As a Mom, I worry about my sons welfare. Because of that I make sure they get their annual physical, are up to date on their vaccinations, eat healthy, nutritious meals and exercise. Yet, the one thing I didn’t pay much attention to was their eyes, at least until they told me they were getting headaches. Like many parents, I overlooked their eye care until they required glasses.
At a recent LensCrafters event, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mark Jacquot, the Senior Eye Care Director at LensCrafters, and Dr. Michael Chernich, an Optometrist. They provided Latina On a Mission readers with 5 eye care tips every parent should know. Hopefully, they’ll help you as much as they helped me!
Eye Healthy Meals
Fruits and vegetables are extremely important to eyes health. The more colorful, the better! Below are just a few examples of how eye healthy foods protect your eyes:
- Lutein absorbs up to 90% of blue light and acts like sunscreen for the eyes.
- Beta-carotene turns into Vitamin A inside the body and helps protect and lubricate the cornea.
- Omega-3 fatty acids protect the tiny blood vessels in your eyes, help with visual development and fight dry eye syndrome.
- Lycopene helps prevent light-induced damage to the retina.
Protection from Sun
According to Dr. Mark Jacquot, children are more apt to suffer eye damage in the sun. Children’s pupils are larger than adults; as a result, children eyes let in 70% more sun than adults. Because of this, children should wear sunglasses. Just make sure that the sunglasses have poly carbonate lenses that block out all ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Protective Eye Wear
Dr. Chernich stressed the importance of protective eye wear. Just as you wouldn’t send your child to play soccer without shin guards, you should not allow your child to play any intense sports without goggles. Goggles protect their eyes from damage and allow children to play without fear.
Screen Time Care
Children spend more time on smartphones, iPads and laptops. Extended amounts of screen time can have an impact on a child’s sight. As adults, we know we should not stare at a screen for longer than 20 minutes. Children, on the other hand, may not keep track of time as well as we do. This raises their chance of eye fatigue, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and more! Follow the following 3 steps to keep their eyes safe:
- Teach children the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes of screen time, look away about 20 feet in front of themselves for at least 20 seconds.
- Use artificial tears to hydrate the corneas.
- Switch contacts for glasses with anti-glare lenses to reduce eye strain.
Yearly Eye Exams
Yearly eye exams are as important as yearly doctor’s visits. Dr. Jacquot, points out, “Most eye health issues can be fixed or prevented through early detection yet just 1 in 13 kids have had a comprehensive eye exam by the start of first grade.” It’s important to have an optometrists check your child’s eyes. Children may not know how to vocalize the issues they are having. LensCrafters optometrists are able to conduct tests, like the AccuExam, the most advanced eye exam technology available that can catch any issues your kids may be having.
Let’s talk! Think I missed anything? Let us know in a comment. While you’re at it let us know if your children have annual eye exams!