The switch from books to e-readers has been controversial.
In the span of a few short years, books have slowly been pushed aside in favour of tablets and e-readers like Kindles and iPads. One of the main reasons brought up by book purists against e-readers is the fact that it can have a negative impact on your eyesight.
Is reading on a Kindle bad for your eyes?
Reading on a Kindle isn’t bad for your eyes, because of high resolution and blue-light filter. However, it is recommended to do take breaks every 30 minutes for at least 5 minutes to relax your eyes.
Are Kindles bad for eyes?
The good news is that it certainly depends on the type of e-reader you might have.
Different models have different screens, and this plays a huge part in how it affects our eyesight and health overall. The differences are between e-ink readers and LCD screen readers. E-ink or electronic ink readers like the Kindle Paperwhite mimic paper on its display screen.
This model does not use backlight and has a lower brightness overall, which means that the strain is not as harsh on your eyes as any e-readers with LCD screens.
The Kindle Fire HD is an example of an e-reader with an LCD screen, which means that prolonged usage of the bright screen can tire out your eyes even further. LCD screens tend to emit more blue light and can trigger higher visual fatigue compared to e-ink readers during prolonged usage.
While blue light is not inherently harmful, it can certainly disturb your health by disrupting sleep patterns and the overall quality of sleep.
However, newer LCD screens on the market contribute to even fewer eyesight problems because they feature screens with higher pixel densities. Higher resolutions help us see finer details much easier, which means less strain on our eyes as we spend time staring at a screen.
Is reading on your Kindle before bed a good idea?
Using your Kindle is not always a good idea when your goal is to sleep. In fact, using technology before you try to fall asleep is not recommended in general because of the light that is emitted from it.
E-readers, particularly those that are back-lit like the Kindle Fire, can have negative effects on your health, especially when used directly before bed.
Light exposure from these screens as you are about to nod off can negatively impact your sleep quality and even lead to you losing sleep because LED lightening can disrupt the body clock or circadian rhythm.
The blue light that is emitted from screens like tablets and smartphones can slow the production of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies that is responsible for putting us to sleep.
So, the next time you are thinking about pulling out your smartphone or tablet to read your book, try to avoid doing so right before bed. While reading is a great way to wind down, perhaps invest in an e-ink reader or traditional paper books instead.
Is using a Kindle the same as reading a paper book?
While tablets and e-readers try their hardest to mimic the feel of reading a book, many people would agree that the experience is simply not the same.
Going digital means the added bonus of convenience for any book you desire. It’s a great option for travelers and commuters.
However, the Kindle still differs vastly from reading old-fashioned paper books.
Paper books offer an element of nostalgia to them that e-readers simply cannot recreate. Many people absolutely love the sensory experience of a paper book; the smell, feel and look of a book contributes to a nostalgia factor that they cannot let go of.
This continues to encourage people to purchase more paper books. Additionally, paper books are easily leant out and borrowed to other people. E-books do not share the same ability to be shared like a paper book might.
With paper books, sentimentality is easily attached to them, which is why many people continue to prefer this method over digital methods of reading.
Paper books also do not promote as much eye strain as screens do. Fatigue has been associated with electronic devices and LCD screens have been proven to interfere with sleep quality.
Paper books also offer a different experience because of the tangibility of their design. Being able to hold their books is something that many people prefer to do.
Do you read on your phone sometimes? You want to read that…
- Prolonged screen time has a negative impact on your eyesight and can lead to tiredness, itching, or burning of the eyes.
- Screens emit blue light which sends a signal to your brain that it is daytime. This can confuse your body clock and negatively impact your ability to sleep at nighttime.
- eBooks are harder to read in the sunlight because of the glare from the screen. While they are portable and can be taken anywhere, the environment still has an effect on whether you can read or not.
- In order to access your books, you will always require a device. Most people have access to a mobile device which does not make this a problem, but this also means that your device always has to be charged before you can access your eBooks.
- Reading on your phones also means that you are exposed to more distractions. With phone calls, text messages, and emails all programmed into your phone, not to mention social media notifications, taking the time to read might be wasted if you are constantly being distracted by the other apps on your mobile device.
- Reading from paper books also helps with retaining information. For students, it might be more beneficial to choose paper textbooks over e-books. This might be a more helpful option when it comes to studying for tests and exams.