If you’ve got a healthy brood that has not yet encountered big words like amblyopia, strabismus, and astigmatism, good for you! But that does not exempt your family from developing good eye care habits.
What is the ophthalmologist’s recommendation, especially for young ones who are practically showered with tasks that involve books, computer research, and materials from other forms of media?
“Of course, there is no way out of studies!” laughs Dr. Pik Sha Chan-Uy of Pacific Eye and Laser Institute. “So what I would recommend is to tell the kids to break up the amount of time they spend reading. Tell them to take a 5- to 10-minute rest for every hour of reading. You also need to see to it that there is good lighting to study by, and, though it may not seem obvious, you need to tell them to get enough sleep.”
Is it true that watching too close to the TV screen or reading a book in the dark can cause vision problems? “No, but they cause eye strain,” says the doctor. “That’s why, though it’s very difficult to stop kids from playing their video games, we have to be firm so that they learn to use the computer or the TV in moderation. Encourage them to read—in good light. Reading is better than just playing games or watching TV. Encourage them also to play outdoors.”
The sense of sight is so important that should one lose it someday, it would be hard to cope. That’s why it’s wise to take measures to care for the eyes: minimize or avoid eye-straining activities, eat well-balanced meals, get enough sleep, and consult a doctor. In any situation, and at any age, it cannot be reiterated enough: good vision is a matter of vigilance and care. After all, we only get to have one pair of eyes to last us a lifetime!