It’s tough to tell if your child needs glasses; accustomed to the
blur, they may not realize they aren’t seeing as well as they should.
Poor eyesight may mean that they are missing out on notes the teacher
puts up. Not having great vision can also be an impediment to fast reading
and may prevent them from excelling in sports. Luckily there are some
signs that can alert parents to the need for a trip to the optometrist.
Eye strain often results in headaches. If your child complains regularly
of a headache, try to ascertain what they were doing leading up to the
symptom. If they have been busy with schoolwork or reading, consider having
their eyes tested.
Don’t mistake red eyes and tears for allergies; children who rub
their eyes while reading, watching TV or working on their computers could
need a pair of glasses.
Another telltale sign is children who sit really close to monitors and
TV screens or need to hold books really close or far away in order to
Short attention spans and struggling with the hand-to-eye coordination
that is required for sports and arts and crafts may also be indicative
of a visual impairment.
You can test your children regularly throughout their lives in order to
ensure that they are not suffering from poor eyesight which can prevent
Babies should have their eyes tested at 6 months and then every two to
three years by a registered optometrist.
An epidemic of myopia (shortsightedness) is sweeping Asia. 80 to 90 percent
of students need glasses during their school careers and a small percentage
of these (10-20%) will have high myopia which could result in blindness.
Myopia can be caused by a lack of sunlight or from too much time reading
or sitting in front of computer and TV screens. Ensuring that your children
eat a healthy diet and spend at least two hours outside every day will
help them to develop and maintain excellent eyesight.
Eye exercises are also helpful in maintaining healthy eyes. A really easy
and effective exercise to do is this one:
Sit in front of a window. Hold your finger six inches away from the tip
of your nose. Focus on your finger and keep looking at it for ten seconds.
Now look out the window and focus on an object in the distance for ten
seconds. Repeat this exercise ten times. Do this every day to help improve
Speak with your optometrists about exercises you can do at home to help
improve eye health. If your child does need glasses, ensure that they
wear them regularly to prevent further deterioration.
Pic by Palinn Ooi