Is Reading On Phone Bad?

Back in the old days the only way you could access a book was by buying it and having it in physical form.

There were no options like soft copy books, only hard copy original books in print were available.

Today’s world is different and developed, information is everywhere and the means to access it is readily available.

So now we have a world in which people read off screens more than they read off paper. For this reason it’s healthy to ask whether reading books on devices like a phone is actually good for us.

This post will explore this topic in more detail…

With that said, is reading books on phone bad?

Reading on your phone maybe convenient but the Downside is that it can damage your eyes and cause irritation. Your eyes work harder when you read on small screen devices plus the tiny pixels and blue light  that make up the display and text on your phone can cause permanent eye damage.

So you have to tread lightly and ensure that you read on phone only moderately and not all the time.

To prevent eye strain and damage to your eyes below are some precautions you can take to make your reading experience less harmful and damaging on your eyes.

Take note of the lighting

When you read you have to be careful to keep your eyes from getting damaged. The first tip to doing so is to be very careful with the lighting on your phone.

Ensure that your brightness is not too high because the general blue light emitted from phone screens is very bad for your eyes. Use moderate lighting to keep your eyes from being strained.

The more you strain your eyes the weaker they get. So take note of this.

This is basically also good advice when reading a paper book with a light. It’s advisable to have the light source behind you and not directly in front of your eyes.

Adjust screen settings

The one disadvantage of reading on your phone is that you put your eyes through a lot of stress and they have to work harder to decode what’s on the screen.

Phone screens are generally small which makes reading text difficult.

So a good measure to protect your eyes from damage as well as strain is to adjust your settings by adjusting or zooming in on your text to make it larger.

The larger the text, the better and the lesser your eyes have to work.

Phones are different so figure out how you can apply these settings on your phone.

Frequent breaks

With reading, your brain works hard to decode the information you’re feeding it. This is a good thing because it fires up a lot brain activity which is important for you.

But the cost of feeding the brain information through a phone usually comes at the cost of your eyes being strained by being subjected to a tiny screen for long.

Therefore what you can do to help your eyes is take frequent breaks.

These breaks are not only important for your eyes, but for your body and brain as well.

So take a break every now and again to give your eyes some rest.

One good technique that can be helpful is the Pomodoro method.

With the Pomodoro method of taking action, you basically do work for 20 minutes and take a 5 minute break before you resume another 20 minute work session.

Of course you can use your own judgement to adjust and rework the pomodoro to make it fit your work ethic as well as your personal reading routine.

All in all take frequent breaks and when you do, it’s only right that you avoid screens for a little while.

I say this because most people’s version of taking a break especially in this day and age usually means breaking off to look at a screen again.

Which defeats the whole purpose of letting your eyes rest. Take organic breaks, get off the couch, leave the TV alone, walk outside with nothing but yourself and give your eyes the chance to rest.

Take a glass of water to stay hydrated too.

Don’t over do it

Too much of everything is bad, in this case, too much reading is bad for your eyes and can easily damage them.

Reading is a great activity we all love and sometimes we do it casually to enjoy some good writing and other times we do it to basically because we have to.

You should therefore always ensure that you don’t over read. if you’re reading casually for your own pleasure it’s easy to not over do it but in situations where you have to read for a particular end, it’s almost always the opposite.

For example, students preparing for an exam will usually cram till their eyes close because they cannot afford to fail.

Ofcourse this is not a bad thing realistically but just ensure that you don’t spend too much time behind a screen.

A good practice is stepping away from your screen or Workstation every now and then to let your eyes rest and let you brain rest as well.

Take a lot of breaks, take frequent ones so you keep your brain and eyes sharp. The more you expose them to a phone or computer screen, the more you weaken them which can strain them.

Artificial tears

Reading on phone can cause eye strain which could further lead to your eyes drying up. This is not a good thing at all.

Your eyes aren’t meant to be dry, they are meant to be relatively moist to maintain good function.

If you’re to spend a considerable amount of time behind a phone screen then consider buying artificial tears.

Artificial tears can help you keep your eyes lubricated and keep them from becoming dry.

Just be careful to avoid artificial tears that contain preservatives or any redness remover.

You need artificial tears with zero preservatives and no redness remover.

They will certainly help prevent your eyes from drying up which could damage them.

Read paper print

I know, in this day and age screens are pretty much replacing everything.

There are basically everywhere and it’s pretty difficult to avoid them because there’s a 98% chance that you’re on one right now.

Back to reading…

As a  good countermeasure, you can resort to reading more actual paper books and less digital books.

Paper books mean getting off a screen which is good.

Another alternative to a phone screen is listening to an Audiobook instead of reading a book.

atleast with an audiobook you won’t have to worry about your eyes getting damaged.


Also ensure that you have some control of the air in the space you’re utilizing.

Some air changes could negatively impact your eyes and possibly make them dry.

Therefore you can consider using a humidifier to keep environment humid enough to keep your eyes lubricated..

Also, you should avoid smoke because it can negatively impact your eyes as well as irritate you in general.


If you need glasses or contacts to be able to work on a computer or any screen then be sure to get a prescription from a doctor to ensure that you get the right ones.

Go to the doctors when you develop symptoms

My final piece or advice is to go to the doctors when you start to develop any serious eye symptoms from spending too much time on a screen.

Headaches are one symptom that most people speak about.

So make sure you see a doctor before the situation gets out of hand.

Reading is great but I believe your health should be your number one priority. Seeing a doctor will let you evade permanent eye damage so you get the necessary treatment.

Your doctor will almost always advise you to limit your screen-time in a situation where your eyes are being negatively affected by time spent on screens.

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Helpful Resources

Is Reading Books On Phone Bad For Eyes? | Credihealth

21 Best Reading Apps for Your Phone Or Tablet – HP

Actually, reading books on a phone is great – TheNextWeb

Sadly, I Like Reading Books on My Phone Now – The Cut

Why I Took Reading Apps Off My Phone – Book Riot

Top 5 Tips for Reading on your Smartphone – Good e-Reader