Who says back to school, says school, homework, tablet and screens… School is a burden on the eyes of students. However, there are simple warning signs in children that should alert you to potential vision problems. “A child who gets too close to his sheet and can’t read at the right distance can warn parents. A child not doing well in school can also be a warning sign. If a child rubs his eyes at night, has red eyes at nightthat could mean he put in too much visual effort,” explains Dr. Laurence Desjardins, ophthalmologist at the Institut Curie and administrative and scientific director of the French Society of Ophthalmology at Medisite.
Before the start of the school year, the ophthalmologist recommends a “check of the child’s vision”. “For children, there are visual assessments that allow ophthalmic examinations at least before the start of kindergarten and before the start of CP. It is necessary to check the visual acuity of the children who may be farsighted, astigmatic,” specifies the specialist. Essential visual displays according to Dr. Desjardins. The ophthalmologist recalls that “there are families in which, for example, astigmatism occurs, and the child can, without really outward signs, having one or two astigmatic eyes and needing glasses”. The warning signs are therefore not always sufficient to identify a vision problem.
Eyes: “up to 2 hours of screen for a child”
In order to protect the eyes of children and adolescents, Laurence Desjardins especially advises to “limit the time in front of the screens” because “we now know that this can cause myopia and sometimes severe myopia”. She therefore advises promote outdoor activities for all childrenregardless of their age. “It’s easier to do with little ones than with teenagers, but there should be a set screen time every day. I think two hours of screen time is really the maximum for a child”, assures the ophthalmologist.
Screens can not only harm their vision but also “cause insomnia” when viewed right before bedtime. According to Dr. Desjardins, it is childhood that is crucial to vision because of the change in the way of life of today’s society with children who spending hours on screens and increasingly suffering from nearsightedness. According to the website of the French Society of Ophthalmology, “the estimated number of myopic children is equivalent to 23.74% of the French pediatric population”.
Screens: optical correction and a blue light filter
For adults, VDU work is just as disastrous for the eyes. “You have to wear a good optical correction adjusted with if possible a filter against blue light which makes it possible to combat the toxicity of light from screens,” advises Dr. Desjardins. This is essential to “limit visual fatigue with screens”.
To prevent vision problems and eye diseasesfood is also essential. “All the fruits and vegetables, packed with antioxidants, are recommended to protect the retina and prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration when you are old, just like the omega 3 fatty acids in fatty fish or walnut oil,” explains the ophthalmologist.
in a practical way, to prevent eye infection, it is also essential for contact lens wearers “to handle the lenses in a sterile manner by washing their hands before and after putting them on and taking them off”. “The risk is that germs will get into the lens and eventually cause corneal abscesses,” warns Dr. Desjardins. They should also not be worn while showering or in the pool. Contact lens wearers still need annual eye check-ups to check the state of their vision and to see if the cornea still supports lens wear.