As a parent, it is your job to keep your child safe and healthy. But how do you make sure that their eyes are getting the care they need? It is essential to prioritise eye health from an early age. Proper eye care for children can go a long way in preventing eye problems and ensuring that their vision is protected in the future. Our best eye specialists in Kolkata have curated some of the best eye care tips for kids:
1. Regular eye exams:
Eye exams are important for every individual regardless of age. It can detect any potential eye problems at an early stage. Your child should get their first eye exam when they are six months old. The following eye exam should be carried out when they are three years old. Take your kids to the eye specialist before they start school. If they squint while trying to view any kind of writing or details, there are chances that they have developed a vision problem. The eye specialist will prescribe a few tests. The treatment plan will then depend upon the results of these tests. Regular eye exams will help in detecting the problem early and initiate the treatment process. This will prevent the issue from progressing into something critical or impairing your kid’s eyes at a young age. Eye exams will also help monitor the effectiveness of the treatment plan and if there is any requirement for further upgrade or additions in the process.
2. Limited screen time:
It is important to limit your child’s use of digital devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers to prevent eye strain and other problems. Excessive screen time can lead to eye inflammation, dry eye syndrome, and redness. Encourage your child to take regular breaks while watching TV or playing video games. For children between the ages of 2 and 5, limit screen time to two hours per day. Spending too much time on digital devices can also lead to behavioural problems such as violence, reduced attention span, and disobedience. By decreasing screen time, your child can improve their focus and avoid issues such as fatigue, headaches, and eye pain.
3. Outdoor activities:
Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on children’s eye health, reducing the risk of myopia and other eye problems. Encouraging children to engage in outdoor activities, play with friends, and participate in sports can have numerous benefits. Here are a few reasons why spending time outdoors is good for children’s eyesight:
- Exposure to natural light: Spending time outdoors exposes children to natural light, which can enhance the development of their visual system and help them adapt better to different lighting environments. This can reduce the risk of developing myopia.
- Reduces eye strain: Too much screen time can cause eye strain, but spending time outdoors allows the eyes to adjust to natural light, reducing the risk of developing complex eye problems.
- Improves eye movements: Being outside gives children the opportunity to focus on different things happening around them, which can improve their eye movement and hand-eye coordination. Activities such as playing sports or running in the park can also enhance visual health. 4. Proper lighting:
Proper lighting is important because it helps your child view things clearly which leads to focus and enhanced performance. Ensure that your child’s work and play areas are illuminated adequately. Do not make the area too bright as that can cause strain on the eyes. Here are some benefits of adequate lighting:
- Reduced strain on their eyes
- Improved visual performance such as reading, writing, accuracy, and comprehension
- Reduced errors
- Reduced possibilities of nearsightedness
- Enhanced safety
5. Balanced diet: Balanced diet is important for good visual health. Food rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc are instrumental in maintaining good eye health. Ensure that your child consumes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. The benefits of a few nutrients are as follows:
VITAMIN A: It keeps the cornea healthy. Vitamin A contains rhodopsin, which is a protein that helps to view in low lighting conditions. Vitamin A is found in orange- coloured fruits and vegetables such as carrots, mangoes, apricot, and sweet potatoes.
VITAMIN C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that produces collagen. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the connective tissue in the eyes.Vitamin C protects eyes from damage and can help prevent eye disorders. It can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges, guava, lemon, and tomato, as well as in vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts, and capsicum.
VITAMIN E: Vitamin E helps lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataract. Vitamin E is found in almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. Including vitamin E rich food can preserve your child’s eyesight.
ZINC: Zinc helps in the formation of visual pigments in the retina. A deficiency in this nutrient can cause night blindness. Zinc is found in foods such as chickpeas, beans, and nuts.
OMEGA 3: Omega3 is beneficial in vision development of infants. DHA and other omega 3 fatty acids, found in breast milk, support eye development in infants. Omega3 is also found in other food sources such as fish, nuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
Looking for the best eye care for your child?
Visit Disha Eye Hospitals. Our team of highly trained paediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists are dedicated to providing the highest quality care for your child’s eyes. We offer a wide range of services including eye exams ( such as motor tests and sensory tests) and treatment of eye conditions and disorders, and specialised care for children with complex eye issues.