Seeing is the main way that most of us experience the world. Children’s vision develops gradually after they are born and is dependent upon good eye health and good overall health to develop to its fullest potential. Good vision and eye health can help to support normal development as your child grows. While there are some aspects of eye health that may be out of your control, there are several things that you can do to support your child’s eye health to the best of your abilities.
Make Sure Your Child Receives Adequate Nutrition
Nutrients like lutein, vitamin C, fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin E can help to sustain good eye health as your child develops and throughout his or her life. Forming good eating habits and introducing your child to a variety of healthful foods at an early age can also help to build the foundations for good lifelong eating habits. Making sure your child receives adequate nutrition can help to prevent many issues that come with nutritional deficiencies, such as problems with eye muscle development and cataracts.
Attend All Recommended Wellness and Eye Exams
Wellness and eye exams can help doctors and optometrists to identify potential eye and vision problems and start treatment early. If there is a history of eye problems in the family, your doctor may recommend special eye exams. As children grow, they should continue to have their eyes and vision checked, as complications can develop rapidly that may affect vision and development.
Be Aware of Eye Problem Symptoms
While eye exams and wellness exams can help doctors to detect most issues, sometimes things are missed. Being aware of eye problem symptoms can help you to bring a potential problem to your doctor’s attention, which may save your child’s vision or even his or her life if the problem is serious. If the pupil is white instead of red or black when the light hits it, for example, it may be a sign of a rare and serious eye cancer called pediatric retinoblastoma.
Other symptoms to look for include:
- Frequent redness or tearing of the eyes
- Difficulties with focus or tracking
- Rubbing of the eyes
- Misaligned eyes over the age of six months
- Sensitivity to light
Follow Doctors Recommendations Regarding Eye Health
If a problem is detected, doctors may need to act fast to save your child’s vision, eyes, and health. If cancer or cataracts are identified, surgery may need to be performed immediately. If your child has vision impairments, contacts or glasses may be recommended, even for babies. By following your doctor’s recommendations, you can help to set your child up for a lifetime of good health and clear vision.
If you feel like there may be a problem with your child’s eyes or sight or would like to know more about protecting your child’s eye health, address these issues with your doctor at your next wellness exam.