As children become teenagers, their visual needs and eye health concerns change. Teenagers spend more time focusing on screens, and the pressure of academics, sports, and social activities can strain their eyes. Dr. Teten, an Optometrist Chesapeake VA, will discuss some common vision and eye health issues teenagers face and how to best address them.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common refractive error that affects many teenagers. With myopia, far away objects appear blurry or out of focus, while objects up close are clear. This can make it difficult for teenagers to see the board in school or participate in outdoor activities.

Myopia typically develops during childhood and tends to progress during the teenage years. In fact, it is estimated that about 30% of teenagers in the United States have myopia. Many factors can contribute to myopia development in teenagers, including genetics, environmental factors such as lack of outdoor time, and extended near work such as reading and screen time.

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for teenagers with myopia. One common Optometrist Chesapeake VA treatment option is corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses. These lenses refract light to correct nearsightedness and allow the wearer to see objects more clearly at a distance.

Another treatment option for myopia in teenagers is orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K. This non-surgical procedure involves wearing special contact lenses at night that gently reshape the cornea. This can help correct myopia and provide clear vision during the day without corrective lenses.

Finally, there is also a newer treatment option called myopia control. This involves using special contact lenses called Misight, which slows the progression of myopia in children and teenagers. This can be especially helpful for those with high degrees of myopia, as high myopia can increase the risk of eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life.

Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain is becoming an increasingly common problem among teenagers due to their heavy use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Also known as computer vision syndrome can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to digital eye strain due to their developing eyes and prolonged use of digital devices for schoolwork, social media, and entertainment.

There are several things teenagers can do to reduce the risk of digital eye strain. The 20-20-20 rule is a simple and effective strategy where every 20 minutes, teenagers take a break from their digital devices and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Adjusting the screen’s brightness and contrast and minimizing glare from overhead lighting or windows can also help. Blinking frequently while using digital devices helps to keep the eyes lubricated and prevents dry eyes.

It is also important for teenagers to maintain good posture while using digital devices. This means sitting upright with the back supported, eye-level screen, and feet on the ground. This helps to prevent neck and shoulder pain. Regular eye exams by Dr. Teten, Optometrist Chesapeake VA, at Navigation Eye Care are essential for identifying and managing eye health problems, including digital eye strain. Dr. Teten can recommend appropriate eyeglasses or contact lenses to help reduce the risk of digital eye strain and other eye problems.

Contact Lens Care

Contact lenses can be an excellent option for teenagers wanting an alternative to eyeglasses. However, they must follow proper contact lens care to prevent eye infections and other complications. The first step is to wash their hands thoroughly before handling their lenses. They should also clean and store their lenses according to the instructions provided by Dr. Teten as an Optometrist Chesapeake VA or the manufacturer. It’s important that they never share their contact lenses with anyone else and that they replace them as recommended by their Optometrist Chesapeake VA. Suppose they experience any discomfort or redness while wearing their lenses. In that case, they should remove them immediately and contact Dr. Teten at Navigation Eye Care for guidance. Contact lenses can provide teenagers with clear and comfortable vision with proper care.

Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Teenagers who participate in sports risk suffering from sports-related eye injuries, ranging from minor scratches to severe damage that can cause permanent vision loss. Common sports that can cause eye injuries include basketball, baseball, soccer, football, hockey, and racquet. The best way to prevent sports-related eye injuries is by wearing protective eyewear designed for the sport. Teenagers should also avoid playing with sharp or pointed objects and be aware of their surroundings. If an eye injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately to prevent further damage. Even minor eye injuries can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Parents should encourage their teenagers to wear proper eye protection and teach them to recognize the signs of an eye injury. These preventative measures allow teenagers to safely participate in their favorite sports without compromising their vision.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

Regular comprehensive eye exams are crucial for teenagers to maintain good eye health and detect vision problems early on. Many vision problems and eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, have no noticeable symptoms until they have advanced. Comprehensive eye exams can also help detect other health issues that may affect the eyes, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

As teenagers navigate the pressures and demands of adolescence, their visual needs and eye health concerns may be easily overlooked. Encouraging good Optometrist Chesapeake VA eye health habits, such as proper contact lens care, regular comprehensive eye exams, and eye protection during sports can help teenagers maintain good vision and eye health for years.

If you have any teenagers and you or your teenagers have concerns about their eye health. We encourage you to schedule an appointment by calling the Navigation Eye Care team at 757-529-6889 or by scheduling an appointment through our website. We are equipped and prepared to care for you and your whole family. If you are looking for excellent service in a friendly manner, check us out. We highly recommend that you choose Navigation Eye Care when looking for an Optometrist Chesapeake VA.