on Windows, Mac, & Android devices.

There is also an additional mouthpiece that can be attached to allows the user to control the mouse click by blowing a puff of air (pictured).

Find out more information from the GRASP Assistive Technology site here.

Get in Touch with an Expert at Northwest Ergonomics & Assistive Technology

Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology is here to help with your assistive technology needs. Our trained  experts will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. We help people of all ages who have experienced an injury or other disability.

It is important to our caring specialists that you really get the benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology. For that reason we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830