Eyes: What to Look For! (Body Fact #4)

The new school year is just around the corner. With all there is to do to get ready, we sometimes forget the basics, like making sure our kid's eyesight is okay. To help get everyone off on the right foot, here is a short article you can share with your children before taking them for an eye exam.
Most kids don’t know they have a problem with their eyes until they have trouble reading a book or they can’t see the board in school. If things look blurry or if your eyes bother you in any way, tell your parents so they can take you to see an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist). If either of your parents needed glasses when they were young, chances are you will, too.

Lots of kids have their vision screened by a school nurse or family doctor. Screening is a great way to find out if you need a more thorough exam by an eye doctor. A complete eye exam takes about 30 minutes. During the exam, the doctor will check your eyes to find out how well you see. He’ll also check for eye diseases that cause blindness, like glaucoma.

The eye doctor will also have you read an eye chart and he’ll look inside your eye using a bright light and a high-powered lens. He may even use special drops to dilate (widen) the pupils of your eyes so he can check the health of your optic nerve. Or, he may give you what’s called the “air puff” test to measure the fluid pressure inside your eye. The important thing to remember about eye exams is that they’re easy and they don’t hurt at all.

If it turns out you need glasses, don’t sweat it. It’s a lot easier to read the board at school or hit a baseball when you can see it! Choose glasses that seem to match your personality. There are all kinds of styles—from plain to fancy. You may even have the choice to wear contact lenses. Just remember that they require special care and cleaning. Talk to your eye doctor about whether contact lenses or glasses are better for you.

Here’s one last bit of advice: protect your eyes. When you’re outside in the bright sun, wear sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection. Too much light can give you headaches, damage your eyes, and cause vision problems when you get older (like cataracts). And don’t forget to wear eye protection when playing a sport that could injure your eyes—like racquetball or paint ball.
So there you have it. Taking care of your eyes isn’t that hard, but it is important. See you around!
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