August is dedicated to preventing eye injuries and vision loss and saving children’s eyesight. One of 20 children ages 3 to 5 has a vision problem that could result in permanent vision if left untreated. Having a month dedicated to know about your child’s eye health and safety can make a big difference to your child’s health and life.
According to India TV - only 46% of Indian kids get regular eye tests: Survey
"Air pollution can cause excessive rubbing of eyes resulting in weak vision. Hereditary is also a root cause for kids suffering from myopia which can affect their performance and development in the long run.
On average, 23-30 percent of kids in India are affected with Myopia, especially kids residing in urban areas as they are seen spending less time outside under sunlight.”
Dr. Anchal Gupta, an ophthalmologist, and a social entrepreneur was raised along the Ghats of the oldest city of the world, Varanasi. She is an ophthalmologist par excellence both in her clinical and surgical skills. She didn't want to limit her skills just to the privileged section of society and that led to the establishment of Netram Eye Foundation.
Netram is a society working at Pan India, curbing preventable blindness and preventive medicine with the best match of technology and enterprise. In a short span of 6 years of establishment of Netram Eye Foundation. Dr. Anchal Gupta was featured in the first book ever published by the Government of India on "NGOs pursuing best practices "and felicitated by the Vice President of India.
Retain your vision and recover the eyesight in children this pandemic
Dr. Anchal Gupta says, “ In the last 1. 5 years, we have seen a myopia pandemic in children. The reasons for this -
Increased screen time due to online classes Lack of physical activity in children
We tend to underrate physical activity in children. Physical activity is very important not only for development but also for better eye health. The Year 2020, was labeled as the myopia pandemic in the history of ophthalmology. 10 - 15 years back, 10 - 11 % of children had eyesight problems which have now increased to 28 - 30 %. This means 3 out of 10 children are using specs. “A Stitch in time saves nine.” It is important to timely check your eyes in children.
Here are some signs for parents
Squeezing the eyes Watching TC closely Not interested in seeing distant objects Lack of eye to eye contact Shyness in children
Good vision and eyesight are very important for social interaction and the social growth of the child. As a protocol, at the age of 3 years, every child should be checked for eyesight. A yearly eye check-up is a must for every child. There is a condition in children called amblyopia or lazy eye. This is seen in children below 6 years of age if poor eyesight goes untreated or undecided. Do not stay in denial. Parents should take initiative to check their eyesight. This is a must for 3 year or below-aged children.
Prevention is better than cure
The young age of children is very important for social development, muscular development, and eye development too. Our younger generation is in trouble due to the closing of schools. Here are some preventative strategies for online classes-
Desktop is better than a laptop, the laptop is better than a tablet The phone should be avoided for online classes Use bigger screens for online classes Keep the screen at 1 hand distance The screen should be at a slightly lower level of the eyes. Nonalignment can lead to headaches or neck strain. Break every 20 - 25 minutes for 15 secs Look outside the window in breaks at a distant object other than the screen After every 1 hour, take a break for 10 mins and move around the chair Relax your eyes
Tips for healthy eyes in children
Dr. Gupta informs, “There is a great trend for anti-glare glasses for children on amazon and online sites. There are some effective tips for children-
Use anti-glare glasses The spectacles for children should be of fiber material with the correct size from eyebrow eye. Specs should be properly fitted on the nose. Regular using properly fitted glasses in children will not increase the power and keep it steady Diet and exercise are very unimportant for eye health Good protein intake Green leafy vegetable intake Sleep is important. Early morning rise - Early to bed and early to rise is very important is the golden rule Engage in physical sports for distant objects like running and cycling Specific eye exercises
Parents should limit the use of mobile
Dr. Gupta informs, “ Kindly reduce the screen time for children as well as yourself being a parent. Children tend to follow you and it is essential to reduce and limit screen time. Parents and grandparents should be explained to limit the television screen time and engage in conversation and walks with children. Once you enter the house, stop using the mobile and limit the use.
Preventive eye check-up for children
Dr. Gupta says, “Take your child for an eye screening test and preventative eye check. The 3-year-old is the appropriate age for every child when he starts interacting with others.
Red flags for parents -
Squeezing of eyes by children Closely watching the tv Limited social interaction “
Blurred vision in children
Dr. Gupta says, “Blurred vision means impaired vision with rubbing and watering of eyes are common. Parents should not ignore this and should go for an eye check-up. “
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)