Good vision for life – Why caring for your child’s eye health matters

Sight is one of the most important senses we have. Our eyes are a gateway that allows us to see, interact and experience the world around us. We constantly use our eyes because we rely on them to do everyday activities, including reading, writing and driving. Having good vision for life is means we need to take care of our eye health. To help ensure your child has good vision through to adulthood, you need to make their eye health a priority.

Good vision is fundamental for every child’s development

When a child starts school, the stimulating and challenging educational environment will allow them to grow and develop. It has been estimated that approximately 80% of learning takes place through the eyes [1]. This makes vision a highly important learning tool that is fundamental for every child’s development.

For effective reading and learning, children need the following vision skills [1]:

  • Visual acuity: The ability to see clearly e.g. far distance to see the chalkboard, intermediate distance to see the computer screen, close distance to read a book.
  • Eye focusing: The ability to quickly and accurately form a clear vision when the eye focuses on objects at different distances e.g. a pencil on the table to a poster across the classroom.
  • Eye teaming: The ability to coordinate and use both eyes together to follow a target or path e.g. following a tennis ball, moving eyes along a printed page.
  • Hand-eye coordination: The ability to use visual information to control hands and complete a task e.g. drawing, playing sports.
  • Visual perception: The ability to organize visual information in to letters, words, ideas in order to understand and remember it.
  • Colour perception: The ability to identify different colours.

Sore eyes? The higher demands on children’s vision skills

Children constantly use their eyes in the classroom when they learn, and the demands on their visual abilities increases as they progress in school. More homework and assignments requires them to read, study and work on the computer for extended amounts of times. When they move up year levels the print in books get smaller, requiring more work from the eyes.

Also for leisure, children spend a lot of time in front of screens using phones and iPads playing games or watching YouTube.

As a result they can get sores eyes or eye strain, a common condition when the eyes get tired from intense usage. Symptoms of eye strain include, discomfort, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain.

How to care for your child’s eye health

Caring for your child’s eye health is quite simple and helps set the foundation for them to have good vision for life. Here are some ways you can care for your child’s eye health:

  1. Give eyes a rest: Taking regular breaks from reading, viewing screens (e.g. computer, tablet, mobile) will help prevent eye strain. A good recommendation is to take a five to ten minute break every hours.
  2. Good nutrition to support eye health: As recommended by Optometry Australia, Macular Disease Foundation Australia and health organisations, getting the right nutrition (e.g. antioxidants – lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin C & E) supports and maintains eye function and health. Zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin have important roles in maintaining macular and retina health by preventing oxidative damage. However, with our busy lifestyles, it can be hard to ensure your child has a well-balanced diet to support their eye health. The nutritional supplement iiPlus includes nutrients that support eye health, and helps make caring for your children’s eyes simpler.

iiPlus: Supports Healthy Eye Function & Development, Made in Australia

iiPlus is a comprehensive eye health formulation suitable for children from 6 years of age and adults.
It provides the combined health benefits of antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthin), fish oil (DHA), betacarotene, selenium, zinc and vitamins (C and E). Health benefits includes supports healthy eye function and development, supports and maintains visual acuity and provides a source of antioxidants.

Manufactured in Australia, iiPlus is regulated by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – a division in the Australian Department of Health.

Understanding how iiPlus works:

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

  • These antioxidants are found in the eye and have important roles in maintaining eye health
  • Out of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye
    • Help protect eyes from free radical damage associated with retinal damage which can lead to eye conditions (e.g. cataracts): The lens in the eye collects and focuses light on the retina, for it to function properly the lens needs to remain clear. Oxidation of the lens causes is to become cloudy, which is a leading cause of cataracts. The antioxidant activity of lutein and zeaxanthin can help in the prevention of cataracts
  • Help filter out harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light to protect eyes
  • Our bodies does not synthesize lutein and zeaxanthin, these antioxidants must be obtained through diet or nutritional supplementation

Fish Oil (DHA)

  • Essential for maintaining healthy eyes and vision
  • DHA is found in the highest concentration in the retina and is important for proper visual development and retinal function

Betacarotene

  • The body converts betacarotene in to retinal. Retinal is important for night vision (seeing in poor light conditions) and colour vision

Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C is found in all tissues of the eye and supports the health of eye blood vessels
  • Antioxidant activity to protect the eyes from free radical damage
  • Our bodies does not produce all of the vitamin C we need, we must obtain vitamin C from diet or nutritional supplementation

Vitamin E

  • Important for the retina, the layer of tissue inside the eye that collects light and allows you to see
  • Antioxidant activity to protect the cells of the eyes from radical damage
  • Vitamin E is also important for the health of cell membranes, DNA repair and other metabolic processes

Selenium

  • A mineral that is required for the proper functioning of the retina.

Zinc

  • Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, and impaired vision (e.g. poor night vision) has been linked to zinc deficiency
  • Zinc is an essential trace mineral, it that plays a key role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes

References

  1. http://svrc.vic.edu.au/
  2. http://www.optometry.org.au/wa/your-eyes/your-eye-health/nutrition/
  3. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/antioxidants
  4. https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/content/nutrition-2
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