Reading electronic devices in the dark

6a00d8354fadbd69e2017c38875f51970b-pi-1A recent article in The Wall Street Journal highlights an age old vision question and a modern day question.

Does reading in the dark harm your vision?  There is no evidence that reading in the dark  will cause any long-term damage to the eyes or change to the physiology to the eye.  It may cause some eyestrain or fatigue but there is no indication that this will increase myopia (nearsightedness) or harm your eyes.

Does reading on a tablet damage your eyes?  Studies comparing various fonts, displays and pixel resolution found no difference in the effect on the eye between reading e-ink or a printed book.  So if reading a printed book in dim light is okay, so i reading a Kindle.  One difference though, is that devices like ipads, iphones and LCD monitors all emit a lot of light in the blue end of the spectrum (just think about that familiar blue glow you get from these screens).  Blue light is known to scatter more and can cause increased eye fatigue.   The good news is that lens companies are starting to produce coatings, like the Nikon SeeCoat Blue, that selectively filter out this blue light and reduce eye fatigue.

Michael Nelson OD, Waverley Eye Care

Children Should Get Eye Exam Before Using 3D Games



WINNIPEG, MB, MARCH 28, 2011: With the release of the Nintendo 3DS yesterday, the issue of eye safety in children under 6 has come into question. 1 in 20 children under the age of 6 suffer from amblyopia (lazyeye) and usually have no symptoms. Amblyopia(Lazyeye) occurs when a child does not develop normal vision in one eye. This impairs the ability to see 3D images or have normal depth perception. Amblyopia can only be treated if detected and diagnosed, therefore and eye exam with an Optometrist is critical for children under 6.

The Nintendo 3DS uses a new innovative design which shows a slightly different image to each eye. The result is the ability to see 3D images without the need for 3D glasses. Nintendo has officially warned that this technology should not be used by children under the age of 6 because it may harm their immature vision. Eye doctors, on the contrary, have said this or other 3D technology may not directly harm a young child’s vision. In children with amblyopia, it could result in eyestrain and headaches.

According to available reports less than 15% of children under 6 years old have had an eye exam. This means preventable vision loss has gone undiagnosed and untreated. Some parents wait for kindergarten vision screenings. These screenings come too late for treating amblyopia. An eye exam with their Optometrist starting at age 3 ensures the normal development of 3D vision in children.

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Thanks for dropping by.  Now I can only assume that if you have taken the time to stumble across our blog you are almost as passionate about vision as we are.  I hope we can help inform and perhaps entertain a little.