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Myopia, A Clear Problem

Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia sufferers in the world. At age 12, half of Singapore's children suffer from myopia and by the age of 18, this figure would have risen to a whopping 80 percent..

Kids, however, are usually unaware that they have vision problems thinking that what they see is natural. To counter this, parents have to be observant so that they can spot myopia in their kids at an early stage.

It's All a Blur

Kids with myopia will likely have problems seeing things that are at a distance such as bus numbers or words on the school projector screen and whiteboard.

When myopia goes undetected, it can affect the academic performance of children by hampering their ability to comprehend or follow lessons in class. Myopia can also affect hand-eye coordination, self-esteem and social activities. At a later stage in life, it may even affect the career dreams of children aspiring for certain professions such as becoming a pilot.

One Problem Can Lead to Another

Dr. Ng Chay, a veteran optometrist and member of the American Optometric Association says that,

"[the] early onset of myopia may also increase [a child's] chances of developing serious eye disorders such as retinal detachment, cataracts and glaucoma at an older age."

Studies have shown myopia may be brought on by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is a higher chance for kids having myopia if their parents are myopic. At the same time, kids who spend more time indoors appear to be more at-risk than those who play outdoors more often.

Does Your Child Have Myopia?

Dr. Stan Issacs, President of the Singapore Contact Lens Society and Orthokeratology Society of Singapore, suggests a trip to the optometrist if you observe any of the following symptoms in your child:

• Appears to be "cross-eyed'

• Habitually holds the head at an incline

• Avoids light or fails to respond to light

• Grimaces frequently and is obsessed with rubbing the eyes with fingers

• Turns the eyes without focusing on anything

• Grasps for objects and misses them, or stumbles into furniture frequently

• Sudden decline of grades

• Does not like to read

Best Practices In Caring For Your Childs Eyes

• Supplement your child's daily diet with good foods for the eyes such as Bilberry and Lycium

• Visit an eye care practitioner for a check-up every six months

• Ensure that there is enough lighting for all activities

• Remind your child to keep a safe distance from whatever he or she is looking at (30cm for books, 3m for television and an arm's length for the computer monitor)

• Take a 2-minute break every half an hour of intensive visual activity

• Increase the frequency of outdoor activities. An hour a day is recommended

*This article is extracted from Parents World Nov/Dec 2010 issue

Good Foods for Better Sight

• Bilberry - Used to treat vision disorders such as poor night vision, cataracts and macular degeneration. Its powerful antioxidant properties are also known to protect eyes from harmful free radicals.

• Sesamin - Helps to remove harmful free radicals and aids in blood circulation to ensure sufficient oxygenated blood to the eye

• Vitamin A and Zinc - Promote the formation of light-sensitive cells for healthy vision

Suggested Product: BRAND’S® AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken with Lycium

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