People keep saying that it is important to have adequate light when reading, because reading in dim light will damage your eyes. Is this true and why?
The consensus is that sub-optimal lighting does not permanently damage the eye.
Sub-optimal lighting can create a sensation of having difficulty in focusing. It also decreases the rate of blinking and leads to discomfort from drying. These complaints do not persist. The majority consensus in ophthalmology is that reading in dim light does not damage your eyes; it is a myth. Although it can cause eye strain with multiple temporary negative effects, it is unlikely to cause a permanent change to the function or structure of the eyes (Vreeman & Caroll, 2007).
- Vreeman & Caroll, BMJ (2007); 335