General Eye Care

Encourage outdoor play

It’s become commong knowledge that spending time every day doing outdoor activities might help to protect you and your children’s eyes against the development and progression of myopia. Outdoor activities also help to improve the overall health of your child, giving even more benefit. It’s important to take the time needed to develop and strengthen both your eyes as you get older, and as your son or daughter begin to age as well. In this article we’ll talk about a few outdoor activities that will help your eyes and also give you a bit of fun.

Suggestions for a few outdoor activities:

Bring your child to the playground. Regular trips to the playground do not just provide your child with some much needed physical activity, but it also helps to promote social skills and develop the strength of his eyes. Taking a walk in the park or to the shops can also be fun, while giving your eyes a much needed treat of things you may want to buy in the future. You can also walk your pet or go on a nature trail, just be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Take a trip to the beach and have fun as a family, building sandcastles and playing in the water. Wearing goggles while swimming will help protect the eye. Take up active hobbies like cycling or swimming to spend more time outdoors.

While outdoors, try to remember these few safety tips:

  • Avoid the hottest periods of the day (11am to 4pm). Your eyes can dry out just as easily as your skin. Wear sunglasses.
  • Ensure your drinking plenty of water.
  • Apply sunblock lotion and wear a cap and sunglasses to protect against the sunlight.
  • Use appropriate safety gear where necessary e.g. when rollerblading or playing sports.

Reduce the time spent on work

When indoors, cut down the time spent on continuous reading, writing, and other eye-centric work. Take a break after about 30 to 40 minutes by looking at something acrossed the room, or by going for an outdoor activity such as a stroll in the park. Playing hand-held, handphone or computer games has been scientifically shown to be bad for your eyes as well. Provide ample opportunities for outdoor play instead.

Some other good eye care habits to take note of are:

When reading:

  • The distance between the eyes and the book should be approximately 30 cm.
  • The reading environment should be well-lit.
  • Your child should sit upright in a comfortable chair.
  • Choose books with large print.
  • Discourage reading in bed and in moving vehicles.

When using your personal computer:

The computer screen should be placed at a distance of about 50 cm from the eyes. Adjust the screen of the computer to reduce glare from the reflection of other light sources. Ensure adequate lighting. Adopt a balanced diet and other healthy lifestyle habits and ensure that your child is actively engaged in physical activity.

When watching TV or playing video games:

The larger the TV screen, the further away one should sit when watching TV. The height of the TV should be at or below the eye level. The room should be well-lit. Limit the total amount of time spent watching TV or playing video games.

Go for regular eye-checks

Visit an optometrist or optician for an eye check at least once a year if your child is myopic or have been advised to do so by the School Health Service.