Eye-relaxation tips: how to prevent myopia from getting worse in kids
Does your child have trouble seeing objects clearly when they are far away? Is he unable to read what is written on the whiteboard in school? Does he frequently complain of headaches or “tired eyes”? If your child displays these symptoms, he or she may have myopia.
Professor Saw Seang Mei, head of the myopia unit at the Singapore Eye Research Institute, says that the problem is particularly frequent in Singaporean children because they spend more time focused on books and are increasingly exposed to electronic devices like smartphones and tablets.
But it is not insurmountable.
Your child’s vision can be corrected with the right eyeglasses prescribed by an experienced optometrist. Additionally, you may also want to take note of these eye care habits that you can practise at home and teach your children, to prevent myopia from worsening and alleviate eye strain.
Daily eye care habits to practise at home
- Always ensure that there is enough light in the room when your child is reading, doing homework, or using an electronic device.
- Encourage your child to take breaks in between work. He/she should stop and relax his eyes for at least 3 – 5 minutes after 30 – 40 minutes of reading or doing homework. Some simple eye relaxation exercises include looking out the window at far away objects or simply closing your eyes for 30 seconds and gently pressing your palms over them.
- Computer or game time should be treated like a dessert – to be had in moderation. Limit electronic device usage to 30 – 45 minutes per session to prevent prolonged exposure to blue light that is being emitted from the device, which may cause irreparable damage to the retina.
- Observe these recommended distances: any reading material should be held 30cm away from the eyes, computer screens should be at least 50cm away, and the television set should be at least 2 metres
- Encourage your child to spend more time outdoors. Natural light can release a chemical called dopamine in the eye that can stop myopia from developing. Outdoor activities are also a great way to bond with your child and improve overall health.
Caring for the eyes need not be expensive. But it has to start from a young age, beginning at home.