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Old 04-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #16
schmolch
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Originally Posted by kad032000 View Post
This is somewhat of a leap in logic, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me that people would feel (often subconsciously) more stressed (easily confused with eye-strain) when reading a book on a back-lit screen for a variety of reasons:
(1) Using a back-lit device for an unfamiliar purpose
(2) Doing something familiar on an unfamiliar device (converse of 1)
(3) They retain the "computer" mindset when looking at a "computer" screen (i.e. the feeling that you need to be doing several different things at once)
Eye-strain is very intense physical discomfort similar to other muscle-pains (muscle-pain always depends on the size and shape of the muscle).
I can imagine that a dedicated e-reader is more relaxing because of it's single-purpose nature but the pain is real.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by schmolch View Post
Eye-strain is very intense physical discomfort similar to other muscle-pains (muscle-pain always depends on the size and shape of the muscle).
I can imagine that a dedicated e-reader is more relaxing because of it's single-purpose nature but the pain is real.
Asthenopia can occur in varying degrees, just like other other forms of strain/pain, and is accompanied by symptoms that also accompany stress.

P.S. schmolch, don't get me wrong. LCDs (or any source of light) can cause eye-strain (very intense in some people) if they are used incorrectly. I was simply presenting an additional point of confusion, which in my (admittedly limited) experience, is another reason people (wrongly) blame LCDs for eye-strain.

Last edited by kad032000; 04-07-2010 at 03:11 PM. Reason: added second paragraph
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #18
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Asthenopia can occur in varying degrees, just like other other forms of strain/pain, and is accompanied by symptoms that also accompany stress.
I dont know what you just said because Asthenopia is just a grouping of nonspecific symptons with vague descriptions about the scenarios where they occur.
And that discomfort and pain accompanies stress seems kinda obvious, that does not say anything about whats cause and whats effect.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:14 PM   #19
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Last edited by kad032000; Today at 08:11 PM. Reason: added second paragraph
Hey, since when is it a good thing to add points of confusion ?

What we need are clear and simple facts that are undenieably true, like "It's a lie" or "a lie against humanity".

Last edited by schmolch; 04-07-2010 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:16 PM   #20
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I dont know what you just said because Asthenopia is just a grouping of nonspecific symptons with vague descriptions about the scenarios where they occur.
And that discomfort and pain accompanies stress seems kinda obvious, that does not say anything about whats cause and whats effect.
Asthenopia is synonymous with "eye-strain". My point was that because the symptoms are non-specific, people will confuse stress for eye-strain, just like people confuse colds for the flu (and vice-versa).

Last edited by kad032000; 04-07-2010 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:17 PM   #21
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Hey, since when is it a good thing to add points of confusion ?

What we need are clear and simple facts that are undenieably true, like "It's a lie" or "a lie against humanity".
LCD e-readers are a crime against humanity!
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:25 PM   #22
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What it boils down to is who cares about the science behind it and who gives a crap what others read on.

Read on whatever screen type you like, and shut the hell up with bashing other screen types and the people that prefer them!

If LCDs bother your eyes, don't read on them. If e-ink is too slow and limited for your needs, don't use it. It's great that we different technology so everyone can find the device that best suits them.

I'll never understand all the animosity over screen types on here!

Back on topic, I will say one key with LCD is adjusting screen brightness to fit the ambient lighting. Reading on my girlfriend's iPad bothered me a bit until I turned the brightness down. Then I read for an hour plus with no noticeable eye fatigue.

Last edited by dmaul1114; 04-07-2010 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:54 PM   #23
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What it boils down to is who cares about the science behind it
I do, because it lets you solve problems.
Do you want to be limited to a e-ink reader for the rest of your life because you have not figured out the cause of your eye-strain?
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:58 PM   #24
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LCDs (or any source of light) can cause eye-strain (very intense in some people) if they are used incorrectly.
I use LCD since they are on the market and can't avoid eye strain. All my friends has the same problem. So tell us the secret... Jesus!
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:06 PM   #25
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I only find it uncomfortable if:

1) I read on a bright screen with dark surroundings, this is easily solved by turning on the lights; or

2) The screen flickers or is blurry, this does not happen with LCD screens, but it can with old/cheap CRT screens.

