The Myopia Myth

Chapter 7

Part 1: Proper Close-Work Habits

It should be obvious that there are essentially only two ways to prevent myopia. Either 1) give up all reading and close work, at least until adulthood is reached, or 2) arrange to do the close work in such a manner that the eyes can remain relaxed and focused for distance.

The first of these alternatives is hardly practical, and is becoming even less so as time goes on because of the increasing amounts of close work that our modern society requires.

We obviously must teach our children to read. However, we should abandon the increasingly prevalent practice of teaching children to read even before they start school. Many parents do this without realizing the visual harm they are doing. This just starts the child down the myopia road sooner than necessary. The eyes of preschool children respond very readily to the stress of close work by developing myopia. In addition, the child will be reading for a greater number of years before reaching adulthood, and there is thus more time for a greater amount of myopia to develop. Age six is early enough to start teaching children to read.

Many children spend over three-fourths of their working hours concentrating on things at close range. This is a totally unnatural use of the eyes.

This leaves us with the second alternative, and there are a number of things which can be done in this area. We will deal first with the more simple methods that do not require use of preventive aids or mechanical devices.

While the proper close-work habits described above are beneficial, they are seldom sufficient to prevent or halt myopia in children who have the tendency to develop it. The amount of close work done by children in our modern society is just too much to be counteracted by any halfway measures. More strenuous measures are nearly always needed in order to prevent accommodation to a greater extent and for longer periods of time.

Part 2: Preventive Aids

Preventive aids are used to reduce or eliminate accommodation when doing close work and they fall into several categories:

This section will deal with the first of these. The Myopter and pinhole glasses will be covered in later chapters.

Another form of multifocal lens is the progressive lens. While an ordinary bifocal lens has a sharp dividing line between the upper and lower segments, a progressive multifocal lens has no such line. The power of the lens changes gradually from top to bottom. Some specialists prefer eyeglasses of this type to bifocals.

These techniques are limited in what they can accomplish in preventing myopia. In fact, pinhole glasses can do much the same thing at far lower cost. And the Myopter can not only prevent myopia but reduce myopia that is already present. Read further to learn about these amazing preventive aids.

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