Sunday 17 September 2023

A Better View: How to Prioritise Your Family's Eye Health

This is a collaborative post

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to overlook the importance of your family's eye health. With short-sightedness on the rise, however, parents must take proactive measures.

Neema Ghorbani-Mojarrad, a registered optometrist and lecturer at the University of Bradford, explains that lifestyle factors are more significant than genetics in developing myopia. This means that you can take simple yet crucial steps to ensure your loved ones' vision health. In this article, we'll explore five effective strategies for prioritising your family's eye health.

Annual eye tests

Let's begin with the cornerstone of eye health — regular eye tests. Scheduling yearly check-ups with an optometrist is crucial, especially for children whose eyes are still developing.

In the UK, reputable brands like Specsavers offer comprehensive eye examinations. I visited one of Specsavers' branches for a free eye test in 2019 and found that, besides needing a new prescription, I also needed to change my old frames into a design that keeps up with the times. Thankfully, these appointments are usually covered by the NHS for children under 16 and those under 19 in full-time education. This can help families save money on prescriptions, so there's no excuse to skip them! Besides, early detection can prevent bigger and more costly vision problems down the road.

Stylish glasses and updates

In my post on the eye test with Specsavers, the optician immediately commented on how outdated the frames were. Glasses fashion can change quite a bit over the years. This means that whether you or your family already wear glasses or are just looking for stylish eyewear, getting your hands on the perfect pair is essential.

But how do you make this a fun family event? Enter Glasses Direct's online service, which allows you to try on glasses at home. For parents, you can select up to four stylish frames among the site's over 300 options that suit your lifestyle and personal preferences. Plus, you can involve your kids in the process, turning it into a bonding experience. Encourage them to pick designs they love, as this can ensure that they're excited to wear their glasses regularly and thereby reduce eye strain.

Screen time management

In today's digital age, screens are integral to our lives. However, excessive screen time can affect eye health, leading to digital eye strain and other issues. One way to reduce screen time is to increase the duration of your child's play time outdoors. Doing so has been found to reduce the negative effects of screen time on communication and practical skills and children’s development by almost 20%.

Otherwise, make use of parental control apps to manage screen time for your kids' devices. Brands like Norton provide excellent tools for monitoring and limiting screen time, with their antivirus software allowing parents to set content filters and time limits for their children's devices.

Eat your way to healthy eyes

You've probably heard the saying, "You are what you eat," which also holds true for eye health. Incorporate foods rich in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, as well as zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can help maintain good vision and prevent age-related eye conditions.

Otherwise, encourage your family to enjoy leafy greens, carrots, citrus fruits, nuts, and fish like salmon to support their eye health. Smoothies and salads are a delicious way to include these eye-friendly ingredients in your daily meals.

By incorporating these simple strategies into your routine, you can ensure your loved ones enjoy clear and healthy vision for years. So, start today, and here's to a brighter and clearer future for your family's eyes!

Child having an eye test at the opticians

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