In the past, reading was hampered by insufficient or inconsistent light. Historically, you were able to read until the sun went down, then had to stop or start reading by a flickering candle. Electric light improved our ability to read anytime, but even this can offer uneven lighting, and cause similar difficulties. Enter the e-reader. iPads, Kindles, phones, and other tablets and computers have revolutionized reading. Perfectly consistent light, supplied from the actual book itself? Now that’s a reader’s dream!
If the story were only good, we would stop there and call it a day. Unfortunately, there’s more to tell. It turns out that all reading can harm your eyes, and e-reading might make the problem worse. As you probably know, computer vision syndrome is caused by prolonged use of digital screens. Adding a digital screen to reading, which already causes tired eyes, can simply increase the issues.
The glare from your screen causes tired eyes. If you’ve had tired eyes, you probably already know exactly what we mean. Some of the symptoms of tired eyes include
If after staring at a screen for an extended period you experience any or all of these symptoms, you likely have tired eyes. On top of this, when we look at screens we tend to blink less. That means the symptoms compound and increase the longer we use the device.
These same symptoms can follow when reading from a book in external light. Now just imagine reading for an extended period using an electronic device. Not only do you suffer all of the symptoms of both, but the nature of reading decreases blinking as well. By the time you finish an hour or more of reading on an e-reader or other electronic device, say hello to digital eye strain.
Tips for Comfortable Reading
If you consider yourself a reader, then you likely won’t give up your Kindle anytime soon. In fact, most people end up reading for some amount of time from digital devices every day. Whether it be checking the news on your iPad, or working at your computer. If you read from a digital device and want to avoid the pitfalls of tired eyes, try the following tips.
- Find Your Light: E-readers enable us to read no matter what the lighting around us looks like. Decreasing the amount of light emitted decreases the risk of eye strain or tired eyes. WIth many e-readers, they use screens that mimic paper. Bringing down the brightness when near an external light source is advisable. When reading in the dark, be aware of the brightness level. The higher the brightness, the worse the eye problems.
- Increase Text Size: When you need to strain your eyes to read the page, you increase the risk of uncomfortable symptoms. Increase the text size on your device to a comfortable level. The device allows you to choose how big the text is, don’t add needless difficulty to your reading.
- Take Breaks: As with any potentially eye-straining digital activity, you should take regular breaks from e-reading. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: spend 20 consecutive seconds every 20 minutes on your device looking at something at least 20 feet away. This resets your eyes, and allow them a break from the barrage of blue light, flickering LEDs, and glare.
One Final Solution
If you feel the symptoms of tired eyes associated with an e-reader or other digital device, consider GUNNAR. Our patented lens technology protects your eyes from the harmful blue light and glare that contribute to eye strain. Get everyday comfort by picking the lenses that are right for you today.