Macular degeneration causes damage to central vision which can make looking at small print books and magazines a real challenge. And for those who have spent the majority of their lives reading the daily paper, suddenly being unable to do so can be quite distressing. But while reading can be challenging for AMD sufferers, it is not impossible. In fact, there are plenty of vision aids including e-readers that can help individuals with low vision read more easily.
Electronic devices such as tablets and e-readers are great tools for those with AMD. Studies have shown that digital tablets help boost reading speed in people who have the degenerative eye disease. If you’re looking to buy a tablet for a loved one with AMD, or looking to purchase one for yourself, the following is a list of “low vision” considerations to keep in mind while shopping:
Screen size: It sounds obvious, but be sure to note which tablet/e-reader has the largest screen. For example, the original Kindle has a 6 inch screen while the Kindle DX has a 9.7 inch screen.
Adjustable light/contrast: Most tablets and e-readers have built-in lighting which adds that all-important contrast necessary for those with AMD. Also, opt for a new model if possible! Many new devices, (like the Kindle Paperwhite) have 25% more contrast than older models. Great contrast ensures that text appears sharper and darker.
Font magnification: One of the most convenient features about an e-reader or tablet is the ability to enlarge font size. As many AMD patients know, font size can make a substantialdifference in the quality of reading. A quality tablet may even make using a magnifier for reading obsolete! Some devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Apple Ipad, offer zoom text; simply pinch or expand your fingers on text to enlarge it to any size….