Is Reading In The Dark Bad For Your Eyes

Is Reading In The Dark Bad For Your Eyes 1

Is Reading in the Dark Bad for Your Eyes?

The act of reading in the dark does not permanently damage your eyes. That is, it will not impair your vision permanently. If you have heard that reading in dim light can result in nearsightedness, then that is also untrue.

However, does reading in the dark cause temporary damage to your eyes? The fact is, it can cause eye strain when reading in dim light or the dark. It can sometimes be unpleasant, or even hurt, as it may cause soreness or discomfort. While you are experiencing eye strain, your sight can also be affected.

Eye strain is temporary and won’t cause long-lasting damage to your eyes. (If you like reading late at night under the covers, you can relax.)

You can avoid eye strain from late-night reading with these helpful tips on how to read in the dark.

How Reading in the Dark Can Cause Eye Strain

The sharp night vision of owls is unmatched by human eyes. Even if you consider yourself a night owl, you are still only a human. In low light, reading can be quite challenging for our eyes, and just like any other part of our body, our eyes can become fatigued if they work hard. This fatigue is also sometimes referred to as eye strain.

You may feel as if your eyes are heavy or overworked if you suffer from eye strain, along with headaches, red and itchy eyes, shoulder or neck pain, blurred vision, and double vision.

Low light can cause your eyes to strain for the following reasons:

  • Low light makes it difficult for your eyes to focus.

  • It is natural for our vision to deteriorate with age, sometimes more dramatically in low light, a condition which is referred to as presbyopia.

  • Astigmatism and nearsightedness may make reading in dim lighting more difficult.

  • Eye strain can also be aggravated by other untreated eye conditions.

  • There is a possibility that people may blink less in dim lighting, which may result in dry eyes and eye strain.

What About Reading on a Screen?

You might think that reading in the dark is easy if you use your phone, iPad, Kindle, or any other electronic device that has a built-in light.

Reading on a digital device in the dark can also result in eye strain. It is difficult for your eyes to adjust between a bright screen and a dark room when you are looking at a bright screen in dim light. This leads to an ocular strain known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome that occurs when your eyes are constantly adjusting between the bright screen and the dark room.

How To Avoid Eye Strain From Reading in the Dark

Turn on a light when you are reading in the dark. But there are other things you can do to reduce eye strain, such as:

  • Ask your doctor about anti-fatigue or blue light glasses if you read on a digital screen.

  • Make the room in which you are reading the same brightness as your screen if you are reading on a digital device.

  • Ask your eye doctor about reading glasses if you experience eye strain while reading under any light conditions (not only in darkness).

  • Be sure to blink frequently. This helps to lubricate the eyes and reduce eye strain.

  • Use lubricating eye drops according to the instructions of your doctor.

  • Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to observe something 20 feet away by following the 20-20-20 rule.

  • Maintain a current prescription by scheduling regular eye exams.

Don’t ignore the signs of eye strain while reading

It isn’t advisable to ignore eye strain that results from reading in the dark because it may cause temporary difficulty seeing, which is both unsafe and uncomfortable. However, it is not a life-threatening condition long term, and it generally disappears when you rest your eyes.

You should consult a physician if eye strain-resulting from reading in the dark or otherwise-becomes a recurring problem or does not subside within a reasonable period of time.