Can reading in the dark affect vision?

As a child, you must have heard from your family members that reading in dim light can affect your vision. However, it is essential to understand that the facts are not exactly direct but more indirect in nature. What needs to be understood here is that reading in the dark causes eye strain, which may affect your vision in future days.

Understanding eye strain

When you read something, the ciliary muscles of your eye help to change the anterior curvature of the lens and the pupil changes its size to make sure that the clear image is focused on the retina. The contrast sensitivity decreases in low light and causes strain.

Symptoms of eye strain

If you have a habit of reading under low light, you might be used to some of the symptoms of eye strain. These include

  1. Itchy eyes
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Shoulder aches
  4. Headaches
  5. Eye dryness
  6. Burning sensation

For avid readers or academicians, reading is an activity that they cannot simply opt-out of. This requires them to spend a considerable amount of time staring into a screen or the page of a book. However, to combat this challenge and safeguard your eyes, you can follow the 20-20-20 rule. According to this strategy, you should take a break for 20 seconds when looking at a distance of 20 feet after every 20 minutes passes.  

You need to understand that spotting deficiencies or issues in your eyes is not a very easy task. This is because eyes can adapt pretty well and compensate for any vision loss. So, the symptoms might not be particularly overt. It is for this reason you should always be very careful about visiting your eye doctor from time to time. This is all the more significant for those who have a family history of eye diseases. They should be very systematic about visiting an eye specialist from time to time.

Make sure to take proper care of your eyes, especially if you have a lot of reading to do. Proper illumination is required if you read a lot, to prevent eye strain.

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