5 Ways To Develop Smart Eye & Vision Care Habits Among Teenagers
Teen years are a crucial phase in every young adult's life. It is in this phase that they lay down the foundation for their future. While teenagers work hard to perform well in studies, sports, and other activities, they can be complacent when it comes to taking care of their health.
Parents, on the other hand, are aware of the importance of following healthy practices to keep fit, including the need for maintaining good vision. Teenagers must also learn the importance of practising healthy habits to keep their body and vision perfect for as long as possible. From following the right practices to knowing types of contact lenses they can use; teenagers must pay heed to their eye health.
Accurate vision and good eye health will help your child in learning and performing better in studies and other areas. 1 However, teenagers and college students can be most susceptible to vision disorders, and eye problems such as infections, sports injuries, and dry eyes from using digital devices for prolonged periods, which can cause them discomfort and distress in the long-run.
If you have a teenager at home, then you must first help them understand the importance of healthy eyes. Apart from that, you can support and encourage them to develop healthy habits to protect their eyes and ensure healthy vision.
Here are a few ways you can develop smart eye and vision care habits in your teenager:
1. Engage in Outdoor Activities
Since teenagers spend most of their time studying, reading, and looking up things on the internet, they mostly end up staying indoors. It may put them at an increased risk of developing near-sightedness, or myopia. Even during their free time, teens these days spend long hours on gadgets and digital devices, which again exposes their eyes to harmful digital rays. A study conducted in 2014 shows how there is worsening of eyesight for each year in a child's school life 2.
Also, a study by an Indian university showed how ~ 80 per cent students in an engineering and medical school experienced CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome). pProblems like eye redness, burning sensation, blurred vision and dry eyes were reported due to excessive use of digital devices3. To avoid eye strain, guide your child to practice eye exercises like the 20-20-20 rule
How to practice the 20-20-20 rule eye exercise?
- Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for about 20 seconds.
Apart from this, you can also encourage them to try and voluntarily blink more as blinking is linked with maintaining eye moisture. When continuously working on digital devices, our eye blinking rate decreases which may lead to eye irritation and dry eyes due to digital strain
Another research shows that spending more time outdoors can minimize the progression of myopia and help in protecting eye vision 4. Therefore, encourage your children to head out of the home whenever possible. Being physically active is not only good for the eyes, but your child's overall health too.
2. Wash Hands Frequently
A common disease of the eyes is Conjunctivitis 5, which is also called pink eye. A highly contagious disease, it often spreads quickly in schools where children come in close contact with one another. That is why teenagers should develop the habit of washing hands with soap frequently to get rid of any such virus or bacteria that may have gotten dispersed into their hands. Recommend your teens to unnecessarily avoid touching or rubbing their eyes.
Similarly, if your teens wear prescribed contact lenses, you must ensure that they follow their contact lens wear and care schedule thoroughly. Contact lenses do offer their benefits, but if not well handled properly as advised by an eye care professional, could lead to eye infections. Although such eye infections can be easily treated, in some cases, it can have severe implications.
3, Avoid Sharing Makeup
Teenage girls generally share makeup and accessories with their siblings and friends. Doing so may seem harmless, but it could actually spread certain infections. . As bacteria can grow on any moist surface, creamy eye makeup may become a breeding ground for them. To stay safe, educate your teen on how infections can spread through sharing makeup and advise them not to practice that.
Additionally, if your teens like wearing contact lenses, strictly advise them to not share their contact lenses with anyone. Any negligence can lead to severe infections and become a painful experience. Reinstate their belief in 'Prevention is better than cure.'
4. Proper Eye Protection During Sports
Research shows how nearly every 1 in 18 athletes is likely to get injured while playing sports High-risk sports like basketball, baseball and football involve the risk of common injuries. Share with your teens how even a small injury can lead to damage of some eye nerves or muscles. Advise and enable them to always wear proper eye gear to protect their eyes. Many athletes wear polycarbonate sports glasses to prevent stray balls or elbows from damaging their eyes.6
Avoid water with Contact Lenses and Lens Care Products. Acanthamoeba keratitis is a severe eye infection caused by Acanthamoeba, a parasite that lives in water 7. One of the significant factors that increase the risk of such a disease is wearing contact lenses in the water while swimming or taking a bath. Tell your teenagers not to practice wearing contact lenses while swimming or showering to steer clear of this dangerous infection. In case of unavoidable cricumstances (e.g High refractive error) one may use a daily disposable contact lens along with a protective swimming goggles. Thees lenses should be discarded immediately once the user is out of the pool.
Additionally, guide your teens to never use water or any other form of liquid except their recommended lens care solution for cleaning or storing their contact lenses. They must only use sterile disinfecting solutions for their contact lenses and always use a clean contact lens storage case to store their contact lenses.
5. Help Them Develop Sound Eye Care Habits
Maintaining good vision is crucial for your child's overall physical development.8 For the same, you should also take your teenagers for regular eye exams and vision screenings. Regular eye examinations, at least once a year, or as advised by your optometrist helps in detecting and correcting eye problems early on which can save your teenager from facing or suffering from any serious issues9.
If your teenager is already using prescription lenses or wants to start wearing contact lenses instead of spectacles, consult with an optometrist to find and choose the best types of contact lenses. Opt for contact lenses that provide the benefits of convenience, comfort, vision correction and a natural peripheral view. You can explore Bausch+Lomb's range of contact lenses to discover the various types of contact lenses and buy one that befits your teenager's needs. Select from a range of contact lenses that are designed for the youth like our Bausch+Lomb iConnect monthly contact lenses that are very affordable and offers superior visual acuity. Finally, remember to encourage your child to protect their eyes so that they can continue to enjoy a healthy and clear vision always!
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