Reading in low light rarely causes eye damage
Most people have heard the same thing for years, ever since their days of learning to read as children: “Don’t read in the dark, it will ruin your eyes!” After hearing that phrase repeated over and over, children carry it into adulthood, believe it’s true and tell their children the same thing as they get older as well. But, is it as true as people believe it to be?
According to many ophthalmologists, no. These eye care professionals do admit that reading in dim light, such as that which comes through an open window at dusk or even from a flashlight in an otherwise dark room, will cause eye strain, there will likely be no permanent damage from the practice. A majority of doctors say that any vision problems that occur as a person ages are caused by only by normal aging and genetic predisposition.
A minority of practicing ophthalmologists are now backing off of that claim, and saying that reading in low light in younger years may, in fact, affect eyesight later in life.
Dr. Robert Cykiert at New York University Medical Center, is adamant that the strain reading puts on your eyes — in poor light or not — is safe. “It may create fatigue,” he said, “but it cannot hurt your eyes in any way.”
However, most still agree that eye strain is the worst that will come of nights spent as children reading a book in bed using nothing but a flashlight.