Good Eye Care Habits

By adopting good eye care habits, we can prevent many common eye problems. In fact, as parents, we should always try to cultivate good eye care habits in our children.

One of the main causes of high myopia rate is that many of us do not know or do not reinforce the importance of good reading habits.

Do Not Read Closely

When you are reading, please hold your book as far as possible (e.g. about 40 – 50 cm away). Do not slouch or crane your neck when reading. Hold the book at a slight angle to get a better view.

Make sure your reading posture, and sit with your back straight, your neck and shoulder muscle should be relaxed. You may need to adjust your table and chair for better posture.

If you are choosing reading materials for your pre-school children, choose one with large prints and with lots of colourful pictures. Studies show that reading plain black and white text would worsen your myopia in pre-school children.

Do Not Read in Bad Light

Check to ensure that the lighting is bright enough to read a book or do any near vision work without having to strain your eye and yet not too bright as to cause glare. Since lighting have limited life span and will get dimmer after a year of usage, remember to change the light bulbs at home regularly.

If you still find the lighting in your room not bright enough, you can use a reading light to supplement room lighting. When the lighting is dim, there is a tendency to hold the book too close to the eyes and therefore aggravating myopia. The reading lamp should be positioned close with its light shining from the side. Leaving the room lighting on would help to reduce any reflected glare by the reading lamp.

Incandescent or Fluorescent Lighting – Which is Better?

There is no scientific research to show that one light source is better than the other. Therefore you can decide based on your own preference.

Take Breaks – Relax Your Eyes

If you are wearing glasses, you can take your glasses off and rest your eyes at this time. As the eyes tend to dry out when doing prolong near vision work, you should blink more frequently to sooth the eyes. Do some eye relaxation exercises to relieve the eye strain.

Computers And Eye Strain

Working in front of the computer screen is another form of near vision work. Therefore, it is important to schedule regular rest breaks for the eyes. Be mindful to adopt the correct sitting posture and view habits to prevent eye problem.

Fit an anti-glare screen on your monitor. If you have to refer frequently to a document, use a document holder and position it at the same distance and level as you eyes. Maintain a distance of at least 50m between your eyes and the computer screen. This is slightly more than the normal reading distance. The gaze should be directed down. Sit up straight. Do not slouch or crane your neck. Keep the neck and shoulders muscles relaxed. Have the centre of the monitor positioned below your eye label by 15 to 20cm.

Playing computer games (as with handheld video games) are particularly strenuous and playing time should be limited to 30 minute session.

Sleep Early

Our eye is more susceptible to myopia development at night. Therefore, go to bed early and avoid doing homework at night. Turn off the room lights when sleeping.

Quit Smoking

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoking is the cause of more death and disease than any other single habit.

We have all heard about the evil effects of cigarette smoking on our lungs and heart, but there has been little mention of the adverse effects of smoking on vision.

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