Don’t read for extended periods in poor light. Nature, or outside solar light, gives us about 10,000 watts of light. Inside lighting is very dim in comparison, about 150-200 watts at best. Most people read with 60-100 watt bulbs or less, and strain their eyes. If you have trouble reading in dim light, your eyes will strain and weaken even more.
It’s best to read in daylight, with the sun or outdoor light coming through the window onto your reading or working material. Or better yet, do your reading or close work outdoors! At night, shine a bright bulb – 150-200 watts – onto your reading material to make it clear, and lessen eye strain. Adjust the light so it does not cause glare on the page. Even better, use a FULL SPECTRUM LIGHT BULB. If you don’t know where to get these from, do a Google search for ‘full spectrum lighting’ to find a supplier near you, or one that will ship to you. Keep a Good Posture Whilst Reading. Poor posture while reading is a major cause of weakened and fatigued eyesight.
Avoid slumping or hanging or craning your head down while reading. Sit comfortably erect.
A slumped head position causes gravity to pull down on the eyeballs, placing strain on the eye muscles, which have to hold the eyes back in the sockets.
Holding this ‘neck-bent downward’ position causes lengthening/flattening of your eyeball, resulting in myopia or nearsightedness.
Hold your book or reading material parallel, about twenty inches from your eyes. Holding the print too close to your eyes is also a major cause of myopia.
Don’t Read for more than 30 minutes at one time. 30 minutes is about the maximum time most people’s untrained eyes can handle without strain or fatigue.
Read for a bit, then get up and walk around, stretch or go outside for a breath of fresh air.
Look into the distance. Take a deep breath, bend over and rub your face, forehead and around the eyes, exhale and stand up straight. Inhale again and bend backward, then to each side, and exhale and relax your gaze. Close your eyes and place your palms over your eye sockets and do some
palming (see the next chapter)
Avoid Straining. Strain is the major cause of bad eyesight. Straining to “see” any object, far or near, which you are unable to see clearly, places a heavy strain on the eye muscles. It’s just like trying to lift a heavy weight that your body is not conditioned to cope with, it will strain and damage your tendons and muscles.
Other ways to strain your eyes include – long exposure to cold wind directly into the eyes, bright artificial lights, (especially fluorescent lights), watching too much television and staring too long at a computer screen (my favorite!) Look up regularly and gaze into the distance. This is probably the most important eye habit you can practice while reading, doing any close work or watching television.
This exercise keeps the eye muscles flexible and stops them from getting into a frozen position.
Simply look UP from your close-work every five minutes and gaze (focus) at a distant object for five seconds. This exercise prevents eye-muscle cramping and also relaxes the eye muscles. During close work, the Eye Muscles contract to properly focus the lens. These muscles kept in constant contraction for long periods, tend to get cramped, just like your arm muscles would do if you held a barbell in a fully flexed arm curl position for several minutes. This was the hardest one for me, as I do a lot of computer work, and often, I get so involved with what I’m doing, I totally forget to look away. Sometimes, hours will pass before I realize I haven’t looked up from the screen even once! To force myself to do this, I found a simple, free software program which I installed on my computer – it’s called Break Reminder, and every 6 minutes, is locks me out of the computer and turns the screen black for a few seconds.
At first, it really irritated me, as it always seemed to happen when I was in the middle of something really intense, but after a while, I got used to it and now I never forget to look up every 6 minutes to relax my eyes! Avoid Close Work During and After Meals. Dr. Sasaki, a Japanese Eyesight Specialist states that you can add twenty years to your life if you don’t read while eating, and go outdoors after meals for at least 30 to 60 minutes. I don’t know if he’s right about that, but it’s kind of obvious that if your stomach is pulling all your bodies energy and blood supply to digest a meal, your eyes are better to be rested at this time, and not working flat out! You wouldn’t go to the gym, minutes after eating a meal, so it makes sense not to ‘send your eyes to the gym’ either, by forcing them to work hard, during or just after eating!
Avoid ‘Squinting’. Learn to see without muscular effort. The eyes naturally ‘squint’ in bright light, snow or water reflection. Other than that, squinting to read or see an object only weakens your byesight. Avoid squinting by consciously relaxing the eye brows. Special Reading Technique to Improve Vision. This one’s a bonus… I found this awesome technique recently. It takes a while to get used to it, but it really helps your eyes and makes reading much easier… … “When reading, you should look at the white spaces between the lines and not directly at the lines themselves. The reason for this is that there is no effort involved in sweeping your eyes over a plain white background. Fixing the eyes on individual words and letters involves strain, and strain hurts your vision. When a person with normal sight regards the white spaces with a sweeping shift across the page from margin to margin, he can read easily, rapidly and without fatigue. If the same person looks at the letters, the eyes grow tired and the vision becomes poor. People who cannot read well at the near point always tend to fix their attention on the print. Consequently they see worse. Improvement cannot take place until they learn to look at the white spaces between the lines.