And, of course, wrong choices of colours, font size, etc. can be extremely disgusting too.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:38 PM   #26
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@TallMomof2

i want everyone to read comfortably, but ask yourself what is the difference between Backlights and reflected Sunlight.

If its not the "Nature" of the light, then it must be something else, and the only differences i can see are these:

- Reflected Light can not gain Intensity (-> lower Brightness)
- E-Readers are much closer to the eyes than typical LCDs (-> adjust distance)
- avoid additional eye-strain (muscle-fatigue) from other Light-Sources (tightening the iris is additional muscle-work for the eye, thus the muscles get tired even quicker)

It would be interesting to know if those who suffer from eye-strain also dislike too much sunlight. I do.
I read for many years on Palm Pilots and their clones. I held my Palm at the same distance as I would physical books. I've turned down the light on the display, adjusted contrast, tried many different color schemes and tried different fonts and font sizes and reading off the handheld devices was inferior to eInk. The main reason I stuck with the Palm for so long is because I liked the portability and my arthritis makes it difficult to hold paper books for long periods. The reading experience was subpar to paper for my eyes but as long as I kept my reading sessions short I didn't develop headaches. I didn't buy the first versions of the Sony reader because the hand feel was all wrong for me even though I liked the screen.

I've never read much off of the computer monitors because the old CRT's gave me headaches, always debugged on paper printouts rather than trying to read code off the screen. The newer LCD monitors are slightly better but I still detect significant flicker no matter how I adjust my monitor and room lighting. It's fine for internet surfing and reading/writing in forums and video consumption just not for activities like reading.

My vision is poor, my eyes are 20/950 uncorrected, and with middle age I have to use bifocals, actually progressive lenses, which definitely affects how long I can read.

For me reading off eInk is almost the same as paper. If the contrast were to improve a bit more it would be the same. Reading off of handheld backlit LCD devices is inferior for me. Plus, reading off backlit LCDs in natural light (sunlight) is very difficult because then the environment is too bright for the LCD to compensate. eInk doesn't have that issue and I can read outside which is my preference. I can take my Kindle to the beach or the pool and read even in deep shade without a problem.

I am sensitive to backlit displays and it's probably because of my poor vision.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:51 PM   #27
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I've been lucky when it comes to this. I have read for hours at a time on a Sony Clie all the way to today an iPod Touch and never had eye strain. Heavy reading for over 12 years and no issues. I know it happens to people and I'm glad it hasn't happened to me. I like reading on a small, backlit screen. My wife reads more than I do and she has also had no issues with LCD. Just lucky I guess.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:53 PM   #28
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I really dont care what a MD or PHD says in their research. I'm a programmer and spend most of my day in front of two LCD's. Both have their brightness down to a minimal level. 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.

I need to read many technical documents as well as other books. Most of this material is online, so I read it there.

When comparing reading on my dim monitor to reading on my kindle, the strain is not even comparable. I can notice the difference almost instantly. My eyes don't tear on the kindle, they don't squint. I can read for hours and hours, and it would be as if I was ready a cheap gray paged paper back.

So sorry, but just because you have a MD or PHD at the end of your name like in the articles, you cant blatantly say that LCD's cause no more strain than eink. I love my kindle, I am able to read, what I need to read and save my eyes at the same time.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:56 PM   #29
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There are lots of factor. Like ambiant light, the face you eyes don't work the same way on a pc or on a portable device...
Size of the screen, quality of the screen, you own vision.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:01 PM   #30
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I get pretty uncomfortable reading on LCDs in bright sunlight, because I gotta get really close and squint like crazy in order to see anything.

Otherwise, I much prefer a good backlit LCD for reading. Too bad they drain batteries faster.

I'm cool with people who have crappy reading habits or excessive sensitivity that make LCDs a problem for them. I'm just not a big fan of persuading naive but normal people into thinking that LCDs will hurt them, and that they should buy e-paper products instead.

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