How to get the right light for your eyes

Feb 27, 2018 in Eye Care

Family in bed reading books

We all know too much light is bad for your eyes, but what about too little light? Is that just as bad? Keep reading to find out why you should get more light in winter.

How do your eyes control light?

Your eyes do an incredible job of controlling how much light hits your retinas. The iris, the colourful ring surrounding your pupil, is a muscle, expanding and contracting to allow different amounts of light into your eye.

Too bright, and the iris gets smaller. Not enough light, and the iris expands. This is called ‘pupillary light reflex’, which happens instinctively.

Dark days are over

Luckily, the days of Dickensian characters blinking and fumbling around in murky candlelight are very much in the past. We all have access to plentiful amounts of natural and electric light. It might be tempting to sit comfortably in your armchair unaware that your relaxing mood lighting is actually causing your eyes to work too hard, causing eye strain.

The combination of dry indoor conditions and the natural ageing process (your eyes become more sensitive to light as you age) can combine with poor lighting to cause dryness and discomfort to your eyes.

Follow these quick and easy tips for great eye care through the gloomy days and nights:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule. There are few activities that put more strain on your eyes than ogling a computer screen for hours on end. It’s one piece of advice that everyone knows, but we all fail to follow: if you’re looking at an electronic screen (however small), make sure you take a few minutes to look away.The 20-20-20 rule is a great little mnemonic. Every 20 minutes, try taking a break from the computer for at least 20 seconds and focus on an object about 20 feet away.

  • Find your halo. Avoid rooms with single light sources. Don’t watch TV or use a computer for any length of time without a second light at the end of the room. At night it is always wise to ensure the light next to your computer screen is at a similar level to the screen itself, as differences can result in screen glare.

  • If you are reading at night make sure you have a desk lamp pointing at your reading source to lessen any eye strain.

  • Adapt your atmosphere. Winter can take its toll on our bodies and on our eyes. With closed windows and the central heating turned up, dryness can be a problem – drink plenty of water. If you’re warm enough, try opening a window for ventilation.

The way to better eye health

If your suffering from dry eyes, or simply want to make sure your eyes are in good condition, call us today on 0800 40 20 20 or book an appointment online.