“Do not read in the dark!” Sure this sentence is something you have heard severally from your parents and eye doctors. Well, this has some taste of truth in it. However, reading in the dark doesn’t cause any permanent damage.
Effects of Reading In The Dark
While it may not cause permanent damage, reading in the dark also causes temporary sight issues like eyestrain. When the eyes are in a dark environment, the pupil dilates for light to enter the eyes. As a result, the rods and cones behind the eyes are stressed harder to transform information for the brain to make sense of it.
Overstressing the eyes to read in the dark regularly will eventually trigger eye strain.
Are Eye strain and Eye Damage The Same?
In simple terms – eye damage is permanent damage to the eyesight, while eyestrain is a temporary inconvenience of the eyes usually caused by stressing the eyes from lack of sleep, prolonged time on a digital screen, driving, inadequate lightening, etc. Eyestrain may lead to headaches, itchy eyes, soreness, and light sensitivity.
How About Reading From a Digital Device in a Dark Environment?
I bet this is something you do almost every night. And digital devices are also light sources, So you must be wondering if they can also be harmful to the eyes! Well, digital devices are indeed light sources, but recent studies show that writings on digital screens are a bit blunter than writings on paper. This means that the contrast level is low and can lead to eyestrain.
Uncorrected vision coupled with reading in dark environments can lead to more severe issues. This is another reason you should keep up with regular eye exams.