A multi-year study conducted by the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) has shown that young children who developed myopia, or short-sightedness, early in life will tend to have higher myopia degree and face higher risks of eye problems later in life.
To prevent your child from facing higher risks of retinal detachment, early development of glaucoma and cataracts, here are 5 tips which can help your child to ease eye strain to prevent the onset of myopia.
Reduce eye strain by making sure your child is reading or using the computer in a well-lit room.
Eye strain is caused when what they are reading from is brighter than the rest of the room. This is the same for back-lit screen or working with a small desk light in a dark room.
Reduce the intensity of bright lights by adjusting the brightness of the computer, iPad, and mobile screen to the same as the surrounding.
Limit your child’s computer and TV screen times to protect their eyes.
The glare emitted from the computer, iPad, hand phone screens strains the eyes when they are exposed to it for a period of time.
Start by being present and spending more time interacting with them and doing group activity instead of giving them an iPad or mobile phone to them for self-entertainment.
If you notice that your child is glued to the handphone screen or computer screen for the last 1 hour, gently remind him to take a short break and rest his eyes to prevent eye strain.
Teach them to look away from the screen every now and then for about 5 minutes. You can teach your child to either close his/ her eyes or look to the distance to calm the eyes.
Does your child put his/ her face literally in front of the computer screen or write with his/ her head on the table or prop his/ her chin on the iPad or book to read?
It is best to let them cultivate the habit of sitting up straight when writing or reading with at least an arm or foot length away from the text.
Encourage your child to consume diets rich in green, leafy vegetables which are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin.
However, high levels of such vitamins and minerals are difficult to achieve so your child can supplement the nutrients by taking eye health supplements for children.
Look for supplements that contain key nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and astaxanthin.
These key nutrients improve eye health by helping to increase the density of the macular pigment, an area critical to visual acuity, and filter harmful UV rays.
In addition to the above 5 tips, remember to bring your child for regular eye check-ups too so that you will always be updated on his/ her eye health condition.
Disclaimer: Information provided is only for reference. Please consult a healthcare practitioner for recommendations.
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