Thursday, October 11, 2018

Kids Eye Care Tips Parenting Guide from an Optometrist for World Sight Day


World Sight Day, October 11

Those of us with children want to keep them healthy, so they can enjoy the world around them, right? So, since today is World Sight Day and MBE's mission is to enhance family living, there is no better time than now to share some important information for parents to know about protecting and caring for our kids' eyesight.  

Surprisingly, about 60 percent of moms and dads reportedly don't consider eye exams as an essential part of their children's wellness and maintenance checkups. In actuality, though, experts recommend that children have three eye exams by the age of 6. With 80 percent of blindness cases being avoidable, either resulting from conditions that are preventable or treatable, early regular eye exams are crucial to our kids' eye health. 

In conjunction with World Sight Day and Think About Your Eyes, a national public awareness initiative, Dr. Justin Bazan, Doctor of Optometry (OD), is bringing attention to the importance of vision health and catching vision issues early. 

Below here are Dr. Bazan's top vision care tips for parents with young kids.

How to Find an Kids Optometrist

Dr. Bazan’s Top 5 Eye Health Tips for Parents

Make a visit to the eye doctor part of your annual health routine. 

World Sight Day is a great reminder that our sight is truly a gift and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Just like you regularly go to the doctor or see your dentist, getting an annual comprehensive eye exam should be a priority. A visit to the optometrist for a comprehensive exam tests more than just eyesight—it tests the overall health of the eye. In addition to determining whether a child needs glasses or contacts, an eye doctors will check for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss. Further, eye doctors can detect early signs of some systemic conditions and diseases by looking at a kid's eye's blood vessels, retina, etc. During the exam process, an optometrist may also uncover other health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes which you'll then want to discuss with your pediatrician.

Schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam.

In addition to scheduling an annual eye checkup, there are easy ways to protect vision throughout your life by maintaining a healthy diet and combating digital eye strain. Many vitamins and nutrients can improve and maintain vision health, specifically vitamins A, C, D, E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. They can be found in a variety of foods, from fish to nuts to colorful vegetables to oranges, all of which have health benefits for the whole body, too. More and more, optometrists are seeing patients suffering the effects of society’s use of smartphones, tablets, computers, and other tech devices. Known as digital eye strain, this often brings youngsters to the eye doctor for the first time, with parents wondering if they need glasses after suffering blurry vision, headaches, and other vision changes following hours of staring at a screen. The long-term effect of this screen time on vision is not yet known, but taking regular breaks from the screen can go a long way in alleviating these symptoms. 

Headoff common vision conditions like myopia.

Take steps on your behalf of your son or daughter to counterbalance the onset of common vision issues like myopia (or nearsightedness) by visiting the eye doctor annually. In addition, be sure to keep up-to-date Rxs for your child as well as encourage them to spend more time outdoors and away from digital screens for at least 2 hours a day. More than half the world will be nearsighted, or myopic, by 2050. It’s the most common vision problem in children, and it puts their eyes at risk for even more serious vision threatening conditions.

Discover and pursue vision care options for your child.

Know that, if needed, there are options available to you when it comes to vision correction. Consulting with your eye care professional for a solution for your child -- as well as any other family member -- is important. In fact, with proper proactive juvenile refractive correction can potentially improve later vision for more than 11 million Americans, 12 years and older. 

Consider a first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months old.

Don’t wait, schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam today. Optometrists suggest infants have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age and then should receive additional eye exams at 3 years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age 5 or 6. A child's eyes are constantly changing and growing from birth, like any other part of your body. Because vision may change frequently during school years, annual comprehensive eye exams are important at all ages.

Parents please remember.

These tips are not intended to replace optical and medical advice and you should consult qualified professionals about a treatment plan that is right for your child.

More Information on Children's Eye Care

Think About Your Eyes is a national public awareness campaign, presented by The Vision Council and The American Optometric Association, which is designed to educate the public on vision health and the importance of every member of the family getting comprehensive eye exams. To learn more visit to find an eye doctor near you. You can also get more information about the importance of eye care for your child by checking the campaign's Facebook and Twitter social media feeds.

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