Is Reading in Dim Light Bad for your Eyes?

Posted on Monday, January 13th, 2014 by Dr. Binoy Jani

Ophthalmologist Culpeper

Reading into the wee hours of the night in the soft glow of your bedside lamp is something most people enjoy after a long day but after a while one feels a strain on the eyes. Many children too, read under the covers in the beam of a torch when sleep evades them, but parents keep rebuking them to go to sleep and warn them that their eye sight will be harmed.

Even though one might experience a difficulty in focusing, decrease in the rate of blinking, redness, dryness and stress after reading in sub-optimal lighting but these effects are not permanent.

In 2007, a study, published in the British Medical Journal, revealed that reading in low light does not damage eyes, but rather just causes eye strain. Following this, ‘reading in dim light ruins eyesight’ was named a medical myth.

Even though, the experts at Vista Eye Specialists, VA strongly recommend using proper lighting while reading but validate that reading continuously in dim light may result in short-term eye fatigue, but there is no scientific evidence that reading in the dark does any long-term harm to your eyes.

The temporary drying of eyes caused due to less blinking while reading in faint light causes discomfort but wont damage the structure or function of the eyes. Our team of ophthalmologists at Vista Eye Specialists, Culpeper and Fredericksburg will prescribe over-the-counter lubricating drops to ease the discomfort.

Feel free to contact Vista Eye Specialists’ friendly and professional team on 888-393-5264 for an appointment for any eye-sight related health concerns.