As a kid, your parents might’ve warned you that reading in dim light or straining your eyes to see the words would cause long-term damage.
Well, it isn’t as black and white as you think. While children can still read under the covers with only a torch at night without having eye problems in the future, there are still risks of other conditions.
What are the risks?
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, the main risks of reading in dim light are more immediate than long term. For instance, dim light makes it more difficult for the eyes to focus, which can cause eye fatigue.
While reading in dim light will likely cause irritable and tired eyes, there are no long-term health effects.
Insufficient light and looking at screens can cause short-term drying of the eyes. This is caused by your eyes blinking less frequently and again, this won’t cause any long-term effects or damage eye function. If this makes you feel irritated or uncomfortable, you can use eye sprays or drops for relief.
Tips to prevent eye fatigue
- Make changes to your computer screen: Make sure it is about 50 centimetres away from your eyes and use a glare filtered screen. It’s important to keep the computer screen clean, as dirt and smudges decrease the contrast and cause other problems.
- Every 20 minutes look at something different: Make a rule that every 20 minutes, you look at something far away for about 20 seconds.
- Remind yourself to blink: Have a note near your computer screen to remind yourself to keep blinking, as it will help prevent eye irritation.
- Create a routine for your eyes: If you’re eyes are feeling tired, keep your eyes closed and apply a warm water-soaked towel.
- Use eye drops or sprays: These can help you if you’re eyes are feeling tired and you can easily purchase these at a pharmacy.
While there are no long-term affects of reading in dim light, it may cause some short-term discomfort. Consider this myth, busted.