The American Optometric Association recommends pediatric eye exams at ages 6 months, 3 years, and every 1-2 years thereafter. Full comprehensive exams should include refraction and dilation to ensure there is no hidden prescription children are self-compensating for or any health issues in the back of the eye. Eye alignment, depth perception, eye tracking, and color vision needs to be checked during the exam too. Early detection gives the best prognosis for successful therapy since the brain and eyes are still developing. The following are some things to keep in mind:
- Keep hair out of eyes to prevent amblyopia.
- Wash hands before touching face or eyes.
- Do not use non prescription contact lenses.
- Eye exam every 1-2 years, especially before kindergarten.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
- Do not share eye make up.
With the boom of technology, try to remember the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look 20 feet away. This applies for prolonged reading and other up close activities too. Using the eyes at one distance causes the muscles to be stiff; therefore, changing distances creates a lag, which in turn results in blurry vision until the muscles catch up. Screen time also decreases blinks leading to dry eyes. Exercise your eye muscles to keep them healthy!
Christina Yep, O.D. is a local optometrist at Center for Sight.