Keep those glasses away!
If you noticed your child rubbing his or her eyes frequently, it may not necessarily be owed to fatigue caused by a day of too much play. We bring you more on the reason behind the "rub" and the other suspects to unhealthy vision.
For starters, try out this simple experiment. Use a camera (even the one on your phone would do) to take a snapshot of this very screen you are looking at. You would see innocent little flickers running down the screen in a waterfall-like motion. These flickers which exist in every single screen you look at aren’t so innocent after all.
These flickers are the veiled reason as to why your child may be rubbing his or her eyes frequently after prolonged usage of the computer or television.
In addition to the flicker, there are other eyesight murdering suspects hidden in the daily routine of your child. We will share with you some of the reasons to unhealthy vision, and provide you with tips on how to ensure healthy vision for your child.
These are the common culprits that can do major damage to our eyes.
The Flicker – All that eye-rubbing your child does is primarily caused by the flicker present in all screens – television, iPad, iPhone, PSP etc. The flickering on the screen makes you focus harder on the moving visuals. As a result, your eyes work harder and thus get more tired the longer you view the screen.
During the process of this “unconscious” effort, one “forgets” to blink for a longer period of time. Blinking is a way for the retina to remain moisturised. So when you “forget” to blink, the sheet of moisture on the retina evaporates, leaving the eye dry and aggravated. To soothe the aggravation, you or your child may rub the eyes.
As the eyes are rubbed, toxins are released causing inflammation.
The Glare – The glare is another culprit for your eyes to get tired easily indoors. It makes the eye work harder to see, thus causing a strain on the eyesight if the glare is too bright or too low. While the glare is present in almost all lights, some like the 3M Polarizing Light uses a technology that eliminates any glare in their lighting products. Thereby, creating and ensuring a strain-free environment for the eye.
The UV Rays – Another common bully to our eyes is the UV ray emitted by the sun. While letting your kids play outdoors in natural sunlight is healthy and recommended, overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays can result in devastating consequences on the eyes. Your child can spend as much time as they like playing outdoors – as long as they have a good pair of shades to protect their eyes. Protecting your child’s eyes from sunlight is vital because most of the time, sun damage cannot be fixed by an optometrist.
6 tips for securing Swarovski-crystal vision for your child
When it comes to our eyes, let alone our child’s eyes, it is better to be safe than sorry. This is illustrated best by Jennifer Hartman’s tale of her 6-year-old daughter, Chloe, who was discovered to be legally blind in one eye.
“She was perfectly fine. She loved making intricate handicrafts and had regular eye screenings done at the GP (General Practitioner). When we brought her to a specialist, they found out she was blind in one eye since birth and has been compensating with the stronger eye all this while. My message to parents is, don’t take your child’s eyesight for granted. Take your child for annual formal eye exams with an optometrist,” she advises.
Dr Cheryl Lee, eye cataract and retinal specialist for Pacific Healthcare Specialist Centre advises that these are some of the tell-tale signs of potential problems with your child’s vision:
- Rubbing eyes constantly
- Thrusts head forward to look at distant objects
- Tilts head to look to concentrate or holds book too close to eyes
- Eyes that flutter frequently
- Eyes that are watering frequently
- Persistent eye itch or discomfort
Caring for a child’s vision requires some vigilance on the parents part. Here are some things you can do to care for your child’s vision.
1. Never rely on your child’s opinion
Kids do not know the difference between healthy or unhealthy vision. What they see is what they assume the rest of the world sees as well. Therefore asking your child about their vision will not help you determine if they have an issue with their eyesight. According to Dr. Lee, the most common mistake parents make when it comes to their children’s vision is neglecting to bring them for a check up with optometrists before the age of 7.
2. Never saw a rabbit wearing glasses, did you?
That’s what parents usually say to get their kids to eat carrots. Rich in Vitamin A, this root food is known for its effectiveness in maintaining healthy eyesight. And it is not just the carrot but any foods rich in Vitamin A are good for vision as well. The next time you’re in the supermarket, stock up on asparagus, apricots, spinach and eggs.
3. Good digestion amounts to good eyesight
We all know that eating while watching TV is not good for our digestion. Here’s another reason not to do it – good digestion leads to healthy vision. Encourage your kids to eat slowly by chewing their food and being aware of what they are eating.
4. 3D may not be too fun for the eyes
3D movies may be fun to watch but are extremely bad for the eyes. The images of the 3D movies are slightly blurry and brighter and again works the eyes harder, thus causing weariness and fatigue.
5. Your child is never too young to sport some shades.
Accumulation of UV rays has a detrimental effect on your child’s eyesight. Hence it is vital to get the right shades for your kids. Remember to pick out shades with 100% UVA protection, sport a good fit around the child’s eyes and has polycarbonate lenses. Your optometrist should be able to advise you further.
6. Remind them to give their eyes a 2o-minute retreat a few times a day
Even the eyes need a rest once in awhile. Get your kids to take 20-minute breaks in between indoor activities to avoid eye strain. (Watching television, reading, studying, using the computer etc.) Get them to look away and into the distance. Once they are used to this exercise, get them to count objects around them near and far during the break. By doing this, their eyes and mind are given a chance to change focus and move from one detail to the next.
The steps are simple yet go a long way in ensuring healthy vision for your kids. It’s the little steps that form the foundation to a Swarovski crystal eyesight. We wish you and your kids a great year ahead and 6/6 vision for the entire family.