As always, technology is advancing faster than research. As each new device hits the market, there is a research group out there testing the effect on users. With e-reader and tablet sales growing substantially in the past couple of years, researchers have caught up and warn users about the risks. Though the screens are brighter and batteries are designed for long term use, e-reader and tablet use is contributing to eye strain that may have long term effects on your vision.
Hazards of Long Term Use:
They always say you can never have too much of a good thing. This, of course, is wrong when your health or vision is affected. E-readers and tablets are being used by millions to read their favorite books and documents, or getting things done. Although they are a fantastic tool for completing tasks no matter where you are, they come with risk.
As you use these devices your eyes strain to read the screen. The same way looking at the TV or computer screen can result in blurry vision, tablets and e-readers can do the same. The difference between computers and e-readers and tablets is the amount of use. With the portability of these devices, many users are spending more time on tablets and e-readers than they ever have on a computer.
Our site is taught to read 3D images from birth. As we grow, our vision teaches our brains how to see the world. With e-readers and tablets being 2D images, this is causing your eyes to strain as you look at them. In small doses, this will not have any long term effects on your vision. However, as most e-reader owners will read chapters of e-books continuously, they are getting larger doses and causing permanent damage to their sight.
This causes “computer vision”, a condition of blurry vision that is caused by overuse of 2D digital screens. As computer use grew in the past, cases of computer vision increased. Now with tablets and e-readers, it is on the rise again. Long term use of these devices is resulting in more users experience headaches, blurry vision, and eventually permanent nearsightedness.
Combatting Eye Strain:
There are ways to reduce the damage these screens cause on your eyes and still be able to enjoy them. The first way is to take a break often. Our eyes need to focus on 3D objects every 15-20 minutes in order to reduce the strain on our eyes. Take 15 seconds to focus on an object further in the distance before returning to the screen. This will rest your eyes and many users feel a difference immediately.
Glossy screens also cause damage. If you find your eyes straining to look past the reflective screen, it may cause long term damage. There are attachments available for both tablets and e-readers that reduce reflections and eye strain. These glare shields will help your eyes strain less to see what you are reading.
Computer vision affects millions of tech lovers. In many cases, users fail to notice the damage in vision until it is too late. Blurry vision, headaches, red, itchy, and achy eyes are just a few of the temporary symptoms of eye strain. If you are feeling the effects of eye strain, take a small break from your e-reader or tablet and let your eyes rest. The short term break is far better than the long term nearsightedness caused by your damaged eyes.