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What effect does reading books online have on the eyes?

A:

Quick Answer

Reading books online can cause discomfort and strain the eyes, can make the eyes dry and red and lead to eye irritation, reports WebMD. It may also cause blurred or double vision.

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Full Answer

Reading books online is more taxing on the eyes as they have to adjust to the glare, flickering and contrast of the screen, explains WebMD. People tend to blink less when looking at a computer screen, and this leads to dry eyes, says The Washington Post. This puts a lot of strain on the eye muscles leading to eye fatigue and irritation, further dryness and redness in the eyes.

People who already suffer from an eye problem such as astigmatism are at a greater risk for these eye problems, states WebMD. Additionally, people around 40 years of age who suffer from presbyopia, a condition where the ability of the eyes to focus on objects placed far and near is reduced, find it difficult to focus and read books online as the eye lens loses it flexibility.

Some ways to reduce the effects of online book reading on the eyes are to reduce the glare of the screen, to blink often, to gaze away from the device every 20 minutes ,and to adjust the brightness, font size and contrast of the screen, suggests WebMD.

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