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How to check your eyes

Vision screenings in school systems often do not evaluate the functional use of eyes for reading and writing activities. Most vision screenings in schools test the child's visual acuity at 20 feet. Children may have 20/20 acuity for distance but may have difficulty focusing and integrating their eyes to sustain looking at reading and writing material.

Some children will even have double vision at close viewing distances but be able to pass the vision screening for distance vision. While it makes little sense to only screen visual acuity for distance and then to send the child back to the classroom to work for the next several hours performing reading and writing tasks, this is presently the standard that is being used in schools across the United States.


Protect your eyes

Here are some tips to protect your eyes. When you work in an area in which the eyes need protection, be sure to wear protective safety glasses to keep the eyes from harm. This will protect your eyes from chemicals, light, and heat. If you are participating in sports, you will also need the proper helmets or goggles to prevent injury. When working near moving particles where there is a great deal of blowing sand or dust or even smoke, don't forget to wear goggles. These are common for many industrial workers, but some work around the home also makes their use necessary.

When you do very close reading, it is a good idea to practice good eye hygiene and to prevent eye injuries. Reading can be complex and is usually done without any thought or attention to injuries. You use the external muscles of your eyeball to shift from line to line; at the same time, your ciliary muscles keep your eyes focused on the same point. The amount of light admitted by the pupil is controlled by the muscles of the iris. You may have to re-read the same line of print if your vision is in poor muscular condition.

Try not to read in a car or on a moving bus, train, or airplane because your eye muscles are subjected to the strain of continually refocusing the words read. Reading while lying down or propped on one elbow will cause eyestrain. Have a good source of light if you plan to read in bed and assume a normal position for reading with your back propped up with a pillow.


Eyes exercises

There are no eye exercises that will help your eyes see better or that will prevent nearsightedness from getting worse. The article 'Can Eye Exercises improve vision' provides information on how the concept of eye exercises helping vision came about. Some of the eye exercise methods are the 'Yoga method' and the 'See Clearly method'. Carrots won't improve eyesight for someone eating normal healthy food. However, carrots are rich in beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important in maintaining normal vision, and worldwide, Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness. Therefore in the developing world, where deficiency of vitamin A is possible, eating carrots may be good advice.

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