Quick! Put your hands on your head. Are your glasses there? Grab your neck — are they dangling there? Now, hold your electric bill four feet from your face and try to read it....
Welcome to the midlife version of Simon Says, a nearly universal condition known as presbyopia, which translates roughly to "elderly eye" (as if crow's feet weren't enough). It usually starts in your early 40s, as the lens of the eye stiffens, losing its ability to focus and making it difficult to see objects...
Dim light might make it difficult for the eyes to focus, which can cause
short-term eye fatigue, says Richard Gans, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist with
the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute. "But there is no scientific evidence
that reading in the dark does any long-term harm to your eyes," Gans says.
Challenging visual work, such as reading in insufficient light, can also
lead to short-term drying of eyes because you blink less often, Gans adds.
Again, this is uncomfortable, but it doesn’t damage the structure or function
of the eyes. You can use over-the-counter lubricating drops if dry eyes are a
On the off chance that your next question is going to be, "What about
sitting too close to the TV?" we have the same answer. Getting too close to the
set for your favorite shows won’t harm your eyes -- "either from overfocusing
or from radiation," Gans says.