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Digital Books Vs Paper Books – What Do Your Eyes Prefer?

By Dixit Arora +2 more

Today everything has gone digital and so have books! The conversation starter now is ‘Which is your favourite e-book?’ Undoubtedly, e-books have become more dominant than traditional paperbacks. And let’s face it, e-books are free, cheaper and convenient to read anytime, anywhere! But, have you ever wondered what would your eyes prefer?

Because when you read, your eyes do the hard work. So, you need to take into consideration your eye health before you pick either e-books or print books.

 Know what’s better for your eyes – a digital book or a print book? 

Yes, you guessed it right! It’s the print books! Why do you ask? Well because:

  • No harmful light

Aren’t your eyes irritated when you read e-books? E-readers and mobile phone reading apps are backlit. This means they emit a constant stream of light when you read. This light can irritate your eyes leading to red, swollen and watery eyes.

Print books obviously have no backlight. You can read them for as long as you want without any eye irritation problems due to light exposure.

  • No impact on your body clock

Can’t fall asleep? It could be because of your e-book. Reading books on your phone or e-reader exposes you to the blue light that electronic devices like smartphones emit, which disrupts the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) in the body. This sleep hormone makes us feel drowsy and helps us sleep when we go to bed at night. 

An inadequate amount of melatonin can cause disturbed sleep and may even trigger insomnia

This problem does not occur with print books.

Its a simple fact that Electronic books can cause screen fatigue, which may lead to blurred vision, redness, dryness and irritation. With print books, you don’t have to worry about any of that.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD
  • No effect on blinking

Do you forget to blink while reading e-books? Blinking is essential for your eye health. It coats your eyes with a layer of water. This layer of water cleans your eyes and removes dust or debris. 

Blinking also provides your eyes with nourishment and oxygen. 

A paperback, on the other hand, does not lead to blinking problems.

Read More: 8 ways to keep your eyes healthy!

Tips on how you can incorporate e-books in your daily lives:

  • Consult with an ophthalmologist or optician about the possibility of glasses to filter out blue light. Try to wear blue light cancelling glasses when you are reading your e-book. 
  • Many e-book reader programs offer the “Night” reading mode. Basically, reverting from usual dark-text-on-light-background to light-text-on-dark-background puts less stress on the eyes.
  • Keep in mind your environment. Eyestrain may be less of a problem if you’re reading in a bright room. Position your phone, tablet or dedicated e-reader to avoid glare from the lighting.

Eyes are the gateway to wisdom, you must protect them! Whether you choose an e-book or a print copy, we hope that you take care of your eyes and enjoy the read!

Also Read: Importance of eyes.

Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.


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