October is Eye Health and Safety Month!
There are many simple ways an adult can protect their eyes:
- wear sunglasses with UV protection
- wear tinted or Transitions lenses while driving
- wear protective goggles while doing DIY projects or using power tools
- rinse eyes well after swimming in a pool or the ocean without goggles
- get an eye exam once every two years
But it’s not just adults that need to protect their vision.
Here are 5 easy ways to protect your child’s eyes:
1. Regular Eye Exams
Just like adults, children need regular eye exams to ensure healthy vision and make note of any changes that might suggest related (or sometimes seemingly unrelated) health issues. This is especially important since around 85% of a child’s learning is through sight. Many children who require corrective lenses might suffer from nasty headaches because the eyes have to work overtime trying to focus. So not only will regular eye exams help with eye health—they can help with a host of other health issues as well.
According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, children should have their first eye exam between 6-9 months old, then at least once between two to five years old and then annually until the age of 18.
2. Proper Lighting
If your kid does homework at a desk or happens to be a bookworm, spending too much time reading in a poorly lit room can cause eye strain and headaches. Make sure there is plenty of light for studying or getting lost in a good book.
3. Screen Time
For many of us, a computer screen, tablet or smartphone is never far from reach. A lot of children and teenagers rely on screens for school and homework and then turn back to their screens for recreation and social interaction. However, people of all ages tend to blink a lot less when looking at a screen, leading to dry eyes, eye strain and general eye irritation. It may even lead to an increased chance of nearsightedness. Encourage your child to take breaks from their screen every twenty minutes by looking up and focusing on something 20+ feet away for 20 seconds (also known as the 20-20-20 rule). You may also want to consider talking to an optician about getting an anti-reflection coating on your child’s lenses.
4. Sports and Recreation
Wearing protective eyewear while playing sports can help to protect your child from multiple types of potential injuries:
- Sunglasses with UV protection can protect their vision and the delicate skin around their eyes from harmful UV rays
- Sunglasses can also protect the wearer from getting dust or dirt into their eyes when playing outside
- Swim goggles are a must if your child spends a lot of time in a chlorinated pool
Depending on the sport your child plays, you may want to get a sports band for their frames or, if the child is older, they may want to try contact lenses instead.
If your child requires sports goggles with a prescription, we can help with that! Come into a Vogue Optical location near you and talk to an optician today.
Do carrots really help your vision? Absolutely! Carrots give the body Vitamin A which helps your vision see in lower lighting conditions. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and many types of fish are also great for improving eye health.