Monday, June 28, 2010

I bought a Kindle the other day. One of the reasons was I found I wasn’t reading as many books as I used to. I thought about why? Well, one reason is eye strain. Without realizing it, I was tiring more when reading printed pages. As a result, I found reasons not to sit down and spend a couple hours reading. But the other week I bought a Kindle and am amazed at the improvement I now have in reading stamina. I had heard Kindles were easier on the eyes than printed books, but really thought it was just marketing hype. Well, for me it isn’t.

So what is eye strain? Several muscles control the eyes, moving them in back and forth and converging to focus at various distances. In addition to the actual muscles that move the eyes are the facial muscles that control the lids. Like any muscle they can fatigue. Our eyes were really designed to see far away and at different focal lengths. But if we look at one focal length for sustained periods of time (as I do during TV football season), we essentially produce a repetitive strain injury to the muscles. This results in aching eye muscles and/or even dry-feeling eyes. A trick I’ve adopted to relieve this problem is to stop every ten minutes or so and look away, at a corner of the room, or at something out the window. The problem, of course, is remembering to do this. In any event, I love my new Kindle. If you’ve ever thought of owning one, seriously consider it. They’re seriously fun.

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