Bookworms – Is it Better to Choose Print or Digital Reading Material

Woman in glasses reading book

Bookworms: Is it Better to Choose Print or Digital Reading Material

With so much talk about digital eye strain, many people are looking for ways to minimize the time that they spend looking at a screen. If you love to read, then you need to consider the strain that it is putting on your eyes when you choose to look at a screen.

Screen Reading Could be Hurting Your Eyes

The display on cell phones, computer screens, and tablets show the images in a different format compared to printed text or e-readers. These screens use small pixels to show the colors and images that are displayed on the screen. When your eyes are focusing on images with small pixels, it means that the eyes need to work a little harder compared to reading something on paper.

Technology is always improving, helping to reduce the risk of eye strain. At the same time, many people are spending an increasing amount of time in front of a screen. It has been found that reading while looking at a screen decreases your blinking frequency, which in turn dries out the eyes. Also, the glare on the screen can make the eyes tired at the end of the day.

Even though e-readers use a different type of print to mimic ink on a page, these devices can still cause eye strain. Experiment with your reading time to see how your eyes tire with the different formats. Many people find that it is more comfortable to look at printed paper.

Adjust Lighting in the Room

You also need to consider the light levels in the room. When you are sitting in poor light and looking at a bright screen, the glare can cause the eyes to fatigue quickly. At the same time, reading a book in a poorly lit room can make it hard for the eyes to focus on the text which also leads to eye fatigue.

Whenever you read, make sure to choose an area with good lighting and comfortable ergonomics. Consider how comfortable you are so you can make adjustments if needed to reduce the risk of injury or pain.

Follow the 20/20/20 Habit

There is an easy rule to follow to reduce the chances of digital eye strain. Even if you aren’t experiencing Computer Vision Syndrome, you should be proactive to protect your eyesight. The 20/20/20 habit is a good place the start.

When you are reading or looking at a screen, you need to take built-in breaks every 20 minutes. During this break, focus your eyes on something that is a least 20 feet away from where you are sitting. Hold that gaze for at least 20 seconds before you look back at the screen again.

Talk to an Eye Doctor About Digital Eye Strain

If you think that you are suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome, then you need to talk to an optometrist for personalized recommendations. You might try wearing computer glasses when you are sitting in front of a screen. Or, it might be time to start using reading glasses.

Village Eyecare is here to help with anything that you need! Call to schedule an exam with the leading optometry team in Chicago.