“Start them young” they always say, but can you prevent myopia from birth?
Big round eyes and a great big world to see.
It’s a whole new world for your new angel and his/her vision will quickly develop. It’s natural to want to protect your little one’s new found sight. Wanting to prevent myopia or any other vision problems is normal. However, while it is not scientifically proven that myopia can be prevented, there are a few things you can do to safeguard your baby’s eyesight right from the beginning and prevent myopia from birth:
Keeping your baby clean and comfortable is always important and if you want to protect their eyes, keeping their eyes clean is extra important. When your baby’s eyes do get dirty, dip a small cotton pad into cooled boiled water and gently wipe the damp pad across each eye. For extra precaution, use separate cotton pads for each eye. Begin wiping from the inside of the eye to the outside corner. And remember, do not clean the underside or inside of your baby’s eyelids to prevent any accidental eye damage.
2. Eating right
Health starts from within and the same can be said for your baby’s eyes. To ensure a healthy development of your baby’s eyes, feed your baby with all the essential vitamins and minerals he/she needs. Babies below the age of 6 months old should only drink breastmilk or formula. Once your baby is able to chew, consider giving your little one some green vegetables or eggs. These foods contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin which keep your baby’s eyes healthy and reduce the risk of retina damage. Green vegetables also assist brain development.
3. See the world
Let your baby open his/her eyes to the wonderful world outdoors. While it is an easy fix to keep your baby’s tantrums under wraps with a good cartoon on your phone, this may pose far more consequences to your baby’s eyes. It is this sort of near-work activity that hastens the development of myopia. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), infants below the age of 1 should receive no screen time at all. Instead, bring your baby outdoors to help protect their eyes. The outdoors exposes them to sunlight which helps to keep myopia at bay.
Vision problems to take note of.
While following these tips can help to protect your baby’s eyesight, as a parent, you might also want to take note of any vision problems your baby may develop:
1. Blocked tear ducts
While clogged tear ducts normally clear up by themselves, in some cases, the
nasolacrimal duct may be obstructed. As a result, your baby may experience excessive tearing or pus discharge.
2. Congenital glaucoma
Also commonly referred to as childhood glaucoma, congenital glaucoma is a rare condition that afflicts one in 10,000 infants. Symptoms include excessive tearing, clouding corneas, and an increased sensitivity to light.
If your baby does experience any of these vision problems, do take him/her to your nearest doctor as soon as possible.
Prevent myopia beyond infancy.
As your baby grows up, he/she will be exposed to multiple sources of strain and stress for his/her eyes, and this usually comes in the form of digital devices. Safeguarding your child’s eyes should start from the beginning, and continue as they age. Continuously keep your children’s eyes safe and mitigate myopia with the planoApp. The app helps to monitor your child’s screen time, the distance between his/her eyes and device, and provides regular eye break prompts.