Thursday, March 09, 2006

Use it or lose it

People are always turning on the lights around me when I read. Inevitably, they say, "You're gonna ruin your eyes, readin in the dark like that!"

Is there any scientific basis for this theory? The rest of your body is systematically slapped with the use-it-or-lose-it theory. Muscles, that makes sense, because we see them get bigger or smaller in proportion to our gym visits. Your heart needs to get worked out too - but then it is a muscle. Other organs kinda fit too though - if you don't eat a lot, your stomach shrinks. There's all this evidence out lately that one way to prevent/lessen the effects of Alzheimer's is to stay mentally active (they always mention crossword puzzles). Use it or lose it. Your brain is a bunch of neurons. Your eyeball, now that has a lot of neurons too. Who's to say that reading in faint light isn't actually good for your eyes? [Wait, do I have that wrong or is that just a weird saying: "who's to say." What the hell does that mean? Who would say? Who can say?]

Anyway, until somebody can point me to at least a quasi-scientific study proving it, I'm not gonna be bothered by reading in low light.

1 comment:

Mike in Arkansas said...

I did a seach on Google using:

"reading in the dark" ruin eyes

From About.com

Q. Will Reading in the Dark Ruin Your Eyes?
A. Not really. At least not in the short term. But low lighting can make your eye muscles work harder to see, leaving you with temporary symptoms of eye strain that might include a headache.

There were a lot more hits for that search. With just a quick look, it appears that the consensus of those agree with you.