There are many common eye conditions out there that do not present any obvious symptoms until it’s too late. For this reason, it is important for both teenagers and parents alike to understand any potential risks, to be aware of the signs and how to prevent or manage them. Younger teenagers, in particular, may not realise their vision isn’t normal and might not recognise when something is wrong.
Experiencing problems with vision can be detrimental for teenagers; it can cause problems in performance at school due to not being able to read the board properly and can even lead to anxiety and stress. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the eye conditions that teens may experience and what can be done to prevent them.
Vision problems that may affect teenagers
General eye health can be affected by many different things, but the lifestyle of a teenager can pose problems in maintaining optimal vision. We now live in a world where digital devices are commonplace and are often used for long periods of time. Continued focus on a screen without rest can result in eye strain, irritation and headaches. Computer Vision Syndrome is a recognised condition for those who use digital screens for long periods of time without regular breaks; something that teenagers are often known for doing.
Another vision problem that may occur in teenagers is a result of overexposure to UV light, which is harmful for our eyes. While everyone knows how important it is to protect our skin from UV rays, not everyone is aware of the need to also protect our eyes.
Active teenagers who take part in sport may be at a bigger risk of eye injury or damage. It is important to remember this should you wish to take extra measures to protect your eyes when playing a sport.
Myopia, or near-sightedness, often develops during puberty and can progress until the eye has stopped growing. Myopia occurs because the shape of the eyeball is more elongated than round; it’s believed that around 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by this.
How to prevent further development of vision problems in teens
One of the most important things to remember when looking after your eye health is to attend regular eye examinations. An eye examination can provide a vital health check. Your optician will be able to discover conditions and can help to prevent or manage them before your vision is damaged.
If you’re prescribed spectacle lenses by your optician, it’s crucial that you wear the right lenses to correct it. Your spectacle lenses can have embedded technology that protects your eyes from UV light; the unique Eye Protect System does just that. Enhanced everyday lenses that have been designed specifically for preventing and reducing eyestrain when working or socialising on digital devices are perfect for any teenager.
Eat well and get enough sleep!
Teens with busy lives may not routinely eat and sleep properly, but a balanced diet and plenty of rest are important for good eye health. Did you know carrots "can" help you see in the dark? Your eyes contain a pigment called rhodopsin which operates in low-light conditions. For your body to synthesise rhodopsin, vitamin A is required. People with vitamin A deficiency may have trouble seeing in dim light because rhodopsin isn't being produced effectively. Therefore eating vegetables high in vitamin A – such as carrots – can help.
How to tell if your teen is struggling with vision problems
As a parent, you might be able to notice signs that your teenager cannot see as well as they used to. If your child is complaining of sore, tired eyes or frequent headaches, or you notice they squint in order to see better, book them in for an eye examination with your local optician.