The worst thing we can do to our eyes is strain them. Too much mental strain and focus can actually harm our eyesight and cause the eyes permanent damage. Bad habits start from childhood, especially once school starts. These bad habits carry over into adulthood and cause damage to the eyes. Most of eye problems and ailments are simply caused by the bad habits learned in our youth.
Children have a natural curiosity to learn new things. Ask any kindergartener or first grader if they are excited for school and they will almost always say yes with genuine enthusiasm. Ask the same question of a junior high or high school student and they will moan at the thought of going back to school for another year.
Why the huge difference between the two? School is too disciplined and children are forced to spend hours each day learning and memorizing things that don’t interest them. Any subject that is uninteresting causes more concentration and the eyes to strain through. Not every person enjoys the same subjects, yet all children are forced to memorize and learn things in an uninteresting way.
The eyes strain when forced to concentrate on images that don’t interest us. Like numbers on an analytical report for work isn’t going to interest all the employees, mathematics, science, and English won’t interest every student. This doesn’t mean that have a well-rounded education should be thrown out the window. It simply means there needs to be a change in how children are educated.
The Bates Method was discovered by Dr. William Bates, a famous eye doctor. In his method, Dr. Bates put together a large, poster-sized card covered in common shapes and letters familiar to most school age children. The card was hung at the front on the classroom and offered the students something to look at when they were feeling tired or overwhelmed. The purpose of the card was to give the children a chance to relax their eyes. Looking at new material puts strain on the eyes, but familiar objects allow the eyes to relax.
Teaching children not to strain their eyes from a young age will help keep their vision sharp for years to follow.