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Old 04-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #46
MikeRo
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Originally Posted by schmolch View Post
Eye-strain is not caused by the fact that a screen is backlit.
A Paper-Book shines light into your eyes the same way, by reflection.

Eye-Strain is caused by:
- too much brightness. Your screen should not be much brighter than your Surroundings.
- other bright Light-Sources in your viewing area. Bright Lights should be above you or behind you and shine straight down only. Look at Office-Lights, they have Grid-Reflectors for this reason.
- Wrong Distance to monitor. If you have read alot of Books, your eyes might have permanently adjusted to this small Distance for reading (thus the eye-glasses to correct this) and reading at a bigger distance requires eye-muscle work and those get tired quickly causing the sensation of eye-strain.

Eye-strain is always a muscle-issue, there is nothing else in your eyes that could cause this sensation.

I had huge eye-strain issues myself and even gave up Desktop-PCs completely (Laptops were fine) until i noticed the importance of all these 3 Factors.
You missed one physiological factor from the article in the Times referenced in item #9:

Quote:
For example, the ergonomics of reading screens and the lack of blinking when we stare at them play a big role in eye fatigue. “The current problem with reading on screens is that we need to adjust our bodies to our computer screens, rather than the screens adjusting to us,” Dr. Meredith said.
Why should I adjust my body to reading on LCD screens when there are other alternatives?

If reading on LCD screens works for you, great. Do not assume that those of us who prefer reading on other non-lit devices are unaware of how to properly set up LCD screens.

As an aside, I wish monitor manufacturers would go back to including brightness and contrast knobs on their monitors (as opposed to tapping through several on-screen menus) - it would be far easier to adjust your monitor to changing light conditions.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:47 PM   #47
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Nothing wrong with LCD. The problem is with the backlights. They flicker. Tends to be about 180-200 hz for most LCDs. Can be more annoying if it matches a beat frequency.

If the LCD was in front of an incandescent lightbulb, nobody would care because incandescent as a pseudo-black body does not flicker.

I sometimes wish I could buy an LCD monitor that uses type A bulbs as the backlight.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:34 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by MikeRo View Post
Why should I adjust my body to reading on LCD screens when there are other alternatives?

If reading on LCD screens works for you, great. Do not assume that those of us who prefer reading on other non-lit devices are unaware of how to properly set up LCD screens.
I don't think that was his intention. I think what he meant was a lot of people ONLY have experience reading on LCD screens of desktops and laptops.

With those it's a problem of form factor (as well as perhaps screen type) as you it's hard to read with them the ideal distance from your eyes etc.

Vs. a tablet, PDA etc. where you can hold it just like you do your Kindle or other e-ink device.

I hate sitting and reading on my pc or laptop. But have no issues with LCD screens on something like the iPad. I can hold them just like I do my Kindle or a paper book, while I can't do that with my desktop monitor or my laptop.

Now for people who have read on a PDA, iPad, Jetbook etc. and still didn't like the experience, that's fine and the screen type just isn't for them. But people shouldn't write off LCD screens based soley on their PC/laptop experiences as it's just very different do the form factor.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:38 PM   #49
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Interesting, we have people who say lcd doesn't bother them and people who do. It looks though that majority of people in lcd hating crowd are spending more time at the screen. I am spending 8 hours at work looking at backlit screen, there is no way I will read from LCD for pleasure, that will kill my eyes.
So please don't say LCD screens are fine if you don't see the problem, by spending 2 hours a day with them. They don't bother you -- that's accurate.
And yeah MD, PHD means very little without the study materials that you can examine and see if it's even publishable by academic standards and even then there will be another study coming out disproving the first one.
These MD might be orthopedics for all we know.
That's a big assumption. I spend more than 8 hours on my PC or laptop on the average day between working long ours, goofing on the net etc., and I hate reading on them when I'm not working.

But I have no problem reading on a PDA or my girlfriend's new iPad or most other small LCD screen devices. As I said in the post above, I hate reading on PC/laptops as the form factor sucks. You just can't get your eyes the right distance from the screen, can't curl up in bed with it, or on the couch etc.

