Usually, the beginning of a new school year is something to cheer. Many children look forward to all the things school offers, from challenging math problems to the release of energy during sporting activities. The weeks before children return to the classroom are often spent preparing. This can mean seemingly endless days of shopping for school supplies, sports gear, clothes, books, and more. In the controlled chaos, it is easy to overlook the vital necessity of eye exams for students.
Keep Your Student Healthy and Happy with These Tips for Eye Health
See the eye doctor.
Children should see the eye doctor before they begin elementary school. If there are risks for eye conditions or the child needs glasses, future eye exams are needed every year. Without risks or vision problems, eye exams are recommended every two years. This aspect of health care is vital to students because, when textbooks or the chalkboard are blurry, learning cannot happen as it should. Often, children with uncorrected vision problems suffer academically and then lose any excitement they had for education.
Protecting the eyes.
There are three things we need protection from:
- The highest risk for pink eye occurs during childhood. Viral pink eye is spread quite quickly, and accounts for about 3 million missed school days, according to one study. One of the best ways children can protect themselves from pink eye is by washing their hands frequently throughout the school day. Merely touching an object that was handled by someone with pink eye is enough to contract this uncomfortable infection.
- Statistics show that approximately 35,000 eye injuries occur during sporting activities each year. Every child who plays a sport should wear appropriate glasses. These might be goggles or clear lenses that provide some degree of protection if a collision with another player or ball were to happen. Some helmets come with or can be fitted with helmet-mounted shields to protect the eyes and face without impeding performance.
- We have come to realize that sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory, they are vital eyewear to protect the structures of the eyes from unnecessary UV damage. Rays of sunshine permeate the eyes and can degrade structure, increasing the risk for future eye disease in adulthood. Children who wear sunglasses significantly reduce their risk.
- Digital eye strain can lead to dry eye and chronic headaches if care is not taken to limit the time spent staring at a screen or book. It is easy to close the eyes for a few minutes during those intense study sessions and to turn digital devices off long before bedtime to give the eyes time to rest.
We should point out that we can all benefit from these tips, and that your Mililani eye doctor is here to help you and your family. To schedule a visit with us, call 808-625-5577.