How to protect the eyesight of children and teenagers

14th July 2021

How to protect the eyesight of children and teenagers

Children and teenagers spend more and more time in front of the television, computer and mobile phone, which constantly increases eye strain. Therefore, teenagers as well as the parents of children should pay special attention to certain things during this time to prevent myopia.

EuroEyes ophthalmologists recommend: the prevention and control of myopia among teenagers must not be neglected!

Parents should pay attention to the following signs, to allow for early detection and prevention of vision problems:

  1. Their child frequently squints at things: parents need to be aware that squinting for a long time will cause eye muscle fatigue and speed up the progressing of myopia.
  2. See things too close: Children who move forward unconsciously when they are watching TV may be signalling that their eyesight is getting worse.
  3. Often rubbing their eyes: myopic children often rub their eyes when they are blurred and tired which is also a hint of decreased eyesight.
  4. Frequent blinking: excessive rubbing of the eyes can cause chronic conjunctivitis and corneal damage.
  5. Often squinting or tilting their head to look at things: after the end of the epidemic, you should take your child to the hospital for a check to eliminate strabismus
  6. Often pulling at the corner of the eye: Children do this because it can temporarily improve eyesight by flattening the cornea and changing its refractive power, but it will increase the child's astigmatism over time.

Stay at home and use your eyes: EuroEyes ophthalmologists give you advice

1. Form the habit of "three ones" with your eyes when reading and writing:

"One punch, one foot, one inch." One punch: the distance between the chest and the table (the distance of one arm extended straight with a clenched fist). One foot: the distance between the eye and the book (33 centimeters). One inch: one inch between the finger holding the pen and the pen tip.

When writing, the angle between the pen and the paper should be 40-50 degrees. Pay attention to the use of desks and chairs that can be adjusted for height, which helps to maintain the correct sitting posture. In addition, it is recommended that parents prepare professional eye protection table lamps for their children, as soft light has a certain protective effect on the eyes.

2. Follow the formula of "20-20-20"

After looking at your phone and computer for 20 minutes, look into the middle distance at least 20 feet (6 metres) away, and keep it in focus for more than 20 seconds. The lens in the eye plays a role similar to camera focusing, which takes place automatically through morphological changes, according to the needs of our eyes. Close use of the eye for a long time will leave the lens and ciliary muscles in a tense state, which will further aggravate myopia. Therefore parents should strictly control the time and distance of their children's close learning, which is very important for the prevention and control of myopia.

For the use of electronic products:

Children under 2 years old: electronic products are not recommended.

Children aged 2-6: ≤ 20 minutes at a time, ≤ 1 hour per day.

Children aged 6 to 8, less than 40 minutes at a time.

When using electronic products (mobile phones, ipad, etc.), parents should ask their children to keep a distance of 33 to 40 centimeters from the screen.

At the same time, parents should set an example for their children, by reducing the time and frequency of their own use of electronic products in front of their children and accompanying their children on other wholesome activities.

3. "Bathe in the sun."

Studies have found that sunlight promotes the body's production of dopamine. Dopamine can effectively inhibit the growth of eye axis, thus reducing the probability of myopia, or delaying the development of myopia.

In addition, sunlight encourages the body to synthesise more vitamin D, which in turn can increase the body's absorption of calcium. Calcium can make the sclera stronger and so better protect the eyes.  Therefore, teenagers should avoid reading in places with poor light. At the same time, parents should be aware that excessive levels of blue light emitted by screens or LEDs can cause damage to their children's retinas.

 4. Ensure adequate sleep and reasonable nutrition.

During the period in the home, sticking to a regular schedule of work and rest, ensuring good sleep and reasonable meals, are all tips for the prevention and control of myopia.

Pay attention to nutrition. Eat more eye-protecting foods, which are also conducive to the prevention and control of myopia. For example, boiled eggs are rich in protein, and egg yolk has excellent eye nutrition. Salmon is rich in DHA, which is good for the visual nerve. Leeks and carrots are rich in vitamin A, and kiwi fruit is rich in lutein, which can help relieve visual fatigue. Green cauliflower contains vitamin E and lutein, which is also a good choice for eye protection.

 5. Take off corneal contact lenses correctly.

Strictly observe hand hygiene. During the special epidemic period, people who wear contact lenses may have obvious redness, swelling and pain in their eyes. If you have fever, obvious catarrhal symptoms (stuffy nose, runny nose) and other uncomfortable symptoms, it is recommended to stop wearing contact lenses immediately.

 6. Wash your hands frequently without rubbing your eyes.

Rubbing your eyes will allow bacteria into the eye area, and make them allergic and inflamed.

If foreign bodies enter the eye, they will aggravate the damage of ocular surface tissue. It is also possible to cause uneven corneal radians and irregular astigmatism.

 7. Methods of correction and the choice of prevention and control of myopia.

According to the "consensus of experts on Refractive Correction for Children" issued by the ophthalmologist branch of the Chinese Medical Association, the main ways of correcting eyesight are the following:

  • Optical correction: frame glasses (single lens / Bifocal spectacles / progressive multifocal lens), corneal contact lens (soft contact lens / RGPCL/ orthokeratology).
  • Drugs: low concentration of 0.01% atropine.
  • Outdoor activities. (Currently, this is not recommended due to the epidemic).
  • Early detection, early treatment.

For children with myopia, early detection and early treatment is necessary, early treatment can avoid the condition developing into high myopia, as well as a series of complications caused by high myopia.

In these special epidemic times, Dr. Jørgensen's ophthalmologist team would like to remind all parents and children to be careful with their eyes. Let's work together to fight the epidemic, use our eyes responsibly, and prevent and control myopia.

In addition, in order to help adults "take off the glasses" and correct their vision as soon as possible, EuroEyes surgeons recommend that you consider ReLEx smile or ICL surgery.