Lions Clubs International Foundationand Women’s Eye Health.org Good Habits for Healthy Eyes: Protect Your Child’s Vision for Life
Fact Sheet • There are approximately 10 to 11 million blind and visually impaired people in North America • There are more than 161 million visually impaired people worldwide
Fact Sheet • Three-fourths (75%) of all blindness and vision impairment is either preventable or treatable HOW?
How to Prevent Vision Impairment • Start youngstart with your children • Have your family’s eyes examined on a regular basis • Follow your doctor’s advice • Know your family history • Adopt healthy lifestyle habits • Learn and watch for warning signs of eye disease • Use eye protection
Get Your Child’s Eyes Examined on a Regular Basis Watch for these warning signs: • Changes in vision • Changes in eye appearance • Eye pain or irritation • Infections or allergies
Vision — Your Child Reports: • Things are blurry • Vision is distorted • Trouble reading or doing other tasks that require sustained visual attention • Problems seeing at night • Problems with “side” vision • Seeing double
B. Appearance — You Observe: • Redness • Crossed eyes or misaligned eyes (Eyes appear to be looking in a different directions) • Front part of the eye appears CLOUDY • A WHITE PUPIL (often seen in photographs) • One pupil larger than the other • Anything that you think just does not look right
Pain or Irritation —Your Child Reports: • Any eye pain • Pain when moving eyes • Excessive tearing • Eye irritation (dry, sandy, gritty, tired, uncomfortable, etc.)
D. Infections & Allergies Signs of allergy • ITCHING, ITCHING, ITCHING • Scratching/rubbing eyes Signs of infection • REDNESS of eyes • SWELLING of eyes/eyelids • DISCHARGE, watery or mucous; lids may stick together in the morning
If You Observe a Warning Sign: Get your child’s eyes tested as soon as possible!
Fact Sheet • Risk factors for eye diseases: • Did you know that… Risk factors for premature death due to heart disease or cancer are the same as those for blindness and vision impairment!
Fact Sheet • Risk factors for visual impairment & blindness can begin in childhood: • Obesity • Poor diet • Smoking • Trauma • Infrequent eye exams • Inadequate information
Obesity • Did you know that… • Obesity in all ages can lead to diabetes, which in turn can cause catastrophic eye diseases—in particular, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts!
Poor Diet Did you know that… What you eat is important for your vision! Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits, and eating more omega-3 fatty acids can help preserve vision for a lifetime. Start your children off right by serving them healthy food from an early age.
Smoking Did you know that… One third of age-related macular disease and cataract (the leading causes of vision loss in the elderly) may be due to smoking!
Trauma • Did you know that… • That the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness states that one-third of vision loss in children under 10 years-of-age is from trauma!
Infrequent Eye Exams • Did you know that… • More than a third of parents with school-aged children have not had their child's eyes tested in the last five years. • Among adults with diabetes, only 40-50% have had a dilated eye exam within the past two years.
Be Eye Smart! • Vision problems can, and often do, occur without you or your child noticing them. It’s best to test!
When to Get Your Eyes Examined • Adults should have their eyes examined too… • Healthy people with no risk factors should have their eyes examined: • At least once between 20-30 years old • At least every 5 years between 30-40 years old • At least every 2-4 years between 40-60 years old • At least every 1-2 years after age 60 years old It’s best to test!
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice Certain people need more frequent eye exams, such as those who: • Have diabetes • Have important risk factors for eye disease • Have a family history of eye diseases • Wear contact lenses • Have an eye disease
Protect Your Child’s Eyes (and Your Own!) • Most eye injuries are preventable • Provide appropriate eye protection (safety goggles) • Keep chemicals away from children • Wear sunglasses and/or hats when outdoors
Take-Away Messages • Start young • Everyone should have regular eye exams • Maintain a healthy weight: • Encourage a healthy diet and balanced nutrition • Include omega-3 fatty acids in the diet • Help increase physical activity • Don’t smoke - smoking causes blindness • Protect your child’s eyes and yours • Stay informed
Presented by:Lions Clubs International Foundationworking in partnership withWomen’s Eye Health.orgto prevent blindness Funded through a Lions Clubs International Foundation SightFirst grant. For more information please visit www.lcif.org and www.womenseyehealth.org