Back to School Eye Health Guide

As kids are going back to school it is important to prioritize eye health and to be educated on how to take care of your vision. According to the CDC, 6.8% of children younger than 18 years old in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition. Thousands of kids struggle with undiagnosed vision disorders because they are too embarrassed to express their concerns. 

Signs you are experiencing vision issues

With schools becoming more competitive, having the ability to see clearly is imperative. By ignoring eye health issues, students can fall behind educationally, have self-esteem issues and run the possibility of prolonging eye diseases and other health issues. 

Signs to look for in the classroom:

  1. Discomfort and fatigue. Studying for a prolonged period on a device can cause eye strain and headaches.
  2. Lack of academic growth. If eye diseases remain undiagnosed, students are susceptible to poor performance in school and struggling to retain material. 
  3. Short attention span. The teacher may be talking, and a student may think their pencil is the most interesting subject. This behavior is common when material is difficult to see and ultimately understand.
  4. Holding a laptop or book close to the face. If you do this frequently, exhibiting eye motions such as squinting or widening the eyes can contribute to worsening discrepancies.
  5. Trouble when reading. When a teacher calls on you to read a paragraph forgetting your place in a sentence or not comprehending content is abnormal. 

If you ignore these signs, you may become part of “more than 600,00 children and teens who are blind or have a vision disorder”. Acknowledging your vision impairments is the first step, the next is contacting your local eye care clinic to schedule an appointment.

Eye care tips for inside and outside the classroom

Being aware of common vision challenges faced by students is valuable, so is knowing how to deal with them. Taking care of your eyesight is the utmost importance because your eyes help you study, read, and write. If you want to prioritize your vision incorporate the following tips:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet. Include vegetables and fruits such as carrots, bell peppers, sweetpotatoes, and leafy greens into your lunch box. These foods feature nutrients that help support healthy eyes and may prevent or lessen common vision problems.
  2. Limit screentime. Take breaks from your screen and give your eyes a chance to reset.  Go outside, read a book or play a game. 
  3. Exercise. To improve hand-eye coordination, there is value in participating in sports. 
  4. Wear protective eye gear. Invest in purchasing blue light sunglasses to use when on a device. If you have practice for a particular sports activity do not forget to wear shades or googles.
  5. Wash your hands. Doing this a few times a day helps to reduce germs that often enter our bodies when we touch our eyes.

To maintain healthy eyes, you must implement healthy habits. If you are experiencing vision issues, Contact our office and request an appointment at one of our locations. Call 516-785-3900 (Wantagh office) or 516-541-4141 (Massapequa office) to schedule an appointment. Our ophthalmologists will talk with you about your vision complications and options for your treatment.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention