Do we take our eyes for granted? Some days, I certainly do, especially when I am on my laptop working for hours non-stop! Did you know that eyesight requires at least half of the brain to get involved every waking hour of the day? And, out of all the muscles in our body, the ones that control our eyes are the most active.
“With such a big job to do, let’s not take our eyes for granted,” says optician, Bonnie Karnik-Horvath in Regina, Saskatchewan. “Think about the little things you can do for your eyes every day if possible.”
Here are some quick tips on eye care from opticians across Canada:
- Be aware of eye strain. This can occur if you spend a lot of time looking at the screens of a computer, hand held device, or television. Be sure to blink frequently to alleviate the strain.
- Wear good quality sunglasses, even on cloudy days, for protection from ultraviolet light – and wear goggles for protection if you do hazardous work of any kind.
- Commit to a regular workout routine. This is good for your overall health, including your eyes.
- Commit to a balanced diet of protein, especially fish, plus plenty of fruit and colourful vegetables.
- Most importantly, ask the optician crafting your glasses or contact lenses if you have any questions about the eyewear, or about other visual needs. They are highly skilled to interpret your prescription and they work to exacting standards to produce the perfect lens to meet rigorous national standards.
How to improve your child’s eyesight
It is true that everything is important when it comes to children’s health but paying attention to their eyes frequently is a praiseworthy plan.
The primary guideline for your little ones is easy to follow: schedule the first eye exam by six months; keep watching for eye issues like crossed eyes and lazy eye, as well as symptoms like squinting, droopy lids, or watery eyes; and before kindergarten begins, schedule an eye exam to determine if glasses are needed.
And when it comes to those glasses and contact lenses, opticians will give you dedicated guidance to enhance the way your children see. The optician profession is regulated in Canada and this gives you a highly-trained individual to first interpret your child’s prescription, to help you choose the right frames, answer your questions, and then he or she works to exacting standards to produce the perfect lens to meet rigorous national standards. Here are some tips for ensuring your child receives the best vision possible:
- Frame first: The most important criteria when selecting prescription eyeglasses is how they fit. The lens centre must match the line of sight. Size, shape, and fit should be guided by the optician teaming up with the child and parent. Either a plastic or metal frame will work well.
- Lazy eye: This muscle problem occurs in 1 out of 25 children. One, or both eyes may wander especially if the child is tired. Bifocal lenses, patching, or surgery are effective for strengthen eye muscles.
- Playing sports: The best place for a child’s eyeglasses when he or she is playing a sport is not in their backpack, but on their nose. A child won’t play well with blurry vision so instead, invest in well-fitting eyeglass frames with break resistant lenses. Also look into purchasing sports glasses.
- Touchdown: What do a football and astigmatism have in common? The shape. An astigmatic cornea has two major curves on the surface. One is steeper, the other flatter. A football is flatter from tip to tip than it is around the circumference.
- Contact lenses: This decision is not based on age, but maturity. Only you as a parent can decide the level of your child’s maturity. You can consult with an optician for an expert opinion.
For more eye care tips every mother should know, check out www.weloveyoureyes.ca, where the Opticians Council of Canada – with support from The Foundation Fighting Blindness – is running an interactive contest with inviting prizes.
Love Your Eyes™ is giving away prizes every week – for five weeks – from Monday, September 8th to Sunday, October 12th. Contestants have the opportunity to win one of five prizes by answering daily questions on vision care. Every question answered garners contestants an entry into the current and all the following week’s prize draws!
Test your knowledge on vision care and be a more informed Mom!
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