But I can do that fine on the iPad etc., and don't have issues with reading on those lcd screens. With the caveat that I seldom ever read for more than an hour or two at once (or even in a day).

I love my Kindle, but I'll probably eventually ditch it for an iPad or another tablet of my own as it fits more of my needs and I like the reading experience with the much faster page turns etc.

Not saying anyone who loves e-ink should switch etc. It's great that we have different screen options so everyone can find what they like best.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:12 PM   #50
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While it is true that eye fatigue when using LCD screens is caused MOSTLY by the three factors that were laid out in the original post and that you can still get eye fatigue using an e-ink device (too small of a font can easily do it), the thing that is more or less left out is that even with the correct use of an LCD screen you are still more LIKELY to develop eye fatigue when looking at an LCD screen than when looking at an e-ink screen.

If you reduce the intensity of the light coming off of an LCD it can become more difficult to see the screen, and while altering the properties of home computers is not only possible, but also a good idea, this is not always the case with work computers, public computers, and other LCD screens.

The fact is that while we are constantly inundated by LCD screens in day to day life some of us prefer to take a break from all of the different light and glare levels and just relax with something that does not have as much possibility of harming the sorely abused muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves used to focus the eyes, and to correct our posture.

Let's also not forget one of the other advantages of e-ink: battery drain is minuscule. I love the fact that I do not have to charge up my device constantly and that if I go a few days without using it that it will still be good to go when I power it on. It was one of the big draws to e-ink devices for me.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:44 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabberwock_11 View Post
While it is true that eye fatigue when using LCD screens is caused MOSTLY by the three factors that were laid out in the original post and that you can still get eye fatigue using an e-ink device (too small of a font can easily do it), the thing that is more or less left out is that even with the correct use of an LCD screen you are still more LIKELY to develop eye fatigue when looking at an LCD screen than when looking at an e-ink screen.

If you reduce the intensity of the light coming off of an LCD it can become more difficult to see the screen, and while altering the properties of home computers is not only possible, but also a good idea, this is not always the case with work computers, public computers, and other LCD screens.

The fact is that while we are constantly inundated by LCD screens in day to day life some of us prefer to take a break from all of the different light and glare levels and just relax with something that does not have as much possibility of harming the sorely abused muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves used to focus the eyes, and to correct our posture.

Let's also not forget one of the other advantages of e-ink: battery drain is minuscule. I love the fact that I do not have to charge up my device constantly and that if I go a few days without using it that it will still be good to go when I power it on. It was one of the big draws to e-ink devices for me.
You are right on the money. And there are size, weight and heat issues. I am using laptops, phones, and e-ink to read. I still much prefer the latter for extended use. As with all legends, there always is some truth behind it. And millions seem to agree, as e-ink sales show. Obviously not everybody is negatively affected by LCD. And yes, for e-ink you need sufficient ambient light, just as you do for a pbook. It seems to me that most people who don't like e-ink just like to read in dark places -- then it definitely is not for them.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:10 AM   #52
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Everyone's entitled to opinion. From what I've read, you get tired eyes from not blinking often enough when you read. Need to take a blink brake. It really helps.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:20 AM   #53
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Yep, there's no wrong answer here as everyone has different eyes different reading habits.

I don't doubt that reading on LCDs with the proper brightness probably does lead to more eye fatigue than reading e-ink under the proper lighting conditions. And the battery life of e-ink devices is second to none. So I see their appeal, and I do really like my Kindle.

But at the same time, for me personally, I'm not an avid reader. I seldom read for more than 60 minutes a day--discounting work related reading which is all on the PC or printouts currently (Kindle sucks for PDFs, A4 sized documents etc.). So the eyestrain issue is pretty moot. I could read on my laptop with the brightness up for an hour with no real eye issues--the form factor just sucks. Battery life isn't much of an issue for me either, I have no problem plugging in every night or two. If something can get 8-10+ hours so I can get through even a heavy day of use I'm fine with it.

