I love reading. I have a voracious appetite for literature. Furthermore, as a graduate student I am expected to be constantly reading scholarly journals and my classes each have multiple papers to read on a weekly basis; some of the papers are in print, and some electronic.
The tricky thing is, reading all those small typeface papers on white backgrounds often quickly tires my eyes and gives me a headache, especially if I am reading under the florescent lights at school.
When I was writing my Master’s thesis, I discovered that by changing the background of the document I was able to write for much longer and much easier than I could with a white background. It was a bit of a revelation. Unfortunately changing the background of already created documents can be much more difficult. In order to overcome this challenge and make reading easier I bought some colored filters, specifically a set of ten Irlen filters. These filters have a glare side and a non-glare side, and can be placed over the document (or computer screen) you are reading from. There are 10 different filters, each in a different color that can be used individually or in combination to help the eyes process what is on the page.
So far, the filters that work best for me are blue-gray and gray, and they work best individually. When I am reading on my computer, surprisingly, the glare side works best. In contrast, when I am reading a printed document, the non-glare side easier on my eyes. I am going to keep using these filters while I read, especially for class materials. Hopefully my incidence of headaches and migraines from the light sensitivity and eye strain will go down as a result.
It is pretty cool what just a little bit of color can do for you.