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Reading with Proper Lighting

Reading in the dark won’t cause permanent damage to your eyes, but it can lead to short term problems, such as headaches and eye strain, that are totally avoidable. Whether you’re reading a paperback book, an e-reader or on a tablet, you should know why reading with proper lighting helps to avoid eye strain.

The following are some reading environment tips to consider to help you and your children avoid the problems often associated with poor lighting.

Brightness of Reading Area

Many people have switched from reading physical books to reading on a digital device and that includes student textbooks. It’s important to be mindful of the brightness of a digital screen vs. the lighting of the area you’re reading in. The lighting of the area you’re reading in should be as bright as or brighter than the light on your digital device.

Avoid reading in dark rooms, as reading on a digital device in a dark room can cause eye discomfort and that can lead to lower concentration and disorientation because your eyes must constantly adjust between the brightness of a screen and the dimly lit surroundings. 

Harsh lights like fluorescent lighting, causes some people to suffer from migraines and this problem can worsen over time.

Increase Task Lighting

Task lighting refers to the artificial light that increases illumination for activities such as reading. Experts have said that people should increase task lighting in their homes as most homes are significantly under lit. This can cause your eyes to tire much more quickly.

Using a lamp with a bendable neck will help you to read more comfortably as it will allow you to angle the light to exactly where you need it while reducing glare and usually provides better lighting than overhead lights.

Many experts agree that most people should use a 100-watt lamp for reading but, if that feels uncomfortable to you, ask your eye doctor what might work better. A task light should be positioned to shine directly onto the page and not over your shoulder to avoid any glare when reading.

LED Lighting for Reading

LED lights are becoming more popular because they last longer than conventional lights and many people are using them as reading lamps. They come in a lot of different strengths, so you will need to find out which strength works best for you. LED lights may gradually fade over time so you’ll need to replace the batteries when the light starts to grow dimmer.

Regular Check-Ups Important

Everyone should have a regular eye exam to help ensure good eye health. This is especially important for children, as their eyes are still developing. Book regular eye exam appointments for your children to make sure their eyes are kept in good health for reading and other developmental activities.


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