With schools back in progress, parents may think they have crossed everything off on their checklist, but our eye specialist want to remind parents on their children’s eye health. Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning and academic success. Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important. The earlier problems are identified; the sooner they can be addressed to the ophthalmologist. Dr.Tarek Makhlof, Ophthalmologist @ International Modern Hospital, recommends the following tips to for healthy eyes and vision:
- Watch for signals of eye problems– Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities like regular rubbing of the eye etc. Other symptoms to look for include a white or grayish-white coloring in the pupil, one eye that turns in or out, or eyes that do not track in sync together.
- Wear protective eyewear when playing sports– Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage. Hence wear protective eye wears as a protective measure.
- Get regular childhood vision screenings –
Children’s eyes change rapidly, making regular vision screenings an important step in detecting and correcting eye problems in early stages. For school-age children, a vision screening, which is less comprehensive than a dilated eye examination by an ophthalmologist,can be performed by a pediatrician, family physician, nurse or trained technician during regular checkups. If the screening detects a problem, the child may need to see an ophthalmologist — an eye physician and surgeon.
- Know and share your family eye health history– Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. Parents should share that information with the person performing the screening when possible. Examples of common eye conditions include refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) crossed eye, known as strabismus, and lazy eye, known as amblyopia. If crossed eye and lazy eye are not treated in childhood, they can sometimes cause permanent vision loss in one or both eyes.
- Beware of television on hand held devices– It is now becoming more and more common for children to suffer from eye strain after staring at screens for hours and hours. This is sometimes known as computer vision syndrome. Watch out for dry, red and sore eyes. Sometimes, children may experience blurry vision and have problems with words moving on the screen because their eyes are not properly aligned. You can avoid eye problems setting in at an early age by making sure that sessions involving near screen work are limited to 30 minutes a time. Make sure that there are plenty of breaks and that outdoor activity is not neglected.