Regular Eye Care Tips
• Proper Lighting- Reading and writing should never be done in dim light like in a dark room, in fading natural light during dawn and dusk etc.
• The source of light should be ideally behind the child while reading or writing.
• Study in white light (tubelight)
• Sit straight while reading and writing to allow light to fall on the page the child is working on. Do not bend on the reading material and block light.
• The book or notebook should be 12-14 inches away (a distance from tip of middle finger to elbow).
• Do not read lying down.
• Reduce TV and computer time to minimum.
• Should not watch TV continuously for more than two hours.
• Sit at least 4 meters away from the TV
• Should not work on the computer continuously for more than 40 minutes.
• Blink often when working on computer and take breaks. Look at green plants frequently to soothe the eyes and reduce stress.
• The monitor of computer should be at eye level or slightly below.
• Distance between computer screen and eye should be at least 20 inches.
• Keep the TV and computer screen dust free. Dust blocks the images and thus strain our eyes.
• Avoid direct glare of the sun, computer screen and lights. Use protective screen on TV and computer and wear hats and sunglasses in the sun.
• Protect eyes from dust and wind.
• Wash eyes with cold water after outdoor play and outings in the open.
• Do eye exercises regularly
• Wear water tight goggles while swimming.
• Diet- Green leafy vegetables are good for the eyes. Vitamin A is important for good eyesight. Drumstick, papaya, mango, carrot, beetroot are rich in Vitamin A.
Prevent Eye Infections
Eye infections occur due to lack of personal hygiene. Infections are highly contagious. These are caused by micro organisms like fungi, bacteria etc. which spread easily. Whatever the infected person has touched with his fingers, towel, handkerchief or clothes used to rub the infected eye, will carry the germs. If we touch these infected objects and then touch our eyes, the bacteria passes on to our eye causing the infection. Therefore it is important to take precautions. Some precautions are:
• Wash eyes with cold and clean water regularly.
• In case you come in contact with an infected person, wash your hands frequently to get rid of any germ in the hands.
• Never use the infected persons things like bedsheet, towel, glasses etc.
• Make the infected person to wash hands frequently and ask him to avoid touching the infected eye.
• Use disinfectants and cleansers often.
• Strictly follow the safety precautions for contact lenses. Disinfect them before using.
The patient should wash hands thoroughly after applying the ointment prescribed by the doctor. If parents apply the medicine to infected child’s eyes, they should also wash their hand with soap and water. Restrain healthy children from visiting and playing with friends who have contracted an eye infection, till the time they get well.
Prevent Eye Injury
Children who have just learnt to crawl or walk tend to fall often. Older kids too keep injuring themselves while running and playing around. The eyes need to be protected from any harm, as these are very delicate and can get irreparably damaged. Some precautions need to taken to prevent eye injuries in children.
• Keep sharp, pointed things like pen. Pencil, scissors etc. out of reach of children.
• Keep hazardous sprays like perfume, insectides, soaps etc out of reach of children.
• Supervise kids when they have to use sharp objects during craft activities or lab activities in school
• Keep children away from fireworks.
• Select age appropriate toys. Avoid hard, sharp edged and pointed toys.
• Avoid toys which fly or shoot.
• Remove furniture and objects around the house which have pointed, sharp protruding edges.
• Educate the child about eye hazards and keep telling them to stay safe
First Aid for Injuries
In case of eye injury, seek medical help immediately. The first thing to do before reaching the doctor is, advice and prevent the child from touching and rubbing her eyes. In case of any foreign particle like dust or chemicals, sprinkle clean, cold water on the eyes. If something big has entered the eye, do not try to remove the object but rush to the doctor.
Eye care is an important part of personal health and hygiene. Proper care and precautions are important to maintain healthy eyes and perfect eyesight. Parents should take more precautions to keep small children’s eyes healthy and also teach the child about eye care, because kids today spend considerable part of the day watching television, working or playing on the computer, leading to eye stress and fatigue. The time spent outside amidst the soothing greenery is getting less. Apart from this, the rising level of pollution too leads to eye infections.