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Posted 3 September 2019
Almost every activity in life requires good vision. This is especially true for teenagers who are busier than ever, both in their school and social life.
This is also a time when many teenagers are getting a driver’s license, a daunting, yet exciting milestone in a person’s life where good vision is key.
We chat to Health Partners Optometrist, Anh Pahn about how teenagers can maintain their eye health for a bright future.
What are the key changes in a teenager’s eye health?
Myopia or Shortsightedness is one of the most common changes to teenager’s eyes.
“In this group, a lot of people have already become shortsighted. They might not have had their eyes tested when they were younger and this issue is coming to the surface now,” Anh says.
Assignment and schoolwork puts added strain on the eyes, causing the condition to worsen over time
Signs there might be a problem with your teenager’s vision
Eyesight problems in teens have been associated with poor academic performance, behavioral issues and anxiety.
It may be time to have an eye test if your child is experiencing any of the following:
- Dry or sore eyes
- Blurry vision
- Poor focusing
How do their day-to-day activities affect their eye health?
Anh says, “The majority of the time teenagers will mention experiencing eye strain particularly when they’re doing lots of assignments or if they’re having a tough week of exams.”
It’s recommended to take breaks every 20 – 30 minutes to help avoid sore and fatigued eyes.
Make-up hygiene for teenage girls is another big issue that can impact their overall eye health. “For females, makeup hygiene is a bit of an issue, inflammation of the eyelids and dry eyes is a big problem,” Anh says.
Contact lenses are very popular among teenagers, but their use can come with some risks. Anh says eye infections are possible if proper hygiene isn’t practised.
Infections like Conjunctivitis can be avoided with regular hand washing.
What can parents do to reduce eye health deterioration in their teenager?
“Helping to keep your child’s eye tests up to date and leading by example when it comes to eye health and hygiene should be top of mind for parents,” Anh says.
Some teenagers might be self-conscious about having to wear glasses, but there is the alternative of contact lenses and prescription sunglasses.
Uncorrected vision problems can affect all aspects of their lives – their studies, their job, their ability to play a sport or even their social life.