TIPS FOR KEEPING CHILDREN’S EYES HEALTHY
By Dr. Colleen Ichiyama-Kong
We do everything with our eyes on a daily basis. Our eyes are the windows to our world. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s eyes healthy:
Get annual eye exams. If your child has not had a baseline eye exam at an eye doctor’s office, it is highly recommended. Just like when your child goes to the pediatrician for a physical or checkup with the dentist, a basic vision exam can detect whether he or she has any vision or health problems. There can be problems seeing far, near, and even focusing up close. Studies have shown that VISION plays an important part of learning process. So why not start the school year right with an eye exam. Most insurance plans will cover an annual exam.
Always wear sunglasses when outdoors. Just like we put sunscreen on our kids when they go out to play, we should protect their eyes with a good pair of sunglasses. They protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun which can cause cataracts (clouding of the lens), macular degeneration (decrease in central vision), and even pterygium (growths on the white part of the eye).
If you think that your child has pink eye (conjunctivitis) take them to an eye care professional right away. Do not self treat with VISINE/CLEAR EYES because these drops temporarily relieve the redness, but they do not treat the underlying cause of the problem. Your child may need special eye drops for a bacterial, viral, or allergic conjunctivitis. It is also recommended to keep your child at home because they may be contagious.
If your child gets an eye injury, take them to get it checked right away. Sometimes trauma to the eye can cause cataracts, retinal detachment, and even hemorrhages in the eye. If the problem is caught right away, it can be treated appropriately with a better prognosis.
These are simple ways we can take care of our precious little eyes. If you should have any questions, just call your eye care professional for advice. They will be happy to answer your questions.