The Visual Needs of Teenagers
Adolescence is a period characterized by many changes on the physical front, so this is why it is of utmost importance for teenagers to adopt a healthy lifestyle during these formative years. With regards to visual health, it is important to avoid long, intensive sessions on the computer, tablet or smartphone. This is so visual functions such as visual acuity, the visual field and perception of contrasts and colors remain intact.
Recent studies have shown that teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 spend long periods of time in front of their screens. In order to avoid complications related to eye strain, a complete eye exam should be performed yearly with the family’s trusted optometrist to check the general condition of vision, measure any changes and develop a plan for maintaining good eye health. An annual eye exam is important for teenagers, especially if eye disease is present in the family’s medical history.
What are the signs of a vision problem in a teenager?
Itchy, watery eyes, headaches, blurred or double vision, etc... Vision problems can appear at any time. If vision is no longer optimal despite wearing glasses, this may be a sign that the teenager’s vision has changed. It is then necessary to make an appointment with an optometrist.
Adolescence is also a time when it is possible to stop wearing glasses and opt for contact lenses instead. Most optometrists will recommend waiting until the teenager is responsible and capable enough to maintain their personal hygiene as well as that of the contact lenses. Generally, it is around the age of 13 that the average teenager is independent enough to take on the responsibilities that come with wearing contact lenses.
During adolescence, self-esteem is of primary importance and it is during this time that the teenager is truly aware of their personal worth. One of the most important aspects on which a teenager's self-esteem is built is their physical appearance; teens compare themselves to others in every way. The right choice of glasses and lenses or contact lenses as an alternative can enhance their
self-esteem. It's important for teenagers to be proud of their glasses or to choose the freedom of not wearing them thanks to the possibility of wearing contact lenses.
How can I keep my teenager’s eyes healthy?
- Ensuring good protection when playing sports with balls or any other contact sport (martial arts, boxing, etc.);
- Diet also plays a role in good visual health. Without banning any food or groups of foods, the idea is to find the right balance;
- The power of a good night’s sleep! To fall into a peaceful sleep, all screens must be turned off at least one hour before bedtime in order to calm the stimulation to the brain that is caused by screens.
- Sunglasses: In summer or winter, choosing a pair of sunglasses to enjoy the outdoors is a great way to protect the eyes and to showcase personal style. The most important thing to consider when buying sunglasses is UV protection. It may be tempting to wear lesser quality or trendier sunglasses, but it is important to keep in mind that poor quality sunglasses can cause long-term damage to eye health.