iPad viewing and eyestrain ?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by NateBW, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. NateBW

    NateBW
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    Hi,

    I am an eye doctor that blogs about computer vision syndrome (CVS) and ways to keep your eyes happy any healthy during digital usage. I've been asked to write a blog post on tips to reduce eyestrain when using the iPad. Of course, all the usual computer/devise suggestions apply. But since I don't actually HAVE an iPad (I'm the blacksheep in a family of Mac addicts), I'd like to do a little crowdsourcing to learn from serious users. What has been your experience with the iPad in terms of eyestrain relative to other devices such as a Kindle or smartphone?
    • Do you find that bright sunlight presents a problem? I live in Florida and bright sunlight is often a problem.
    • Do you take specific steps to reduce/prevent eyestrain?
    • Do you usually use the iPad seated with it in your lap, on a desk/table, laying down, walking/standing, or some other posture?
    Thanks in advance, for all your comments and suggestions!

    Happy iPadding. :D

    -Nate
     
    #1 NateBW, Aug 22, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  2. iPadCharlie

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    First of all, welcome to the forum!

    Second of all, get an iPad! C'mon, you're a doc. You got money.

    But more to the point, I will start off by saying that I am 53, farsighted and wear "cheaters" (2.5's from Wal-Mart. I keep a pair in every room in the house.) I am also a Gemini and like long walks on the beach.... but that's another story!

    But anyway, I have not experienced any of the so-called eye strain issues. I started out reading books on my iPod Touch (the same size as an iPhone) and found that I was reading more than I have in many years. For me, reading "ink on paper" caused more eye strain than reading from a screen which is probably why I did not do very much recreational reading. As soon as the iPad came out, I was one of the first in line to get one so I could read in the larger format.

    If I am holding the iPad, I usually read at arms length and usually only for about 15-20 minutes at a time. This is mostly because it gets heavy after awhile. If I put the iPad on a desk, I can read for much longer periods of time with no issues.

    While I have used my iPad outdoors, I have not done any extended reading in bright sunlight. Its summer and honestly, I don't like being outdoors when the heat index is over 100°, which is is pretty much from July through August. And if its not bloody hot, its raining! You just can't win!

    To be fair, I have not used an actual Kindle, Nook or Kobo or any other stand alone reading device that uses a different screen technology which is supposed to cause less strain than the iPad's screen.

    Like anything in life, moderation is the key. I have learned a few things in my 53 years of sucking air on this planet!
     
    #2 iPadCharlie, Aug 22, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  3. King Hal

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    I think more of a problem is going blind from watching the wrong (?) sites? The whole world is suffering from too many "syndromes" foisted on us by well-meaning medical types. Leave us iPadders alone.
     
  4. NateBW

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    Not foisting anything on you or anyone. But we routinely see patients with headache, neck problems, double vision and such related to digital viewing, and education is the key.

    As for the "wrong sites" I don't have any comment on that. :p
     
  5. NateBW

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    Moderation

    Bingo. Taking a break is essential, even if it is just for 30 seconds or so. Unfortunately, moderation is often not a core strength of the tech crowd.

    Thanks for your other advice. That fits well with what others have said.
     
  6. BrennB

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    I have recent lasik and since then I notice more strain but mostly due to dry eye and need for breaks. This iPad is so convenient it becomes addicting to use. I'd definitely emphasize the importance of taking breaks.
    I use mostly lap length away, natural light or low wattage, the backlight is set low. I can use this iPad much longer than my laptop, and cell phone for reading...
     
  7. Game_Writer

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    I was near-sighted until 2004, when I got Lasik surgery. LOVE my new vision, but over the past few years, I suffer eye strain while reading. For about a year, i even stopped reading, and wasn't exactly sure what my problem was.

    Then I discoved reading glassing. I'm only 43, so I think I'm a bit young for reading glasses, but they really help. I often need them on my iPad now to reduce eye strain. If I read or use my iPad for more than 30-60 minutes without reading glasses, I can't see very well. My vision gets blurry for s couple hours afterwards. It's very annoying.

    I usually get very cheap glasses, from Wal-Mart, or ever dollar stores. I only get 1.5 - 2.0, as higher power wigs me out. I just need help focusing at close ranges. Before surgery, my near vision was excellent. I don't know if my surgery is the cause, or it's just because im getting older.

    I work on a computer all day as a programmer and although I do sometimes get minor eye strain from that, i don't need my glasses for that. I mostly get the strain when I am using the bottom part of my eyes. Weird, I know. Watching tv in bed also causes the same problem, as I'm watching using the lower parts of my eyes. I don't understand it, but I've learned to deal with it.

    Hope that helps. I'm open to follow-up questions if you want clarifications.
     
  8. King Hal

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    Shades of being told we shouldn't read books with a torch under the blankets, but now it's a syndrome. I feel a "class action" coming on. WTF?
     
  9. Diane B

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    My husband and I were just saying last night we feel its easier to read with Ipad than many books. I've tried the Nook but not extensively for comparison. We are both heavy readers and read at night in bed also. Def prefer Ipad for night/bed reading.

    I'm a longtime computer user and use large calibrated monitor for photo processing with a Wacom tablet and regardless of ergonomic setup, i suffer more eye, back etc with it and hate reading on my laptop. With the Ipad I hold the same place as a book (using the Apple cover and sticking a hand behind the wedge to hold it) and can sit normally.

    I'm 71 and have a bit of correction for astigmatism but usually just use readers. I adjust contrast in the various ereaders. I actually prefer the Barnes and Noble (now Nook) app but read more in the Kindle app and have Stanza also-- the difference being in the ability to control font, font sizes, page color, contrast more. I rarely read in the iBook app except for pdf manuals.

    I live in NC with lots of sun and can't imagine sitting in direct sun to read. I do use it at our pool but under roof but still pretty bright. I up the contrast.
     
    #9 Diane B, Aug 22, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  10. NateBW

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    iPad reading

    Thanks, Diane.

    I think that is true for a lot of people. And for people with very poor vision from cataracts or something think macular degeneration, the iPad can be a godsend and replace thousands of dollars of visual devices to assist with reading.
     

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