Light the Way for Your Eyes

Light the Way for Your Eyes

Don’t rely on your good eyesight in the dark -- especially if you’re getting older. By the time you hit late middle age, your retina needs more light to see specific tasks clearly. In fact, at age 60 you need about three times as much light on an object to see it as well as the average 20-year-old does. The solution? Adjust your lighting so you don’t strain your eyes or miss something important (everything from that spot on the front of your T-shirt to the small print in your medication instructions).

So, turn on that table lamp and peruse our suggestions:

  • Increase ambient light at home and in the office. That means opening blinds and curtains so natural light comes in. And use indirect lighting from floor and table lamps to get a soft, full glow (no shadows).  
  • Get targeted LED spots for specific tasks, like threading a needle or reading.
  • At home, use automatic on and off switches to keep an even light level throughout the day. And use motion sensor lights that come on whenever you enter a room—no missteps in the darkness!
  • Reduce glare by eliminating bare bulbs in overheads or chandeliers. You can also reduce glare by putting runners or tablecloths over highly shiny surfaces such as metal, glass or polished stone.

Medically reviewed in September 2019.

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