How to Read Books Without Straining Your Eyes

By | September 21, 2018

Individuals who are certified bookworms will likely have an immense list of books that they would like to read over the coming weeks and months. To push through all of their favorite literary works, however, they will need to avoid straining their eyes. Excessive eye strain can hang around for weeks and can make it difficult to perform routine tasks. Here are five surefire ways that men and women can avoid ocular problems as they delve into the large stack of books that has been waiting patiently on the bedside table. 

1) Choose Proper Lighting 

Lighting is the most important component in the immediate reading area. Readers should use soft light sources that are positioned to the back or to the side. Direct lights overhead can lead to glare on the individual pages. When people are forced to squint, they will be putting themselves at risk for eye strain. Lower wattage bulbs will work best. For bedtime reading, a lamp with a darker shade is also a good idea. 

2) Consider Large-Print Books 

Men and women who have had eye problems in the past will have to be extra careful. Some bookstores sell special large-print books for people who are already wearing bifocals or contacts. While readers will have to commit to turning the pages more often, the trade-off can be quite beneficial. The large text size will allow literature enthusiasts to make excellent progress through fiction and nonfiction alike. 

3) Take Frequent Breaks 

Long reading sessions are usually hard on the eyes. When people take breaks every few hours, they will be giving their eyes time to recover. Men and women can head to the kitchen for a snack or perhaps take the family dog for a quick walk around the block. Breaks of 20 minutes or so should be perfectly ample for most people. If students are trying to read several chapters in a highly technical science book, then longer and more frequent breaks will be needed. In fact, most people find it easier to retain information when they divide the material up into manageable chunks. 

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4) Avoid Reading When Tired 

While breaks can certainly help with eye strain, individuals will also need to know when to quit for the day. If readers find that their eyes are becoming hopelessly droopy after several hours of reading, the best course of action is to wrap up the session. Marathon reading sessions of longer than 12 hours, in fact, can cause discomfort or even pain. A well-timed nap will give the ocular muscles plenty of time to recuperate. Within a few hours, readers will be ready to tackle Dickens or Tolstoy once again. 

5) Use a Cold Cloth to Ease Muscle Inflammation 

When readers are already well on the way to straining their eyes, they can minimize the damage by pressing a cold cloth to the ocular area. Cold temperatures will decrease the inflammation and provide some relief from the pain. If an ice pack is to be used, it should be wrapped in a cloth or a paper towel so that the ice does not directly contact the face. Likewise, cold cloths should be removed from the eyes after a few minutes so that the tissue itself does not freeze. 

Enjoy the Experience 

Having successfully fended off eye problems, literature enthusiasts can go on to read books from many different genres. Individuals can read science articles, romance novels, religious treatises, comics, classic fiction and historical biographies. The ultimate goal is to reinvigorate the soul so that life can be enjoyed to the fullest.

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