Reading books on the phone is one of the latest trends. Do you like reading books and novels? Is reading your hobby? If yes, then you might be reading these articles on your smartphone. But wait! Have you ever wondered or thought of the disadvantages of reading books on the phone? It is a never-ending debate, but yes reading books on a phone is bad for the eyes as it can damage your eyes to some extent.

How does this happen? Well, let us get some insights.

Reading Books On Phone Bad For Eyes – A General Scenario

The amount of time we spend staring at screens has increased dramatically in the last few years. The sedentary lifestyles spent staring at screens, also impact our physical health, adding obesity and cardiovascular problems. But, what effect is all this screen time having on our eyesight?

What does the research say?

A survey conducted in 2014, revealed that Indians are addicted to their smartphones. The survey highlighted the increased dependency of mobile users to utilize various apps. Approximately 95% of smartphone users admitted that they are very dependent on their devices for reading books and novels.

Optician’s view

According to the opticians, people are so addicted to smartphones that they may be increasing their risk of eye damage. They are not only warning overuse from phones but also other devices like computers, tablets, and flat-screen TVs. All of these can lead to long-term eye damage.

What’s Behind it all?

According to ophthalmologists, when you are looking at a smartphone, the light peeking out of that is blue-violet. The HEV light is that portion of the visible light spectrum that comprises light with the shortest wavelengths, which carry the greatest potential to damage living tissue. This blue-violet light has the potential to put us at a greater risk of macular degeneration.

Studies show that an adult spends nearly seven hours a day staring at a screen, with nearly half feeling anxious when away from their phone. Statistics also suggest 43% of people, below 25 years of age, experience anxiety when they cannot check their phones when they want. It was also found that 55% of people felt the amount of screen time they’re exposed to affects their eyes, causing discomfort.

Factors Leading to Damage to the Eye

  1. The screen is too small: Due to the small screen size of the mobile phone, puts a strain on your eyes. As a result, not much text fits on a screen and you turn pages more often. This ultimately causes watering of the eyes and irritation. This is bad for your eyes. But, the smaller the device is, the less it affects your eyes.
  2. The font is too small: There are still a lot of people who think, that an e-book is a fixed pdf document and that you need to scroll and zoom a lot. Doing all this can harm your eyes to some extent.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Though we may still be in the dark about the long-term effects of HEV exposure, there’s no doubt about prolonged screen time causing eye strain. Some of the suggestions you can follow include:

  1. Maintain a comfortable distance: Try to maintain a comfortable distance from your phone and avoid hunching closer.
  2. When using a phone keep the screen as far away: Try to keep your phone away from your eyes. The greater the distance between your phone and your eyes, the less eye strain it is likely to cause, provided the print size and images are large enough for comfortable viewing.
  3. Screen brightness: Reading books on the phone is a bit difficult in dim light and the more the brightness, the more strain.
  4. Get an eye exam: Even minor problems with your eyesight can increase your risk for digital eye strain.
  5. Go outside and play more: This can be easily done by going out for a walk and doing some physical activities.


Reading books over the phone has some disadvantages. But, it depends on how you take and implement it in your daily routine. We can always take some safety precautions to avoid eye, damage by taking regular breaks from reading on the screens.

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