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Yesterday , we went for our daughter's vision test. It was her routine check up for eye sight. But she was scared. She was scared not of the Doctor or the procedures as this is her third year with her spectacles but of her number being decreased further. "Mom, what if the number increases? Does it mean that my specs will be bigger or thicker? Will I look ugly will a big fat set of spectacles?" She said worriedly.
Two years back, when she was in class one, her teacher called me to meet her. She told me that my daughter hasn't been paying attention in the class and wasn't completing her work. I was worried. I asked my daughter at home why she was doing so. She told me that she wasn't able to see the board clearly from her last seat. We thought of consulting a specialist and getting her eyes tested. She was having a poor vision due to myopia. I was stunned, thinking of my daughter having to wear glasses at such a young age. I love her sparkling brown eyes but the thought of seeing those eyes behind spectacles was like watching a caged bird.
What was her reaction? Well, initially she was excited as she thought her dad looked smart in his glasses. Happily she went to the optician and chose a pink frame for herself but when she wore them for the first time and learnt that she will have to wear them all the time then she got a reality check. She was soon in tears. "Mom, I don't look like Barbie anymore. I don't look beautiful. What would my friends say?”
Even I felt like crying. “Isn't there anything that we can do to improve her vision.” I asked my husband. He started surfing the net and looking for something that we could do to improve her vision.
Then one day, he got a book titled, “How to Improve Your Child’s Vision Naturally” by Janet Goodrich. The book suggests emotional and psychological ways for healing myopia. There are various imaginative games and exercises to help your child recover their eyesight. There are a few excerpts from the book that I would like to share here.
1. The importance of healthy diet:-
We all know that a good balanced diet is extremely important, it is equally important for the eyes as well. “Proteins, vitamins and minerals compose the structure of living eyeballs. If an essential nutrient is missing or toxic substances are entering the body, developing vision can be affected. The brain processing input from the eyes and other senses, needs proper nutrition and plenty of oxygen.”
2. The role of oxygen:-
A good supply of oxygen to all our body parts is very important. Just as breathing exercises do tremendous good to our body, likewise it is important for our eyes and brain too. For that Janet suggests deep breathing, loud sighing and noisy yawning. According to her, “Your eyes give themselves a bath by yawning. Vision brightens up as if you had washed the world as well as your eyes.”
3. The benefits of sunlight:-
The light and warmth of sunlight provides tremendous benefits for our body and our eyes. “Sunlight is a natural antibiotic; it destroys certain bacteria, fungi and viruses… The sun’s warmth relaxes tight eye muscles.” It does not mean that one has to stare at the shining sun for long but one can sit in a shady area , keep the eyes closed and imagine it as a sunflower and imagining that there is a magical feather at the end of your nose. Draw an imaginary circle around it and rotate your head gently.
4. The saccadic motion of the eyes:-
Due to long hours of watching TV or engaging with other screens, the rapid flickering movement of eyes called saccadic motion is replaced with a stare which causes imperfect vision. To retrieve the saccadic motion, there is an exercise suggested in the book called “The Magic Nose Pencil”. Imagine that there is a magic pencil at the end of your nose, draw everything with your magic nose pencil, moving your head slightly. It is, as the book says, “our most important tool for breaking the stare and establishing or reestablishing a good habit of saccadic motion.”
5. Ball games:-
Another way of providing the saccadic motion to the eyes is playing with balls. Playing various indoor or outdoor games with different balls of different sizes provides fast flickering movements to the eyes. The movement of the balls itself produces saccadic motion of the eyes.
I have been reading and trying various methods and techniques suggested in the book in order to improve the eyesight of my daughter. Though she still wears spectacles but as parents we can only try whatever we can do to help her taking care of her eyes. The good news that we got in her eye check up yesterday was that her eye sight has been stable for the past two years.
I would like to request my readers to share their views and suggestions for helping our children in taking care of their eyes and vision.