If you have found that you experience a headache, dry and itchy eyes, or redness in your eyes while reading books or electronic devices, it is likely due to eye strain. While this is a common occurrence, it can also be avoided. Here are some easy ways to avoid eye strain while reading.

Have Sufficient Light

One of the most important things to do when you are reading a book is to have good lighting. If the lighting is poor, your eyes will work harder to focus on the pages, which causes eye strain. The best place for a lamp is behind you, which provides illumination down on the page of your book or magazine. It is best to have a lamp with a shade, instead of a bright light that isn't shaded. However, the best option is natural light if you can get it.

Use an Anti-Glare Screen

If you are reading on an electronic device, such as a tablet or laptop, make sure you are reducing the glare by installing an anti-glare screen. This is necessary whether you are using natural light or light from a lamp placed behind you. The glare can make it very difficult to read and quickly lead to eye strain. It is much harder to read on a device outside, so try to head inside whenever possible.

Take Breaks Often

While it can be tempting to read through an entire book in one sitting, you need breaks. Your eyes must rest occasionally and not stick to the pages for hours at a time. Make sure a couple times an hour, you are looking away from the page at another spot in the room. Do so for several seconds before returning to your reading material. Set a timer if you need the reminder to keep looking away from the pages.

Get Your Eyes Checked

You should also see your optometrist on a regular basis to have a full eye exam. It is possible that you need reading glasses, and that is why your eyes are straining when you are trying to read. This can be hard to diagnose on your own, since you probably see just fine. However, your eyes are focusing oddly when reading the pages, so reading glasses would be necessary. This also gives you the opportunity to check if you need regular eyeglasses as well, or if your current eye prescription has changed.

Contact an ophthalmologist like Valentine Eye Care for more information.