Reading Your Favorite Books Can Improve Your Eye Health

Learn more and get favorite book recommendations from staff at Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank.

By Ryeá O’Neill - March 5, 2024

Have you ever thought about the benefits reading can have on the overall health of your eyes? Most know about the intellectual and mental benefits such as increasing knowledge, creativity, and vocabulary, while reducing stress and cognitive decline. Yet there are benefits for our eyes to reading as well.

Reading has beneficial visual effects for our eyes.

Reading too much doesn’t result in wearing glasses like the old wives’ tale claims. Studies have shown that reading outdoors actually contributes to  “stimulating your visual brain more effectively and helping eyesight.” Reading also requires the coordination of eye movements and focusing of visual attention. As our eyes move through the words on the page, our eye muscles are exercising and improving their strength. As long as you observe the 20/20/20 rule to help avoid eye strain, these exercises can possibly improve coordination and performance over time.

In addition, reading can offer our eyes a much-needed break from the constant exposure to digital screens. This can alleviate the eye strain caused by the excessive screen time of our digital era. Giving our eyes a break, as recommended by the American Optometric Association, can reduce the fatigue caused by computer vision syndrome, problems caused by viewing words on a computer or digital device rather than on reading a printed page.

Read these favorite books to improve your eye health.

The staff here at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank understands how important eye health is and the positive impact that reading can have on their eyesight, so we asked them to share their favorite books from 2023 with us.

From a touching story about a grandmother who leaves letters sending her granddaughter on adventures, to insightful books on concepts of racism and systemic changes, to an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home, the variety of books suggested by staff was intriguing and exciting. The books listed below are just a few staff favorites from 2023.

Four Eyes: A Memoir of a Millennial Caregiver

Another great read is Four Eyes: A Memoir of a Millennial Caregiver by Alisha Bashaw. Alisha’s connection to Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank began when her parents passed away about 6 weeks apart and both were able to donate their corneas and give the gift of sight.

Alisha writes in her book about the journey of caring for her parents through their chronic illnesses and struggling to find meaning and make sense of it all. She battled with crippling grief as she felt orphaned by their sudden passing yet found herself leaning into deep resiliency and walking into the unknown world of eye, organ, and tissue donation and how it can impact the grieving process. Our staff recommend Alisha’s book as another favorite read.

As you move throughout the new year, we encourage you to pick up a book, turn the page and enjoy it as new adventures await. Remember, reading is a gift that keeps on giving — to both our minds and our eyes.

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