Tips to ensure your childs eyes stay healthy

Your eyes are essentially your window to the world and need to be protected. It is only when vision becomes impaired that we realise how much we take our vision for granted. As parents we are responsible, not only for our own eye health, but the health of our children’s eyes too.

Your child’s eyes get tested when they are just a few weeks old by health professionals, then again during their early primary years at school. It is important to seek medical advice in between these times if you are concerned at all about your child’s vision or eye health. Medical advances have progressed so much in recent years that even procedures such as cornea transplants are now becoming more common place. This is excellent news for patients experiencing vision loss due to injury or disease.

How can you protect your child’s vision?

Regular testing
Even though your child’s eyes are screened, it is important to get your child’s eyes tested regularly by a qualified optician. Opticians are used to testing the eyes of the youngest of children and they don’t rely on the ability to read out letters.

Eyes should really be tested every two years, or more frequently if any signs of vision impairment is discovered. Opticians will be able to recognise conditions such as squints, short sightedness, long sightedness and astigmatism as well as more uncommon eye conditions such as childhood glaucoma.

A healthy colourful diet
Colourful fruits and vegetables such as carrots (yes, there is some truth in the old wives tale!), peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, strawberries and broccoli are all packed with essential nutrients conducive to excellent eye health.

Children have a tendency to be fussy, so get creative and adept at disguising fruit and veg!

UV protection
As adults we grab our sunglasses at the first glimpse of bright sunshine, however it is equally important to protect our children's eyes from damaging UV rays. Sunshine is not just an issue in summer, the glare from snow whilst holidaying in ski destinations can be just as damaging. Thankfully sunglasses have the “cool” factor and children love wearing a colourful pair of shades. Ensure you get the correct advice when buying the sunglasses, so that all of the harmful rays are blocked. Some cheap sunglasses are little more than a fashion accessory!

What if your child needs glasses?

There is so much choice these days in glasses for children, in fact most fashion designers have a range of spectacles. Wearing glasses can initially feel alien to children and they may be embarrassed. Persevere and let your child choose the frames. Hopefully they will be amazed when they wear their glasses for the first time, due to being able to see more clearly. Wearing glasses has actually become quite trendy and some fashion conscious people wear glasses simply for the “look”. There isn’t the stigma attached to wearing glasses compared to years ago and this is thanks to the wider range of frames and the increase in celebrities that wear glasses in the media.


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