Reading in poor light "does not affect vision"

Reading in poor light "does not affect vision"

The belief that people who read in poor light are endangering their vision has been dismissed by one expert, who has labelled it "an old wives" tale".

Writing for The Conversation, Harrison Weisinger, foundation director of optometry studies at Deakin University, explained that the way in which people read is determined by how rods and cones in the eyes are utilised.

He explained that reading in dim light or even when there is hardly any light is possible if there is enough light for the cones to be able to pick up a "signal".

However, he noted that this may give people a headache as from an evolutionary point of view, eyes were not designed for straining to see close-up objects for sustained periods.

"Of course, eyestrain – the feeling of tired or aching eyes and headache – may indicate that you need glasses, or perhaps the glasses you"re wearing may need an update. If you are concerned about the health of your eyes, see your optometrist for a check," he stated.

Nevertheless, reading in dim or no light cannot have a detrimental effect on eyesight and people should not believe this myth, the expert added.

by Alexa Kaczka

« Back to list