Which e book readers work best for those with age related macular degeneration?

Which e book readers work best for those with age related macular degeneration?

Posted on Oct.15, 2012, under Low Vision Tips

A recent reader sent me a question asking, “Can you provide some information on e book readers – such as Kindle readers, magnification, contrast and which works best for those with age related macular degeneration? Also what are the costs of book downloads? “

E book readers have made reading possible for those with age related macular degeneration (AMD) who have given up on reading. Features like font magnification, glare free screens, and sharp, dark text are appealing to those who are experiencing symptoms of macular degeneration.

Screen Size

Amazon’s Kindle comes in two different screen sizes. The smaller Kindle screen size is 6” while the Kindle DX is 9.7”. Many people with macular degeneration have been happy with the smaller screen size. However keep in mind that the more one magnifies the font, the less words or sentences appear on a page.


Soon to be released, October 22, 2012, is the Kindle Paperwhite. It has 25% more contrast than the Kindle 2 with a backlight that doesn’t produce glare. The text is sharper and darker providing even better contrast than previous versions of Kindle readers.

Wireless Reader

Ebooks are delivered one of two ways. The less expensive reader delivers ebooks through a Wi-Fi hot spot. The most convenient delivery is the Kindle reader with a built-in 3G cell phone network. This reader uses the same wireless signals that cell phones use, without any monthly fees. Amazon pays for 3G wireless connectivity. I have enjoyed the convenience of having the 3G connection on my Kindle which means I can download books anywhere and at any time.

Large Print Books

Large print books are not easy to find, are expensive and are available in limited genres. Hard copy large print books range in price from $15 to $25 while most Kindle books are $10 or less and many can be purchased for $5. Did you know that books that are part of the public domain, such as most of the classics, can be downloaded for free? I have downloaded books like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, Les Miserable and many more for free right onto my Kindle.

Macular Degeneration Kindle Reader

Here is a quote from a Kindle user who has macular degeneration.

By George L. Pagh
“I love the Kindle 2! My eyesight has deteriorated due to age and Macular Degeneration and I had to quit reading because of the strain it caused. Now I can enlarge the print so I can see the print with little effort. I am already halfway through book three! Convenient, easy, compact and amazingly fast book delivery. I would give it 10 stars.”

Find out about other special features such as touch screen, line spacing and font choices for better readability by going to:

Kindle Reader

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision