All bookworms have gone through this dilemma: You want to read one more chapter of a new book but your parents keep telling you that it’s time for bed. Mom also makes sure to warn you not to read in the dark because it will ruin your eyes. But is reading in dim light really bad for your eyesight?
Reading in dim light is certainly difficult but it isn’t necessarily damaging to your eyesight. The worst that could happen to you when you read in the dark is some extra eyestrain that can be remedied when you rest your eyes. After all, people were already reading by candlelight before Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. Interestingly, none of them actually complained about diminishing eyesight.
But can reading in the dark actually cause myopia or near-sightedness?
So far, there have been no scientific studies that could connect the activity with the condition. On the other hand, researchers have found that people who spend too much time peering at their computer screen regardless of lighting are more likely to develop myopia.
So when exactly did people start believing that enjoying a book in dim light can cause nearsightedness? Once again, this might stem from parents warning children about reading in the dark. The belief has been passed down to every generation since then.
Excessive reading can strain your eyes no matter how dark or bright your light.
Excessive browsing on the internet (or reading a particularly engaging book) are certainly likely to cause myopia since it forces the eyes to focus on something for a long time. This can be prevented by taking a break from the activity and allowing the eyes to rest in between websites (or chapters).
Give your eyes a break so you don’t develop nearsightedness.
You can give your eyes a break by closing them for a few minutes before resuming the activity. People are also advised to step away from the book, laptop, or tablet and focus on faraway objects to avoid eyestrain.
We can’t tell you to stop reading in dim light but it is still better to find a sufficient light source when you want to sit down with your book. When your eyes are healthy, you’ll be able to enjoy more novels in your future.
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