The Unexpected Health Benefit Of…Your iPad

Have eye or vision problems? Trouble reading? Studies show that tablets could be just the tool you need to getting reading fast and efficiently again.

Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School report at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting in Chicago that digital tablets like iPads and Kindles improved reading speeds in patients with low vision.

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Conditions such as macular degeneration and vision problems due to diabetes can damage light-sensitive cells in the eye’s retina, which in turn compromises central vision. The retina, located in the back of the eye, processes light and images into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.

Damage to the retina, and in particular to the macular, or central portion, makes it difficult to decipher details and distinguish words on a page, and in most cases, ophthalmologists suggested that these patients use reading aids like expensive and bulky magnifiers with attached lights to ease reading tasks.

Backlit Tablets

The study was made up of two experiments. In the first, 62 people read three articles from The New York Times in the print version of the newspaper, as computer printouts, and on an Apple iPad 2.

More than half of those in the study had evidence of macular eye disease. The macula is the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail.

According to the findings, readers read faster on the iPad 2 than the newspaper or printed article. This improvement was most pronounced among people who had low vision in both eyes.

In the second experiment, 100 people read a book chapter in these ways:

  1. In a “real” book
  2. On an iPad 2 with 12-point and 18-point fonts
  3. On an Amazon Kindle with 12-point or 18-point fonts

The iPad was set at maximum background brightness. The Kindle used in the new study did not have a backlight, although the new Kindle Fire does come with one.

The people in the study all read faster on the iPad 2 than on the Kindle. The gap widened when the iPad font was magnified to 18 points.

People read 42 more words per minute on average with the iPad 2 on 18-point font compared to the book. By contrast, a 12 word-per-minute gain was seen among those reading on the Kindle in the same font.

The backlight boosts contrast sensitivity or the ability to see an object stand out from its background. Many people with low vision lose this ability.

Aging baby boomers with vision issues are likely pretty tech-savvy, and these tablets are very user-friendly. iPads can benefit most everyone with low vision, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease.

How To Age Gracefully & Graciously

shari blackdoctorIn a society that seems only to idolize what’s new and young, it can be hard to accept seeing the signs of time on our faces and bodies.

Thankfully, we live in an era of being able to fix, hide or camouflage just about anything. However, one thing remains true, you can lie about your age, refuse to tell your age and even successfully mask your age but in the end, age is about far more than just the way we look.

Take a look at beautiful actress, Shari Headley, who many of us know as Lisa McDowell from the hit classic movie, “Coming To America.” With the movie going on to be nearly 30 years old, the beautiful 50 year old actress makes 50 look so effortlessly good.  Here’s what she along with other women like her have learned:

Remember when you were in first grade, your teacher seemed old. In our teens, 20’s were intriguing, yet light years away from anything we could fathom.  Life has a way of changing and expanding what we consider old the closer we approach that age. It’s amazing how young 70 seems when you’re in your 50’s.

It’s pointless to compete with your younger self. Stop comparing how you look today with how you looked in your twenties. Over time, looks fade. That’s not always the easiest fact of life to make friends with, but one that must be respected. It’s great to celebrate youth and beauty, but be careful to understand that neither of those things define you. Maintaining a fit body by eating well and exercising can help you stay healthy, which is one key to feeling beautiful at any age.

Keeping your body agile and in shape helps to keep you looking your best at any age. Yoga and Pilates help to keep the body stretched, toned and limber, while also relaxing the mind. When you’re taking good care of yourself, it shows.

Involvement keeps us young. Volunteer. Mentor a young coworker. Sharing the beauty of who you are is a good way to stay eternally young.

Find a new hobby, a new interest, something you’ve wanted to do before but may not have had the time for. Enjoyment and exhilaration never fade. Beware of letting your age dictate your willingness to learn new things and have new exciting experiences.

You’ve earned the right to wear your age proudly. Refuse to accept society’s definition of what’s beautiful. Don’t apologize for those smile lines or crows feet. Don’t be afraid
or shy about expressing the fact that you love and totally accept yourself exactly as you are.

Fighting with the notion of getting older is a foolish battle. When you look around, do you find yourself surrounded by friends, a loving spouse, children and grandchildren? Do you see the fruit of things you took time to cultivate over time? Pause to value all of the gifts and blessings in your life. Feel good about feeling good. Thank the Creator for bringing you this far. Celebrate every beautiful sunrise you’ve been graced to see.