How to Reduce Eye Strain

What is the best reading posture for comfortable reading?

The best light is daylight. The human eye has been “tuned” to daylight. All other sources of light are really poor substitutes.

The ideal reading position would be a sitting posture with the head erect; the book being kept, if the reader is below the age of 35, sixteen inches away, if above the age of 40, at the focal length of the reading glasses prescribed.

The light, be it daylight or artificial light, should come from the left, preferably over the shoulder, to prevent glare.

It has been noticed time and again that if the eye is permitted to relax by looking at the distance intermittently during reading, eye strain does not develop despite long hours of near application.

Thus, every effort should be made to be near a window, where one can occasionally glance out to relax the accommodation. To face a wall, with the idea that it increases concentration, is wrong.

The best mix of reading and relaxation is the popular 40:10 ratio, 40 minutes of reading to 10 minutes of rest during which the eyes must relax for distance. To read a newspaper during the relaxation period is certainly no rest to the eyes.

Eye strain also tends to develop faster if the eyes are pushed to read for long periods when they are tired. The same three hours of reading at night after a hard day’s work had best be postponed to the early morning when the eyes are fresh, with less chance of eye strain developing.

What is the best way to watch television so as to minimise eye strain?

Watching television is not in itself likely to damage the eye. However, if a few points are kept in mind, television viewing can be a pleasure.

The height of the television set is important. Experts consider that you should never have the screen in a high position where you must always look up to it. Ideally the screen should be at or just slightly below the level of the eyes.

One should never watch television in a completely dark room. Ideally the room lights should be on, but so placed that they do not cause reflections on the screen and at the same time do not fall directly in the eyes. The television room is ideal for indirect lighting.

The brilliance of the television screen should be decreased to the minimum level to be able to see the screen clearly. Increasing the brilliance causes glare which will result in eye strain.

The distance from the television screen is also to be considered. The ideal distance to view a T.V. having a 20-22-inch screen (measured diagonally) is 10 feet. The closest permissible is 8 feet.

One last point about television viewing is that one must occasionally let the eyes wander about the room, letting the eyes change focus from a near to a distant object and back to the television. This relaxes the eyes and prevents eye strain developing. Doing some relaxing exercises also helps and is to be recommended.

What is the best way for cinema audiences to avoid eye strain?

To many people the cinema (or movies) is the only form of recreation and relaxation. By itself it is quite harmless and as long as a few rules are followed there seems no reason why this exciting medium should not be enjoyed by all.

Naturally, it is better not to sit too close to the screen simply because the brilliance and glare is not in our control.

The best seats are those in the middle rows of the auditorium. The side seats however tend to distort the perspective of the picture and tend to strain the eye.

Please blink more often while watching a movie. Staring will cause strain. Intermittently, let your eyes rove over the hall, changing focus from the screen to the exit doors to the viewer in front of you. This technique of varying focus will lead to comfortable eyes.

Though the human eye has the ability to withstand and adapt itself to changes in light intensity, excessive changes will result in strain and headaches. To give a classic example: the matinee movie finishes and from a pitch-dark auditorium the eyes are suddently transported to bright sunlight with hardly a pause. The eye tries its best but the sudden exposure leads to pain and headache.

The theatre lobby was originally conceived of as a place where the person may come in from the bright daylight and let his eyes partially adapt to the lower intensity of the light, before entering the theatre auditorium, the same system being followed in reverse when going out. However, nowadays the crowd sweeps in and out. Going in from bright light only causes you to stumble over a few legs, while you take time to adapt to the darkness, and is quite harmless to the eye. Unfortunately the reverse is not true—from the dark to bright sunlight. I can only urge all cinema viewers to wait a while in the lobby for five minutes before going out into the open. After all, if you could sit for 90 minutes and watch the movie, surely 5 minutes more is not of importance.

If you have corrective glasses, they should be worn in the movie as the eyes will continuously strain to see clearly, putting a load on the eye mechanism.



1 Comment

  1. larrymcke@gmail.com

    More of these types of sites please and yes very helpful nothin like peace of mind!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended Articles