As a young mum, a business owner/ entrepreneur and an optometrist, I know how hard it is to keep track of young kids and their health and wellbeing. From packing wrap-free lunches to organising extra-curricular activities, to school drop-offs and pickups, to social arrangements, we’re busy enough just making it to the doctor when the flu comes around. Let alone finding time to ensure our childrens’ eyes are not being overworked. So I’ve come up with a few simple steps to keep our children’s eyes looked after (no pun intended).
1. Screen time is inevitable, our lifestyle is becoming more reliant on technology and computer/ipad/iphone usage, now children spend a lot of their Breaks every 30 minutes from staring at a screen. Instruct your child to have 5 minutes break every 30 minutes, to stare at something far away - eg. the sunset out the window.
The less time the better for our eyes, but if we need to spend 2 or more hours a day staring at a screen i-blue block lenses are excellent - our vision direct store has access to the best lenses the world can offer. Our German Rodenstock branded lenses have an i-blue block lens. Blue light causes significant eye strain, and is found in all screens. Block it out with the filter i-blue block, to reduce strain on the eye. The blue light from screens is also damaging to our eyes, so the more screen time your children have, the more important it is to wear blue-block lenses.
2. Regular eye tests every year, and this doesn’t include the school nurse screening! A lot can be found from a thorough eye test with an experienced optometrist, particularly one who specialises in binocular vision problems and focussing problems. Too many inexperienced or lazy optometrists take the easy way out, they simply read off the “auto-refractor” - the machine we all know where we stare at a hot air balloon - rather than take the time to understand properly what this person’s symptoms are.
A lot of children are latent hyperopes - which means they over-focus - and this causes eye strain, tired eyes, headaches and avoidance to reading for long periods. I’ve diagnosed latent hyperopia in 25 year olds, who never knew they had it, and who struggled their whole lives to read for long periods, ended up working as eg. a sports teacher, where had they had the right Optometrist and had their eyes tested by the right Optometrist, this could have been picked up early and easily corrected with simple reading glasses!
3. Lubricating eye drops - my favourite are non-preserved single vial Systane - great for children as they are preservative free and ultra sensitive for young eyes. When we stare at screens our blink rate reduces to 1 per minute, rather than 1 every 10 seconds. Normal lubrication from blinking is therefore reduced. Eye strain is often brought about by eye dryness. Lubricating eye drops are wonderful for ensuring all day eye comfort, and can prevent more serious complications of dry eye. Also, often I test a person’s eyes who are sometimes clear, sometimes blurry - this is most commonly a side effect of dry eyes - as the eyes become more clear when they are well lubricated.
In celebration and support of World Book Day, VisionDirect.com.au with be offering customers a huge 50% off all frames and free frames for Arise, VisionDirect Collection, Clear Readers, and Kool Kids. No code is required; the offer is open to all customers who make a purchase on Word Book Day, April 23, 2018.