Does Reading in Bad Light Cause Nearsightedness in Children?

Whenever you or your children read, it’s a good idea to have adequate lighting available so the eyes aren’t strained. Eye strain occurs when the eyes can’t readily identify the text on the page. Your child’s eye doctor in Wellington, FL wants you to be aware that reading in bad light doesn’t directly cause nearsightedness. However, bad lighting does strain the eyes and can make vision worse, especially for children.

What is Nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is when the physical eyeball is elongated, and images are focused incorrectly in front of the retina. In nearsightedness, near vision is clear, while things that are far away are blurry. Farsightedness is the opposite.

What Causes Nearsightedness?
Genetics plays a role in whether a child develops nearsightedness. However, because children’s eyes are still developing, reading in poor light can make it more likely that a child will develop myopia. The problem is made worse if the child is an avid reader. Prolonged periods of close-up activities, such as reading, without breaks can increase the risk of myopia. No loving parent would encourage a child to put down a book. Instead, the use of good lighting should be encouraged.

How to Ensure Adequate Lighting
For children who enjoy reading, any place makes a good place to read; the back of the car during long drives, the dinner table—even under the blanket at night with a flashlight. But there are ways to help a child who yearns to read, so they don’t inadvertently increase the chances of becoming nearsighted.

Place table lamps on both sides of the bed
Gift the child a book light that clamps onto the pages
Light up the area when you see your child reading
Let the child know the importance of adequate lighting
If your child is exhibiting signs of becoming nearsighted, be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor in Wellington, FL.