Not So Square: Our Eyes Adapt To Reading From Screens
Good news fellow screen addicts, turns out those endless hours spent in front of the desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone aren't likely to wreck your eyesite, as long as we don't start too young.
"Once we reach the age of ten years or so, it is practically impossible to injure the eyes by looking at something–the exception, of course, being staring at the Sun or similarly bright objects. Earlier in life, what we look at–or rather, how clearly we see–can affect our vision because the neural pathways between the eye and brain are still developing."
What about screen fatigue and headaches after hours spent writing, coding, or surfing for the perfect pair of shoes? Simple really, our eyes aren't designed for constantly looking at a fixed object, Professor Weisinger explains,
"Many people complain that prolonged periods looking at a screen gives them headaches and sore eyes. This is perhaps a reflection of the fact that, when looking at a screen and focusing on nearby objects, our eyes are not really doing what they’ve been designed for–to be able to look out over fields for potential food or for hungry lions, with the occasional requirement to look at things up close."
The fix? Taking a screen break. And what about size? Does it matter?
"The answer is probably not. If the reader is able to focus on the screen (by accommodating, assisted by the correct spectacle prescription or a combination of the two), then font size won’t be an issue. When not impaired by eye disease of optics, the human eye can resolve right down to phone-book sized letters and smaller.
If anything, the increased brightness of your smart phone or e-book will help you to see the fine print."
Sadly he doesn't recommend whether to plump for the Kindle Fire, Microsoft Surface, iPads mini or maxi. So, back to that shopping...