Eye Service! Do You Know The Claim That Reading In The Dark Will Damage Your Eyes Is False? Find Out Why

You would have heard people advising you not to read in the dark or not read for too long, that such act will damage your eyes in the long run. So many warn their children not to read when the environment is not well illuminated because it would definitely make them have poor eyesight when they become adults. I am also guilty of that. But that notion is very false. Studies have proved this and every ophthalmologist will tell you this. Are you surprised? You should read this article to find out why this is so. This knowledge is very good for you.

In today’s edition of our series entitled ‘Eye Service’ we bring to you this revealing article on why reading in the dark is not as unsafe or dangerous to the eyes as is widely thought.

The Claim: Reading In The Dark Will Damage Your Eyes

Everyone who has ever held a flashlight to a book at night has probably heard the dire warnings about reading in the dark. It will weaken your eyes. It can ruin your vision.

But according to most ophthalmologists, while reading in the dark might strain your eyes and give you a headache, the notion that it can cause lasting damage is wrong. Most people can expect to experience some decline in their vision as they age, and genetic research shows that it is family history above all else that determines to what extent your vision will weaken.

But some researchers argue that putting too much strain on your eyes as a child or young adult, like the kind caused by reading in the dark, or simply reading for prolonged periods in general, might contribute to the decline of your eyesight later in life.

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Population studies in the United States and other countries have shown, for example, that the rates and severity of myopia are always greatest among people who attain the highest levels of education, as well as those whose occupations require them to do a great deal of reading, like lawyers, editors and doctors.

But most of those studies have not taken into account economic factors like limited access to eye doctors.

One ophthalmologist who has studied the claim, Dr. Robert Cykiert at New York University Medical Center, is adamant that the strain reading puts on your eyes — in poor light or not — is safe. “It may create fatigue,” he said, “but it cannot hurt your eyes in any way.”

THE BOTTOM LINE Most experts say reading in the dark is safe, despite circumstantial evidence that constantly straining your eyes can weaken your vision. (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/04/health/04real.html).

FACTS TO NOTE

Your reading habits are about more than just how much time you spend drowned in books. It involves your reading posture, the distance from the book or device, nature of the device, as well as the light under which you read.

One of the biggest reasons people develop sight related issues is because they rarely blink while reading. It is a condition similar to digital vision as it is depriving your eye from rest and muscle movement it needs from time to time. The fact that the book or device is close to your eyes also makes it difficult to focus on objects that are further away. However, this may only be a temporary issue. If you are spending four or five hours staring at a book just a few inches away from your eyes, hands of the clock are likely to look blurry for quite a while despite wearing your prescription eyeglasses. Similarly, if you are reading in dim light, you will experience difficulty adjusting your vision to brighter light.

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So, make sure you give your eyes brief breaks between the chapters. Blink wear bifocal glasses of you are both nearsighted and farsighted. And if you don’t want to put the book down and go out for glasses shopping. (https://www.marveloptics.com/blog/excessive-reading-harmful-eyes/).

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

4 Comments

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  1. Reading in the dark can sure damage your eyes

  2. okpala Frances somto

    Truly, reading in the dark is Dangerous…we shouldn’t spend much time staring at a book.

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