It’s estimated that there are 246,000 people in Ireland who are blind or visually impaired, yet approximately 75 per cent of sight loss is preventable. Here are some tips from Fighting Blindness to better care for your child’s eye health.
- Spend time in the great outdoors. Research suggests that time spent playing outside contributes to a decrease in the risk of short-sightedness.
- Don’t leave them to their own devices. Teach your children to hold a smartphone or tablet at arm’s length from their eyes and encourage them to look away from the screen every few minutes.
- You are what you eat. It’s not just carrots that are good for children’s eyesight. Oranges, oily fish, peppers, eggs, dairy and nuts have some of the biggest health benefits for eyes.
- Sun’s up! It’s vital that children wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun, which are more vulnerable to sun damage due to their larger pupils and clearer lenses.
- Put them to the test. Ensure that your child has their first eye test from a qualified optician by the age of three years, and every year after that until they are 16 years old.
- Safety first. Physical activity and sport are important for children, but make sure they use safety eye wear that is appropriate for their sport to protect against eye injury.
- Be on the lookout. If you notice an inward or outward turning in a child’s eyes, delays in tracking moving objects, squinting or holding material close to their face, speak to your GP or optician. Many conditions can be treated more effectively once picked up early.
Retina 2019 is a three-day international gathering of researchers and clinicians from all over the world. It provides a valuable opportunity for delegates to share knowledge on global research efforts and technologies to find treatments and cures for a wide range of conditions causing vision impairment and blindness.
For more details on the programme for the Retina 2019 Public Engagement Day, visit www.retina.ie. To keep up-to-date on the latest conference news, follow Fighting Blindness on Twitter @fight_blindness, or search for #Retina2019 #ScienceWeek