One of the most common symptoms for those with macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of clear vision making it difficult to read. For those with a more advanced stage of AMD, there may be a smudge or a black spot right in the middle of one’s vision which interferes even more. While handheld magnifiers work well for short spot reading, other strategies are needed for those who want to read at length from their favorite author without experiencing eye strain.
Reading from a newspaper or a website that doesn’t offer much contrast, such as light grey letters on an off-white background, makes it difficult to distinguish letters and words. While a clean white background with dark black lettering offers the reader better contrast which leads to better visual acuity. Several contrast combinations are available on electronic screens including black lettering on a white background, white lettering on a black background, black lettering on a yellow background and yellow lettering on a black background. Try the different color combinations and then select the color contrast combination that offers the best contrast for your vision needs.
Another sign of AMD is the need for more light. When reading a paper book, a table lamp won’t provide the light that is needed for easy reading. Choose an adjustable gooseneck lamp that allows you to direct the light onto your reading material. There are several different types of light bulbs to choose from such as LED light bulbs and halogen bulbs. The Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Voyage feature a built-in light with the ability to adjust the brightness. These eBook readers are backlit but do not have the glare that comes with the color electronic readers.
While you can still buy paper large print books, the selection is limited. Using an electronic book reader offers the convenience of allowing any book to become “large print.” When reading on an electronic device, you will have the option to select the font size that provides you with the easiest reading as well as the font type.
The larger the screen the more of a page you can see. While an iPod may be a great way to listen to a book, the screen is too small for any lengthy reading. Electronic book reader screen sizes range from 6” to 10” screens.
Did you know that you can adjust the spacing of the lines on your electronic reading device? By simply choosing to increase the space between the lines in your settings, you will find reading to be much easier and more comfortable. Formatting that allows more space around the words and more space between the lines, with wide margins reduces eye strain and increases readability.
By implementing these strategies, you will find reading enjoyable again and less of an eye strain.