See better. Look perfect.

A proactive approach to kids’ eye health

We all know that when it comes to maintaining physical fitness, it’s essential to exercise and choose a balanced, nourishing diet. When we don’t – and our waistline or general health suffers – we usually aren’t too surprised.

While we’re aware that we should be proactive about our physical and even mental health, we don’t always consider proactive approaches to eye health… yet we should. At Ian Donald Optometrist, we’re passionate about ensuring your vision is the very best it can be – so in addition to optometry, we have a full range of eye health services.

There are some steps you can take to help preserve the health and condition of your eyes and it’s best to start young. From Ortho-K to Omega-3, here’s how to take a proactive approach to your kids’ eye care.

Provide a balanced diet

Watching what you eat is a win not just for your body, but for your eyes. The nutrients in a variety of foods have a whole range of benefits that may help keep eyes in good shape.

To help prevent dry eye, for instance, you and your kids can munch on leafy greens that contain Vitamin A, or foods such as fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is also suggested to avoid the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Vitamins C and E in fruits including oranges, mangoes and strawberries may also help restore tissue and prevent eye infections.

A balanced diet, of course, helps prevent obesity and hypertension, both of which are linked to additional eye diseases.

Limit screen time

Being proactive about good eye health starts with newborns. You can help your baby or toddler exercise their eyes by introducing toys or books that have high contrast colours, and games such as peekaboo that stimulate hand-eye coordination.

Worried about excess screen time? There’s good reason to be. More than two hours screen time in children, teens and adults may lead to obesity, insomnia, reduced creativity, mood swings and in some instances, aggressive behaviour.

The blue-violet light emitted by digital devices can cause digital eye strain, resulting in blurred vision, dry and irritated eyes plus problems with eye focus. While our Smart Blue Filter lenses provide up to three times more protection against blue-violet light than standard prescription glasses, limiting screen time in children is obviously the best first step.

Consider too that the Department of Health recommends children under two have no screen time whatsoever, due to the effect it has on normal physical and language development, including your child’s full range of eye movement.

Opt for Ortho-K

If we find your child does have an issue with their eyesight, you may be interested in the groundbreaking eye treatment, Ortho-K.

Ortho-K (short for Orthokeratology) are lenses that correct your child’s eyesight and reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Children wear the Ortho-K lenses when they sleep – and when they wake, they have clear vision, usually lasting for several days. Over the long term, Ortho-K lenses may correct or slow myopia (shortsightedness), astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness) and presbyopia (blurred near vision).

Ortho-K is a revolutionary alternative to surgery, and it is one of the most common methods of vision correction in teenagers and pre-teens in our practice.

Keeping on top of your child’s eye health

To help your children’s eye health, it’s good to keep an eye out for signs including squinting, head tilting, sensitivity to light, reading difficulties, headaches or poor hand-eye coordination. We recommend you book an eye examination with our optometrist if you have any concerns.

Regular eye tests will also help us work out if your child needs glasses or has any issues that we need to address. Fortunately, there are plenty of options such as blue lens technology and Ortho-K to help improve or maintain eye health, but catching issues at the earliest stage is likely to lead to the best possible outcome.

Ready to be proactive about your child’s eye health? Contact us to book in their next appointment.


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37 -39 The Corso
Manly 02 9977 6700 02 9977 3402