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Reading Under the Covers: Is Dim Lighting Bad for Your Eyes?

Debunking the Myth for Night Owl Readers

Using a cellphone at night

Are you a night owl? Do you enjoy reading? Have you ever been caught skimming your favorite novel under the covers way past your bedtime? It’s probably something you know well as a reader. We’re here to tell you that it’s a habit to stop doing — but not for the reasons you know.

As much as we maintain our bodies by working out and eating nutritious food, our eyes should also be on the priority list. Thus, to keep a healthy vision, say goodbye to reading in the dark. Continue this blog if you want to learn more, but ensure to be under ambient lighting first!

Does Reading in the Dark Affect Your Vision?

If you’re an avid reader as a child, you probably remember your parents telling you not to read under dim lighting because it can hurt your eyes. Maybe you used to wonder if it were true, but you still kept doing it anyway. We’re here to tell you that they were right. 

Although reading in the dark won’t have long-term effects on your vision, getting eye strain can be as bad. Your eyes grow tired when you use them for an extended period without ambient lighting, which can be uncomfortable. They may feel better after rest, but repeatedly doing it adds more discomfort. It’s the same as using any body part, such as your muscles, which get sore after strenuous physical activities. 

Reasons Low Light Can Cause Eye Strain

As much as we are night owls, we still aren’t ones with eyes that can focus on low light; thus, it is a challenge to see in the dark. Sure, our pupils dilate to allow more light, but this doesn’t mean we’re not hurting our eyes. Moreover, there is a natural decline in our vision as we age, and we’ll feel more of the difference every time we read without proper illumination. Remember, we won’t always have the best eyesight as we get older! 

What’s more, doing this habit with existing eye conditions, such as nearsightedness and astigmatism, only aggravates eye strain and irritation. Pain will only distract us from diving into our favorite book! Lastly, we tend to blink less under dim lighting, which could lead to dry eyes. That is another problem. So, keeping eye drops near us ensures we stay focused on the story without interruptions (but still read under natural light, even with lubrication!). Feye 

Watch Out for the Symptoms

Are we hearing, “I’m still young! It’s okay to push my body to its limit!”? We hate to break it to you, but it shouldn’t be that way if you want to maintain healthy eyes. See the symptoms of eye strain below:

    • Blurry vision
    • Double vision
    • Headache
    • Irritated eyed
    • Neck or shoulder pain

Debunking the Myths and Delivering the Facts

Raise a hand if you used to do this too: Bringing your favorite book during late-night road trips and reading it every time the car passes by a dim streetlight. If you’re familiar with this habit, no one can stop you from getting lost in the story, even when it’s a struggle to read. 

You probably also heard about negative things associated with reading in the dark. As an avid reader, you might have experiences of your family and friends lecturing you whenever they catch you opening your book under dim lighting. But it’s not something you would easily give up, especially when the story is so good. We’re here to debunk the myths and deliver the facts about reading in the dark. 

It won't:

  • Weaken your eyesight
  • Induce nearsightedness
  • Have long-term effects on your vision

But will:

  • Lead to eyestrain
  • Be challenging for nearsighted people
  • Cause temporary discomfort

Goodbye, Eye Strain! Hello, Unlimited Reading!

Now that the myths are out of the way — let’s talk about things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and happy. If you don’t want anything to hinder your precious reading time, properly caring for your eyes ensures a more enjoyable me-time. 

First and foremost, schedule an annual eye checkup or exam. It is best if you get proper treatment fast! Believe us when we say that you don’t want to suffer from untreated eye conditions. Next is to take screen breaks, if you’re using an e-book reader, every 20 minutes. But taking frequent breaks is still crucial even when reading a physical book because you can still suffer from discomfort if you don’t pause. 

Another is to adjust for adequate lighting and reading distance. Natural lighting is still best, but if not possible, ensure the environment is well-lit. Also, get plenty of rest and be active in healthy lifestyle choices. It doesn’t mean you’ll continue the habit of reading in the dark just because your eye strain disappears after a few hours of rest! Lastly, proper eye care means wearing the right glasses. EO Viseo VS220938 Anti-Radiation not only filters blue light but reduces eye fatigue. Get lost in your favorite novel while looking good with its classic plastic frame in a distinctly modern style. 

EO Viseo VS220938 Anti-Radiation
EO Viseo VS220938 Anti-Radiation

All Set! To Another Fictional World, We Go

We’re not saying to stop reading because it’s something impossible to do for us avid readers. As bookworms, we can’t just remove it from our daily routine. But engaging with our favorite pastime doesn’t have to cause us discomfort. Remember, if it hurts you, then there’s something wrong. 

You can continue doing what you love without compromising your eye health. You can start caring for your vision by visiting the nearest Executive Optical shop for a free eye checkup

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