How to Prevent Eye Strain While Reading

23/06/2024 13:10
Person reading a book with relaxed eyes

Eye strain is a common issue when you read for long periods. Your eyes might feel tired, sore, or dry. Here are some easy tips to help prevent and relieve eye strain while reading.

Optimize Your Reading Environment

Ensuring proper lighting is crucial to prevent eye strain. Avoid reading in dim light as it forces your eyes to work harder. Use a bright, focused lamp to light your reading material without causing glare.

Good posture can also help prevent eye strain and other discomforts. Sit with your back straight, shoulders relaxed, and feet flat on the floor. Hold your book or reading device at a comfortable distance and angle to avoid straining your neck and eyes.

Take Regular Breaks

To reduce eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. This helps your eyes relax and reduces the strain from focusing on close-up text for extended periods.

Give your eyes regular breaks from reading. Stand up, stretch, and walk around for a few minutes every hour. This helps reduce overall fatigue and gives your eyes a chance to rest.

Practice Eye Exercises

Focus exercises can help relax your eye muscles. Try this simple exercise:

  • Hold a pen or your finger a few inches away from your nose and focus on it.
  • Slowly move the pen or finger away from your face, keeping your focus on it.
  • When your arm is fully extended, focus on something in the distance.
  • Bring the pen or finger back towards your nose and focus on it again.

Repeat this exercise several times to help reduce tension in your eye muscles.

Blinking keeps your eyes moist and prevents dryness. Make a conscious effort to blink more often while reading. If your eyes feel dry, use lubricating eye drops to maintain moisture.

Ensure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up to date. Consider getting reading glasses specifically designed for close-up tasks. This can make a significant difference in reducing eye strain.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy reading without the discomfort of eye strain. Remember, if you experience persistent eye strain, it's important to consult an eye care professional for personalized advice and solutions.


  1. AOO, What is eye strain
  2. Rawstron JA, Burley CD, Elder MJ. A systematic review of the applicability and efficacy of eye exercises
  3. Atlantic Eye Institute, 5 tips to prevent eye strain while reading