Reading is such a massive part of our lives. We read all day long — books, newspapers, magazines, emails, texts, blogs, social media content, food containers, and more. Behind all the magic of interpreting and understanding the content and context, is our eyes. Eyes are our window to the world.
In this age of screens and bright lights, it’s understandable that our eyes get tired. Two of the most common eye complaints are eye strain and dry eyes. When the eye is dry and tired, you don’t feel like reading. NOTE: Eye strain and dry eyes do not worsen or cause vision issues like nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Making simple changes in your surroundings and habits will keep your eyes healthy and wide open for an all-night read-a-thon. DiscoverBooks.com reached out to an eye doctor and searched for reliable sources to assemble this list of recommendations. Thank you to Spencer Garlick OD for some helpful tips. Remember, these are suggestions, so discuss any specific issues with your eye care professional.
When reading, a dimly lit room is not ideal. Proper lighting will keep the eyes from straining and becoming tired. It is best to place the light behind you where it doesn’t create a glare on the page. If you are reading at a desk, place a shaded lamp in front of you. The shade will protect your eyes from direct light. Either way, you want the light directly on the page without a glare.
Many stories are circulating about taking breaks from your glasses. They claim it helps your eyes rest or even strengthens the eyes. This is simply not true. Reading without your glasses strains your eyes and causes them to become tired. Keep those glasses on while reading. It is essential to have the proper prescriptions, but again, not having them only strains and tires the eye. It doesn’t damage the eye.
While we are discussing glasses, it is crucial to wear sunglasses outside. The sun can cause damage to your retina. Never stare directly at the sun without special-purpose solar filters. Staring at the sun can lead to blindness – not a myth.
Many people believe doing eye exercises will avoid the need for glasses. Unfortunately, your vision isn’t improved by them. Eye exercises don’t correct vision issues like nearsightedness and farsightedness. According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, eye exercises might help those with convergence insufficiency. This condition occurs when the eyes don’t work together to focus on a nearby object, making it difficult to read.
Eating a healthy diet is important to overall health. There are specific vitamins and food that help maintain your eyesight. Unfortunately, no food will cure your vision. Consuming foods rich in Vitamin A such as carrots, dark, leafy vegetables, bright-colored vegetables, dairy, and fish is good for eye health. Vitamin C and E are antioxidants that are known to protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Screens are a big part of our lives these days. Computer screens don’t damage vision but are a significant cause of eye strain and dry eyes. With a little care, these can be lessened or avoided.
- Make sure your screen is a little below eye level. Ergonomics are critical to avoid headaches, eye, neck, and back strain.
- Choose a place for your screen that limits glare from lights or windows.
- Keep the screen at the correct working distance for your glasses. If you don’t wear glasses, don’t sit too close to the screen. (At least 20 inches)
- Blue blocking lenses are a good option, although there is still some debate about the efficacy.
- Use artificial tears as needed. Studies show screen time decreases our blink rate dramatically. Not blinking can contribute to dry eyes. Take time to blink while at the computer.
- Follow the 20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look far away (at least 20 feet) for about 20 seconds. It allows your eyes to relax periodically. It is important to do this when reading books also.
Protecting your eyes keeps them healthy and strong. With a little bit of care, your eyes will be rested and ready to read through the night. Don’t forget to visit your eye doctor at least once a year. Find books on eye care at DiscoverBooks.com