Eye strain/damage

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Captain Magic, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Captain Magic macrumors member

    Captain Magic

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #1
    Going paperless to read books is quite an attractive idea to me and was wondering about the iPad's screen, some say that the screen is not good for reading for longer periods and that you should get an e-ink reader instead because it's like paper and will not damage your eyes...

    Eye damage is a big concern, and I'd really appreciate your advice on the iPad's screen.
     
  2. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #2
    I've had cataract surgery and my eyeballs are full of floating thingies, but I use it for book reading with no problems whatsoever. I just finished reading "**** My Father Says."
     
  3. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #3
    Well, first of all, it's not like the iPad is the first instance of text being displayed on a backlit LED display. If you use a computer for work or leisure, you're already reading on an "iPad-like" display. If you play video games with any frequency then you're already being exposed to such displays for extended periods.

    I've read extensively on the Kindle (have owned both 1st and 2nd generation versions) for the last two years and have been reading daily on the iPad for a few months. Both have their problems. You need good lighting for the Kindle or eye strain will definitely set in. Nighttime reading requires an external clip light which I find to be pretty harsh. The iPad is also not perfect but use common sense. Look away every now and then (I do this unconsciously when I'm reading a regular book for pretty much the same reasons) and dim the display to half brightness or less. I haven't used my Kindles since I bought the iPad and don't miss them at all.
     
  4. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    I beg to differ. I play games on a projector for this reason. My eyes got sad of the light source being in front of me. I much prefer reading on a Kindle and playing video games on my projector, fwiw...
     
  5. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #5
    Yes, obviously if you're no longer viewing it on a backlit screen then it's not directly applicable. My point is that for the majority of gamers who do use backlit displays they're already experiencing the same exposure as a backlit reader and can deal with it accordingly.
     
  6. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
    I was just being pedantic, since your statements appeared to apply to everyone, but not to me! Not to me I say! :D Just say no to backlit devices! (if you can!)
     
  7. Mitchrapp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #7
    They're called Floaters ;). Enjoy I have them too.
     
  8. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #8
    Yeah, I just wish they'd form themselves into recognizable images. Then they'd be entertaining instead of annoying. Like most of the people I work with.
     
  9. jns2001 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    #9
    They will be gone, the body will absorb them. They are crystals in the humor.
     
  10. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #10
    Maybe when I'm dead - these babies just keep multiplying.
     
  11. Captain Magic thread starter macrumors member

    Captain Magic

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #11
    Thanks for your replies, so basically display brightness is important and external lighting as well.

    Is it also fair to conclude that it's possible to read an entire 400 page book on an iPad without going blind. Has anyone tried that?

    What's the typical amount of reading time recommended with a backlit screen for each reading session?
     
  12. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #12
    This is very person-dependent. I know people who refuse to read books on their iPads (me included), and then there are others who spend hour after hour after hour reading on it.

    I would recommend ambient light when reading with the iPad. The rest is very subjective, but ambient light when reading on any backlit device is important. That's why Philips has those ambi-light TVs, to take away the strain from a backlit image with dark surroundings (i.e. a dark room).

    Again, nobody can decide these things for you. But we can all offer our thoughts. I still say, for reading, nothing beats the Kindle.
     
  13. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #13
    I read a book a week on the average. I rarely read 400 pages at a stretch, if that's what you're asking, but 100-200 pages is not uncommon. There's no "typical" reading time - it's really a common sense issue. You'll feel strain if you're staring too long without breaks. It's common to look away from the screen every 15-20 minutes (the old 20/20/20 rule - every 20 minutes take a 20-second break focusing on objects 20 feet away).

    Your brain will act to keep your eyes from straining.
     
  14. jasg49 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #14
    This article in the NYT has a fair discussion of the various technologies and issues.

    In part, it says :

    Still, as regular readers of Bits comments know, there is a lively debate among fans of e-readers and paper books about which type of reading experience is most friendly to the eyes.

    It turns out the answer isn’t as black-and-white as we might assume.

    Doctors and researchers note that in most instances, paper can offer more visual sophistication than a screen. But certain types of paper, including inexpensive newsprint and the paper in softcover books, can actually provide an inferior reading experience for our eyes than the electronic alternatives.

    With e-readers, there are currently numerous display technologies available, from the black-and-white E Ink technology found in Amazon.com’s Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook, to the coming full-color IPS LCD display that will come built into Apple’s iPad. And then there’s old-fashioned paper. Does one offer a better reading experience than the others?

    Michael Bove, director of the Consumer Electronics Laboratory at the M.I.T. Media Lab, says different screens make sense for different purposes.

    “It depends on the viewing circumstances, including the software and typography on the screen,” said Mr. Bove. “Right now E Ink is great in sunlight, but in certain situations, a piece of paper can be a better display than E Ink, and in dim light, an LCD display can be better than all of these technologies.”


    and

    Professor Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, said that reducing eye fatigue is less a matter of choosing a specific display than of taking short breaks from looking at the screen.

    When we read, Dr. Hedge explained, a series of ocular muscles jump around and can cause strain, regardless of whether we are looking at pixels or paper. “While you’re reading, your eyes make about 10,000 movements an hour. It’s important to take a step back every 20 minutes and let your eyes rest,” he said.
     
  15. Captain Magic thread starter macrumors member

    Captain Magic

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #15
    Thank you very much for the link, that makes it much clearer now.
     
  16. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #16
    Also, LED backlit displays don't flicker as fluorescents may, which also causes eye strain. Also there's no "radiation" shooting at your face.

    And finally (and I should be the first to listen to this), it's always better to the eyes to read in a well lit room, or at least not in total darkness, because that would definitely kill your eyes. :cool:
     
  17. WilliamG macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    See, the LED vs fluorescent doesn't work for me, since I find LEDs much harsher on the eyes than traditional fluorescents. e.g. my 23" Cinema Display was much easier on my eyes than my iMac or 24" LED Cinema Display.

    All subjective...
     
  18. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #18
    Did you play with the brightness? I find that setting the brightness on my ACD to about 50% (or less) makes it a pretty pleasant viewing experience.
     

Share This Page