If you’re having trouble reading in low light, you’re not alone. Over time, an adult’s eyes may become damaged and he or she may experience difficulty reading in low light, difficulty focusing due to blurred vision and increased sensitivity to glare. These are the beginning symptoms of many eye disorders including macular degeneration -- the leading cause of vision loss among persons aged 65 or older. With macular degeneration, reading may become more of a challenge and less of a pleasure.

To alleviate stress on the eyes, many seniors are familiarizing themselves with electronic reading devices, better known as eReaders. These new gadgets are the alternative to paperback books and can be customized to fit the reader’s needs, such as font size and lighting contrast between the text and background, all by the tips of your fingers.

The three products leading the eReader market are the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook and Apple’s iPad 2 (See the table below for a side-by-side comparison). Each device’s reading component has a high-resolution screen for clear reading and adjustable brightness. The Kindle and the Nook represent the triumph of the concept of E-Ink, with revolutionary display of words and images on a screen that are glare resistant. E-Ink technology reflects light like ordinary paper, allowing the reader to enjoy a novel or periodical at any angle or amount of light. The iPad 2 rivals the Kindle and the Nook with the largest and brightest display, but its glass screen makes it susceptible to glare when exposed to bright light or held at certain angles.

All three eReaders come with the convenience of an online bookstore. Simply plug in your new eReader and follow the easy steps to installing any supplementary software and creating an account for downloading all types of reading materials. The Kindle, Nook and iPad 2 are compatible with any PC or Mac. Once logged on, you can download millions of titles from the eReader’s respective bookstore within 60 seconds or less with just a simple click. WiFi and 3G models allow for wireless browsing and downloading.

Tags:Aging Parents Social Engagement

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Colleen Wright

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