August is Children’s Eye Health Month, Exams Must Check for Pediatric Dry Eye
With Computer Use by Children Increasing, Pediatric Dry Eye Is a Real Concern Says Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder Sharon Kleyne
Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) August 20, 2014
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, when parents are urged to become educated about eye health and safety for their children and have their children’s eye examined. One frequently overlooked eye condition that must be checked for, according to Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio show, is pediatric dry eye. With computer use by very young children increasing exponentially, childhood dry eye is becoming a very real concern to ophthalmologists.
Sharon Kleyne is Founder of Bio Logic Aqua Research, a global research and technology center specializing in and fresh water, the atmosphere and the effects of dehydration. Natures Tears® EyeMist®, the Research Center’s signature product for humidifying dry eyes, is safe for all ages, including children. Kleyne’s globally syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio show is heard on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes.
Kleyne is quick to point out that her suggestions regarding dry eye in children are in addition to all other eye health and safety recommendations made by the Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month sponsors, Prevent Blindness America and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Kleyne’s concerns about the increasing rate of dry eye in children is based in part on observation of her own grandchildren. Kleyne grew concerned when her grandchildren became adept at using computers as early as age two, in addition to watching television. It is well known that with adults, working at a computer for more than three hours a day greatly reduces the reflexive blink rate that keeps the surface of the eye moist and healthy. It also well known that the incidence of dry eye increases with age.
Left unsupervised, according to Kleyne, many children would spend the entire day at the computer, or at a tablet computer or game device. All can cause a reduction in the reflexive blink rate which reduces the amount of tear film water reaching the ocular surface, which can lead to dry eye complaints. It is estimated that 50% to 90% of adults who use computers more than three hours a day experience some degree of dry eye complaints. A healthy ocular surface is 98% water.
Chronic dry eye, Kleyne notes, can lead to glaucoma, corneal ulcers and permanent visual impairment. Kleyne further notes that visual impairment is a major cause of learning problems in school and that a statistically significant percentage of the United States prison population experienced vision problems as children.
Dry eye symptoms, says Kleyne, include eye discomfort, transient blurred vision, especially in the afternoon, eye discomfort such as itching or burning, frequent blinking or squinting, fatigue, headaches and depression.
Other situations that increase the risk of dry eye in both adults and children, Kleyne explains, include hot and dry outdoor weather with exposure to direct sunlight, exposure to wind, especially cold wind, a heavily polluted atmosphere, forced air heating and cooling indoors, heavy perspiration, illness, too little water intake, etc.
Suggestions for avoiding dry eye in children and adults, according to Kleyne, include limiting computer time to an hour a day and TV tie to an hour a day. Make sure children look away from the screen every few minutes. Keep the indoor environment properly humidified; a relative humidity of 40 to 70 percent is ideal. This can be achieved with room humidifiers, house plants or bowls of water.
Kleyne recommends a minimum of eight glasses of pure fresh water per day for adults, in addition to all other fluid intake. Drinks heavy in sugar and caffeine are dehydrating to the body and eyes and should be minimized. The rule for children regarding how much water to drink is half their body weight in ounces, so a 40 pound child should drink 20 ounces of water a day. Because the body dehydrates during sleep, Kleyne urges a large drink of water first thing upon rising.
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