So it's very much, as I've said many times, really just a matter of individual preference and finding the device that works best for you. I like my Kindle, but I won't buy another e-ink device as I don't really read enough to need it and something like the iPad that does more than reading, can handle PDFs, newspapers, magazines, comics etc. fits my needs more.

While the person who reads straight text constantly for hours on end will probably be better suited with an e-ink or other reflective screen in their devices.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:48 AM   #54
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It is a dirty apple propaganda.

People that claim this should be jailed for 10 years in Guantanamo.

It's the same as to say that cigarettes doesn't cause cancer.
I've never ever had eye strain due to reading from my PDA. Unless I forgot to turn off the backlight to a minimum (not off, as it would have been hard to see in the dark) or turn the colours around (light lettering on a dark background).

Does using a mouse and keyboard cause RSI? No, the wrong usage of a mouse and keyboard causes RSI.
Does sitting on a chair cause backpain? No, hanging in a chair, instead of sitting straight does that.

I only get eyestrain when I read on my (e-ink) BeBook Mini when I should been reading from my (backlit) JE100.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:50 AM   #55
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All I know is, eInk doesn't make my eyes burn and water, and the other kind of reading does, if I do it long enough (and frankly, it's a lot worse in the dark). I can mitigate it by reducing brightness, changing background colors, etc. but I'm never completely comfortable for hours at a time as I am with eInk.

Of course I spend a lot of time each day using a computer. I'm sure that contributes to it.

Lots of people prefer LCD. More power to them. I like eInk and it is more comfortable for me.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:57 AM   #56
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Of course I spend a lot of time each day using a computer. I'm sure that contributes to it.
I only spend the entire workday behind a computer... And often play some games in the evening as well (behind a CRT monitor, no less!)

Lighting is so very important. Which is why I'll never do away with backlit LCD screens. But the ability to turn down the light is required. I can't do that on that silly phone I have from work, and I get tired reading from that after 5 minutes...
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:08 AM   #57
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Does using a mouse and keyboard cause RSI? No, the wrong usage of a mouse and keyboard causes RSI.
Does sitting on a chair cause backpain? No, hanging in a chair, instead of sitting straight does that.
bla, bla, bla..Not all smokers died from cancer but smocking is dangerous for health as LCD screens are dangerous for eyes .
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:36 AM   #58
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bla, bla, bla..Not all smokers died from cancer but smocking is dangerous for health as LCD screens are dangerous for eyes .
I find that a flawed comparison. Smoking is a nasty habit, it should be banned, but the reason it's unhealthy is because you inhale foreign material. Which causes the cancer.

If you read with a LCD screen, you don't add anything to your body. You don't inhale, sniff, inject, etc. anything.

But, you must take care how you use the device. Sitting in a chair is very bad for you back, did you know that? We are not made to do that for hours on end. Slouching in your chair is even worse. So, will you now say that everybody should sit on the ground? Or will you say that you should sit responsibly in your chair (with your back properly supported, straight up, etc.)
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:47 AM   #59
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schmolch - Then you've really not followed the previous threads on this.

Also, there tends to be a considerable difference in light spectrum between daylight and backlights, just as with most artificial lighting. The effect this has on people is highly variable, of course.
Can you give a reason why the spectrum of CFLs or LEDs should add eye-strain compared to sunlight?

Last edited by schmolch; 04-08-2010 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:22 AM   #60
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My eyes since I switched from CRT two LCD have continued to get worse and worse. A year after moving to LCD I needed glasses for the first time and every time they get worse and worse.
The reason is that you are getting older. It's normal and has nothing to do with screens you use or not use. Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyopia.
And if you are younger that let's say 25 and it's myopia - then the reason for it is genetic or past trauma. Screens cannot change the shape of the eyeballs. I have myopia in one eye only - maybe I was reading and using CRT with only one eye open. /s

For me LCD is not good for reading. It's not even close to being good. I have good light in my workplace and at home (behind me), I set the brightness to optimal one and it's still causing eye strain.
On e-paper - even when I read books for like 16 hours a day, for several days - i have no eye strain whatsoever.

Last edited by Magnesus; 04-08-2010 at 09:30 AM.
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