Eye Care Tips for Your Child!

Virtual Classes – the way of education in the times of covid-19

Living through the new normal i.e. the “no contact” world, interaction with computing screens is increasing exponentially. As adults, while this transition is easier, it is not the same for our children. Not only for the next couple of months, will education be imparted exclusively online, but more importantly the ‘lockdown’ for them is being constrained, without engagement. Resulting into more screen time, this has disastrous long term effects for our children’s health and wellbeing.

 As parents, being unable to meaningfully engage with them, it’s about time, at least we became more mindful our their eye care. Given below are a few of the warning signs, precautions and natural food supplements that could us in these times.

 Warning Symptoms

Excess screen time can lead to problems in eye strain, irritation, double vision, dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty in refocusing the eyes and dry eyes. Dry eyes is a condition wherein  due to lack of adequate blinking, the eyes fail to produce enough tears to keep it moisturized. Some the other problems experienced include frequent rubbing of eyes, fatigue and discomfort, headaches, holding screen/ book too close, avoidance to read, short attention span and erratic sleep cycles

 Viewing precautions:

If any of these symptoms are observed, it is important to first check whether good screen practices, as listed hereunder are in place.

  • Screen distance: Distance should be based on screen size and the screen should preferable placed slightly below
  • Screen brightness: Brightness to be adjusted, based on ambient light conditions in the room. Bright screens lead to eye fatigue.
  • Screen time: In case any of the above symptoms are observed, the time is to be reduced accordingly. There is no thumb rule as each child is different.

Viewing Practices:

  • Adequate blinking: Blinking helps renew tear film which protects and moisturizes the eyes. While staring, blinking tends to drop to one third of the regular level. In such situations, conscious blinking is to be made a habit.
  • Variable focusing: Maintaining fixed focus for extended periods causes eye strain.
  • Following the “20-20-20 rule”, requiring after every 20 minutes, to focus on an object 20 feet away or as far as possible for 20 seconds reduces strain.
  • Eye Exercises: Exercise strengthens muscles and keeps them flexible. Focus un-focus, rolling the eyes clockwise and anticlockwise etc. are some of the of the common eye exercises in this regard
  • Splash Water: The radiation from the laptops, tablets or phones is very harmful. Splashing water regularly helps cool and relax them.

 Natural Eye Care Foods:

While it is essential to follow pro-active eyecare practices, it is incomplete without a healthy diet of natural foods. Here are some to keep your eyes healthy:

  • Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, an antioxidant and Vitamin A. Consuming carrots improves vision and prevents deterioration. Serve it in salads or just juice it up.
  • Green Leafy Vegetables such as Spinach, Kale, Broccoli etc are loaded with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, extremely important for eye health. In addition, they also provide a rich array of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.
  • Fruits: Yellow fruits such as Mango and papaya are rich in Vitamin A, improving eyesight and preventing night blindness. High vitamin C fruits such as lemons, oranges, sweet limes, tomatoes, and guava are high in vitamin C, which is key for eye health. The vitamin C contributes to healthy blood vessels in your eyes. Enjoy these fruits raw, add them to a fruit salad or just juice it up.
  • Beans & Legumes are great sources of zinc and bioflavonoids which protect the retina. Gain from its benefits by consuming lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas, and sprouts.
  • Almonds being rich in vitamin E, are good for reducing eye diseases and dry eyes condition. Serve it soaked in water overnight or raw after peeling.
  • Milk & Curds apart from phosphorus, they are loaded with vitamin A and zinc. Vitamin A helps protect the cornea while zinc helps with night vision and prevents cataract. It can be consumed as milk in the morning or at night, or as curds with meals.
  • Eggs contain essential amino acids and vitamins. The egg yolk is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, vital for eye’s health. Serve eggs, boiled, poached or fried.

Last but not the least, there is some things we as parents can also do at no extra cost. It is necessary to engage with our children in activities like indoor and outdoor games, helping in household chores, art and craft etc. For ultimately all learning is through engagement, and this learning just needs our time.

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