Friday, November 3, 2017

National Eye Health Awareness

Did you know that children should get their eyes tested for eye health as young as 6 months, and that the average age of children wearing contact lenses is 13 years old?

Well these were among some of the facts that I learned at the National Eye Health Awareness (NEHA) campaign, held recently at Kidzania Kuala Lumpur. Aimed at reinforcing good eye health among children, the 'Vision for Children' campaign urges early and regular eye examinations by optometrists to avoid vision impairment.

Hubby and I really appreciated the informative sessions held during the campaign run. Since kids won't know how to tell if they don't have good eyesight (they'll just assume their blurry vision is the same view that everyone else is seeing), we as parents should be trained to spot eye problems early. It can be something as simple as observing your child. If he/she rubs his/her eyes constantly, squints to focus, or have to resort to going close to something to see it properly (like sitting close to the TV), then perhaps a trip to the optometrist is urgently due.

Optometrists work hard to get to where they are! As primary eyecare providers, we should trust them to screen for eye diseases in our kids before it's too late.

Comprehensive eye examinations for children start as young as 6 months old!

We also learned a lot from the tips that were shared during the sessions. Here are some of them:
  • Visual stress - avoid kids from reading or watching something too near or too long in bad lighting. Invest in good lighting.
  • Posture and distance - Educate your kids about the correct posture and try to maintain these recommended distances (usage of tablet, books - 30cm away, usage of computer - 50cm away and watching TV 300cm away).
  • Lighting level - use daylight or full spectrum lighting. Do not allow kids to read under dim light condition.
  • Balanced nutrition - encourage your kids to eat vegetables that are good for the eyes.
  • Time - Implement the 20:20:20 rule. For every 20 mins you look at something, rest for eyes by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Aiden and Ian - 300cm away from the TV, please!

This is a subject that is very close to my heart. Thanks to early comprehensive eye examinations, I was diagnosed with lazy eyes when I was 3 years old. I had surgery when I was 6 years old to correct them.

As part of the 'Vision for Children' campaign, bring your kids for a free eye screening at participating outlets until 31st December 2017. Contact the Association of Optometrist (AMO) at +6011-2610 2010 or email for more information.

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