Reading is a delightful pastime for people, young and old. Some folks can whiz through a 300-pager in a few hours. Others take their time and savor the delicious ideas and images found on a printed page.
Reading can be relaxing and rewarding. Escape literature, even if it is just a current scandal sheet, brings enjoyment in allowing us to learn about the lives of others, fictional or real while putting our own out of mind for a while.
To truly appreciate a reading experience, one must be able to see clearly and read without distractions. Here are some pointers for enhancing your optical vision while reading:
- Don’t read when your eyes are tired or strained. Close work at the computer, checking figures in a check register, or hours of needlework can make your vision feel blurry, especially when you try to read a small-print book or magazine. Wait until your eyes feel rested, or use over the counter artificial tears or drops to refresh your vision and allow you to enjoy the reading experience more fully.
- Hold the book at a comfortable eye level. If you find yourself squinting or opening your eyes wide to absorb the printed material before you, chances are the range is not right for your line of vision. Try holding the book higher, lower, closer, or further away to get a sense of ease when you start reading again. Use a lap pillow or lap desk to support the book if this enables you to read the print more clearly and easily without balancing the book at an awkward angle with your hands.
- Adjust the lighting. It’s a myth that reading in dim light will ruin your eyes, but the truth is that you may get eyestrain. You don’t want light so close or so bright that you have glare on the page, but neither do you want to have to search in a dusky room to make out the letters in your book. Choose an area with a clear overhead light with adequate wattage. Depending on how this is situated in the room, you also may want to get a small reading lamp to place beside you, one that is portable or flexible for when you change positions or the outside light shifts from day tonight. Don’t let it shine directly on you or it could feel warm.
- Consider large-print reading matter. Reader’s Digest publications, among others, offer large print editions for readers with weak eyesight. You can also download larger print copies of some materials from the Internet or borrow them from the library. Why strain to grasp print that is tiny or blurry when larger versions are available for the same cost, or even free?
- Get your vision checked. You may need corrective lenses if your vision is unclear or you find it difficult to read normal things. You should be checked for potential vision problems like glaucoma, cataracts, or infections, among others. Corrective surgery is another option, along with eye exercises or plain old reading glasses. From simple to complex, a range of options can be explored that may help to improve your sight.
Don’t let impaired vision or poor reading conditions interfere with the valuable hobby of reading. A few adjustments or an eye check can soon restore the wonder of the printed page.