7 Simple Reading Habits to Help Combat Myopia Progression - Finchley's Multi-Award Winning Opticians Practice
Habits for children reading myopia

7 Simple Reading Habits to Help Combat Myopia Progression

As parents, we all want to nurture our children’s development and well-being. When it comes to their vision, especially in managing or reducing the risk of myopia progression, the way they read can play a crucial role. Here are some of Central Vision Opticians’ practical and easy-to-implement tips to help your child develop healthier reading habits.

1. Embrace the Elbow Rule or Harmon Distance for a Better Reading Posture

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect your child's eyes is by teaching them the 'elbow rule' or the 'Harmon distance.' This rule is a handy guide to ensure your child holds their reading material at an optimal distance. The idea is to maintain a distance from the eye to the book equal to the length of the child's forearm, from the elbow to the first knuckle. This not only helps in reducing eye strain but also promotes a healthier posture while reading.

Elbow rule (Harmon distance) for reading

2. Schedule Regular Reading Breaks with a Bookmark Strategy

Continuous reading can strain the eyes and contribute to myopia progression. To encourage regular breaks, use a bookmark strategy. Place a bookmark a few pages ahead of where your child is reading. When they reach the bookmark, it's time for a short break - maybe 5 to 10 minutes. During this break, encourage them to look out of the window or engage in activities that involve looking into the distance. This simple trick helps in reducing the continuous near-focus demand on the eyes.

Use the Bookmark Rule to help take regular breaks

3. Create a Comfortable Reading Environment

A comfortable reading environment can encourage better reading habits. This includes having a comfortable chair and table, where your child can sit upright and maintain the Harmon distance easily. They should avoid reading while lying down or in positions that encourage them to hold reading materials too close to their eyes or have one eye significantly closer to the page than the other.

4. Ensure Adequate and Proper Lighting

Good lighting is key to reducing eye strain. Ensure that the reading area is well-lit, but avoid lighting that can create glare on the reading material. Natural light is ideal, but if that's not possible, use a lamp that illuminates the book or device directly. The light source should be positioned in a way that it doesn't cause reflections or shadows on the page.

Ensure good posture and adequate lighting when reading

5. Encourage a Balanced Reading Diet

Just as a balanced diet is important for overall health, a balanced 'reading diet' can help in managing myopia. Encourage your child to balance their time between reading, outdoor activities, and other hobbies. Outdoor activities, in particular, have been shown to be beneficial in reducing the progression of myopia.

6. Lead by Example

Children often emulate their parents. If they see you following these healthy reading habits, they are more likely to adopt them too. Make reading a family activity where everyone follows these healthy practices together.

7. Regular Eye Check-Ups with a Specialist in Myopia Management

Lastly, ensure regular eye check-ups for your child. This will help in monitoring their vision and myopia progression, if any, and an eye care professional can provide additional personalised tips.

Incorporating these simple yet effective habits into your child’s reading routine can have a significant impact on managing and potentially reducing the progression of myopia. Remember, small changes can lead to big results in ensuring the health and well-being of your child's vision. Contact us for more information about myopia management on 02083431122 or email [email protected]

About the Author Bhavin Shah

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: