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How to Avoid Eye Strain and Fatigue While Speed Reading

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Speed reading is a skill that can help you read more efficiently and save time, especially when it comes to academic or work-related material. However, it is important to remember that speed reading can also cause eye strain and fatigue if not done correctly.

Eye strain is a condition that occurs when your eyes become tired from intense use. If left untreated, eye strain can lead to more serious eye diseases, such as Computer Vision Syndrome, Myopia, and Asthenopia.

Symptoms of eye strain include:

  • Irritated, Watery, and dry eye
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Headaches
  • Soreness in the neck, shoulders, or back
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty reading small print
  • Eye fatigue or tiredness

1. Use Proper Lighting

The lighting in your reading environment can have a significant impact on your eye health. Make sure you are reading in a well-lit area and avoid reading in dim or dark spaces. 

Also, adjust your screen brightness accordingly to ensure you are not straining your eyes.

2. Take Breaks

It’s important to take frequent breaks while speed reading to prevent eye strain and fatigue.

Give your eyes a chance to rest and recover by taking a break every 20-30 minutes.

 During your break, look away from the computer screen and focus on an object in the distance to relieve blurry vision and tired eyes. 

If you’re reading in a dimly lit environment, it’s important to take breaks more often to avoid eye damage.

Remember, prolonged reading in dim light can cause eye strain and lead to tired eyes. So, taking regular breaks can help alleviate the strain on your eyes and improve your reading experience.

3. Take Regular Eye Checkups to Maintain Good Eye Health

The 20-20-20 rule is a helpful technique to reduce eye strain while reading for a long period of time. 

 “Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.” 

This can help to reduce eye fatigue and strain and keep your eyes healthy.

4. Use the 20-20-20 Rule

Some people assume that the easiest way to read quickly is by skipping words or lines. Skimming and skipping lines are part of ineffective speed reading techniques. 

Good-speed readers employ specific methods like reading in saccade to break bad habits and learn to read faster without sacrificing comprehension.

One effective technique for speed reading is called chunking. Chunking involves grouping words together in meaningful phrases or ideas. This technique can help you read faster while maintaining comprehension.

5. Practice Eye Exercises

Eye exercises can help reduce eye strain and improve your overall eye health. Here are some easy exercises you can follow:

  • Blinking: Blink your eyes rapidly for a few seconds to help moisten your eyes and reduce dryness and eye fatigue.
  • Palming: Rub your palms together to generate heat, then place them gently over your closed eyes. This can help soothe tired eyes and improve relaxation.
  • Eye focusing: Hold a pen or pencil at arm’s length and focus on the tip. Then, slowly bring it closer to your eyes until it becomes blurry. Repeat this exercise several times a day to improve eye movement and prevent eye strain.
  • Eye tracking: Hold your thumb up in front of you and move it from side to side. Follow your thumb with your eyes and try to keep your head still. This can help improve the elasticity of eye muscles and reduce eye fatigue.
  • Distance gazing: Look at a distant object, such as a tree or a building, for a few minutes. This can help relieve eyestrain caused by prolonged close-up work, such as reading or computer use.

6. Adjust the Font Size

Make sure the font size on your screen or paper is comfortable and easy to read. Avoid reading small text as this can cause eye strain. Adjust the font size so that it’s comfortable for you.

7. Use Eye Drops

If you find that your eyes feel dry or tired while speed reading, try using eye drops. This can help to lubricate your eyes and reduce dryness and irritation.

8. Practice Proper Breathing Techniques

When you’re speed reading, it’s easy to forget to breathe properly. Take deep breaths to help increase the oxygen flow to your eyes and brain. This will help to reduce eye strain and keep you focused and alert while reading.

9. Optimize Your Digital Device Settings

Optimizing your computer settings can help reduce digital eye strain and prevent vision problems. Here are some tips:

  • Use dark mode or night mode to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your computer screen. Blue light can cause eye fatigue and contribute to the development of eye diseases.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen to a level that is comfortable for your eyes.
  • If you find yourself squinting or experiencing blurred vision, it may be time to get new glasses or contact lenses and update your prescription.

Taking steps to optimize your computer settings can help alleviate digital eye strain and promote better eye health.


Speed reading can be a great tool to help you read more efficiently, but it’s important to take care of your eyes while doing so. By following these tips, you can avoid eye strain and fatigue and ensure that your eyes stay healthy.

Remember, your eyes are an important part of your overall health and well-being. By taking care of them while speed reading, you can enjoy the benefits of this powerful tool without putting your eyes at risk.

So, take the time to learn speed reading techniques and incorporate these tips into your reading routine to help ensure that your eyes stay healthy for years to come.

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