Handheld devices, particularly mobile phones, have become an integral
part of our lives. Many of us prefer reading on mobile phones or laptops,
but too much screen time can cause headaches and digital eye strain (also
known as computer vision syndrome). Computer Vision Syndrome(CVS)
is a temporary eye condition that is caused due to continuous exposure
to digital screens. By 2050, close to half of the global population will
be affected by short-sightedness (Source).
In this blog, we look at answers to all the vital questions associated
with reading on-screen like Is reading on a screen bad for your eyes, does
reading on a screen hurt your eyes, etc.
Reading on-screen vs. reading on paper
Devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones are easing our lives in
some way or the other. Digital reading has been around since the start
of the technology revolution but the usage of these devices has grown multifold
owing to the situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working professionals
are mostly glued to their laptops to maintain their efficiency even when
working from home. The situation is no different for kids who are now bound
to the screens due to the closure of schools. Online schooling is taking
a toll on their eye health since continued exposure to blue light (from
laptops, tablets, phones) can cause vision problems in
the long run.
Over and above, an increasing number of people now prefer to read on handheld
devices instead of reading paper books. Though it offers much-needed convenience,
it should be kept to a bare minimum as too much screen time can hurt the
It is a normal tendency to blink less when you are staring at the blue
light coming from the screens. This causes additional strain to your eyes,
and it becomes difficult to focus on things. Let us look at some of the
side effects of too much screen time:
A reduction in the blink rate can cause dryness and irritation in the eyes.
Eye fatigueYour eyes can hurt if you read on the handheld devices for a longer duration. Eye fatigue can cause concentration issues, headaches, and double vision.
Blue light emitting from the devices can damage the sensitive cells in
the retina and lead to symptoms that cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
In the initial stages, you might witness a dip in concentration levels
and gradually experience sleep disorders. Lack of sleep can hurt your eyes
and negatively impact your mental and physical health.
Measures to protect your eyes from too much screen time
Now that we know the answer to the commonly asked question, 'Is reading
on a screen bad for your eyes.' let us check some of the ways through which
you can reduce the stress on the eyes when reading on the screens:
Follow the 20-20-20 rule recommended by the American Ophthalmological
Society for reducing eye strain. Take a break after every 20 minutes and
look at any object located approximately 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
If you wear spectacles, it is recommended to wear glasses that have blue
light filters. This protects your eyes from the blue light emitting from
Over and above all these tips, you should regularly visit ophthalmologists
so that you can take timely actions to improve your eye health. Centre
for Sight is one of India's leading group of eye hospitals in India
where our expert eye doctors, with a motto of 'every eye deserves
the best,' are working continuously on keeping your eyes healthy It's
time to beat the computer vision syndrome.
Article: Is Reading On A Screen Bad For Your Eyes?
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Feb 27, 2021 | UPDATED 06:40
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private
capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.