In Installment #3 we discussed the centimeter measurement. Hopefully you had the time to create the setup and try a few measurements. If you have not done so yet, please do that first, before moving on to this installment.
Centimeter is much more than the measurements done once a year at the optic shop. Once you do a few, you will notice that there is variance, between the lowest and highest results. With different ambient light, and depending on how much time your child already spent looking up-close, vision acuity can vary significantly. Let’s try s few experiments:
The Dark Room
Use a dark room, with only your measurement platform lit.
Don’t do this one right after another measurement, rather keep them all spaced out over individual days. It’s a good idea to keep all other variables the same.
Of course we want to keep this playful and fun. I like to present it as a challenge – “how far can you see?” This will help build interest and curiosity for the child, and further his\her understanding about eyesight (and yours as well). This practice will help us get away from the false notion that eyesight is static. Depending on how you treat your eyes, what you last ate, lighting, mood, eyesight varies quite a bit.
How well did your child do in the dark room?
Let’s keep a log, with notes, as basis for comparison.
Fresh Eyes, Tired Eyes
Try one measurement in the morning before any games or reading.
Do another, one evening after a full day of school, homework, games, after a big dinner.
Look at that variance. See how much the strain of all day focus up close has affected your child’s eyesight. Now also consider how an optometrist appointment may well be late in the day, and in a dark room nonetheless. We will soon take a look at how prescriptions further aggravate the problem, beyond the strain you were able to quantity with your own measurements.
Use measurement to understand the boundaries of your child’s vision and to identify the degree of eye strain created by various activities.
Lets err on the side of fun vs. expediency.
Allow the log gathering process to take some time. Fun means engagement, engagement means long term success.