There are some surprising stats about eyes. Or is anything surprising these days?
We are in the age of mobile apps Between video games, selfies, and experiences only counting when they’re documented on social media, eyeballs are always focused on screens.
According to the National Center for Health Research, children under the age of 2 spend on average more than 2 hours in front of a screen. This means that our children are now spending more time staring at screens than ever before and are starting at a much younger age.
Here are some ways that you can make sure your children are receiving enough eye health support.
Facts About Eyes You Need To See
- The average time a child spends looking at a screen is over 7 hours per day!
- 25% of kids in Kindergarten – 6th grade have vision deficiencies.
- Approximately 80% of all learning in a classroom is done visually.
- Nearsightedness (Myopia) has increased 66% over the last 30 years.
Nutrients May Save Your Peepers
According to the American Optometric Association, adding the following nutrients to your diet through foods or supplementation can protect your vision.
Unfortunately, many diets are low in these carotenoids. These nutrients can be found in dark leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, kale. You can also get them from corn and eggs.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are located in the eye. They protect the macula, a highly sensitive spot of the retina responsible for detailed central vision.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are known to filter out harsh blue light (from those computers, tablets, TVs and phone screens). Not to mention they can reduce eye damage caused by free radicals.
Another antioxidant that is low in many diets is vitamin E. This can be found in cereal, peanut butter, nuts and sweet potatoes. Vitamin E can protect the cells of the eye from the damage of free radicals.
When healthy eye tissue is damaged it can lead to an increase in cataract formation and risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and spinach. The cells in your eye, like the rest of your body, depend on vitamin C to support healthy blood vessels.
This antioxidant has also been shown to lower the risk of developing cataracts and can slow the development of age-related macular degeneration. Especially when you combine Vitamin C with other nutrients.
A fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for healthy vision. Vitamin A helps your retina process taking in light and seeing, especially at night. It also aids the surface of your eye in fighting off infections.
There are two types of vitamin A.
- Preformed vitamin A: which is found in dairy, fish and meat
- Provitamin A: which is found in many fruits and vegetables, with the most common source being beta-carotene.
Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in children in developing countries.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that is found in seafood, meat, and dairy. It plays the crucial role of helping move the vitamin A to your retina.
Your body cannot produce the required amount of zinc. It is important to receive it through diet, fortified foods and beverages and supplements.
DHA and EPA are crucial for vision development and retina function throughout life. These nutrients are found in fatty fish, such as salmon and other seafood.
These healthy fats are formed limitedly in the body. It is recommended you consume a diet high in omega-3s, or consider taking a supplement.