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5 Ways to Protect and Improve Your Child’s Eyesight

Your child’s vision is their primary window into the world around them. Keeping their eyesight healthy is an important part of allowing them to experience life to the fullest.

Here are 5 tips on how to protect and improve your child’s eye health:

1. Take them to the eye doctor for routine eye exams

One of the most important take-aways from any article you read on the subject of keeping your child’s vision and eyes healthy, is the need to keep up with routine comprehensive eye exams.

Although your kid’s school may perform vision screenings, these tests can only detect the most basic issues, such as myopia (nearsightedness) or severe amblyopia. They are not equipped to check for eye diseases that can affect your child’s long-term ocular health, or binocular vision disorders that can hinder their ability to learn.

Our Fort Collins eye doctor will be able to perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for the presence of these and other conditions. If ocular diseases or vision disorders are detected, your eye doctor will have the equipment and expertise to properly treat them.

2. Limit their screen time

Screens are an ever-present part of our lives. Children can spend hours every day texting, playing video games, watching television, and more. It is all-too-easy to spend way too much time on these digital devices, causing symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry eye
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain

Excessive blue light, like the kind that comes from these screens, interferes with sleep and is also thought to increase the risk of macular degeneration later in life.

To prevent symptoms and protect your child’s long-term vision health, limit their screen time, when possible, to approximately one hour, and devices should be turned off a few hours before bedtime to allow your child to wind down.

3. Encourage them to eat healthy foods and get exercise

As with every part of the body, a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in ensuring the long-term health of your child’s eyes.

Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to promote eye health. Good sources include fish such as salmon and herring. For vegans and others who don’t eat fish, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also a great option. 

Leafy greens and fruits are also important, as they’re high in vitamins A, C and E, which are all important for the development and maintenance of healthy vision.

Along with a healthy diet, you should encourage your child to get up and exercise. Physical activity is good for the whole body, and that includes the eyes.

Bonus points if you can get your child outside, as sunlight and outdoor play have been shown to slow or even prevent the development of myopia. Just make sure your child wears sunglasses and a sun hat — UV rays have a cumulative effect that could lead to eye diseases like macular degeneration later in life.

4. Help them avoid eye injuries

Eye injuries are an all-too-common occurrence, especially among children.

If you have little ones at home, make sure that paints, cleaners and other dangerous chemicals and irritants are put away somewhere safe. If these ever get into their eyes, they can cause severe damage to your child’s visual system, including permanent loss of vision.

For contact and ball/puck sports, ensure your child wears the right eyewear to protect their eyes from accidental impacts or pokes. Helmets should also be worn where the sport warrants it, to prevent concussions and other head injuries that can have an effect on vision.

5. Reduce eye infections

Even small, common infections such as pink eye can have an impact on your child’s vision.

Hands are some of the most bacteria-filled parts of our bodies. Your child should learn not to touch their eyes with their unwashed hands, as this is the primary way of introducing germs to the eye that may result in infection. 

On a similar note, if you have contact lens wearers, be sure to teach them to wash their hands each and every time they put in or take out their contact lenses. They should also learn to store and clean their lenses strictly according to their eye doctor‘s instructions and should change lenses according to their intended schedule. Daily contacts should be changed daily, monthly contacts, monthly.

For more information on how best to protect and improve your child’s eyesight, contact 20/20 Vision Center in Fort Collins today.

Q&A

Can I rely on the vision screenings at my child’s school to catch vision and eye health issues?

No. School-based vision screenings check for basic visual acuity. Even if your child has perfect 20/20 vision, there may still be issues with visual skills or undetected eye diseases that these types of screenings are not equipped to catch.

It is important not to rely on school vision screenings as a replacement for an annual comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. During these visits, your eye doctor will be able to assess your child for vision skills such as:

  • Eye teaming ability
  • Convergence and divergence skills
  • Tracking and focusing
  • Visual accommodation

They will also be able to diagnose and treat conditions such as:

  • Amblyopia
  • Strabismus
  • (Rarely) pediatric glaucoma or cataracts

These and other conditions can only be diagnosed and treated by a trained optometrist as part of a comprehensive eye exam.

Can vision problems be misdiagnosed as ADHD/ADD?

It is unfortunately common for learning-related vision problems to go undetected. These vision problems can often mimic the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, leading to misdiagnosis and mistaken treatment.

As many as 1 out of every 4 school-age children suffers from some form of visual dysfunction. If not properly treated, a child may struggle throughout their entire school career, harming their learning and possibly their long-term self-confidence.

7 Tips to Keep Your Vision Healthy and Clear

Most of the information we receive from our surroundings comes through our eyes, so let’s do our best to protect them. Follow these 7 tips to give your eyes and vision the boost they need to stay healthy. 

Eye Health Habits & Tips

1. Eat a Well Balanced Diet

Consuming a healthy and balanced diet filled with lots of vitamins and nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy and strong. Vitamins A, E and C, along with zinc, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids have all been shown to support eye health and function — and  reduce the risk of sight-threatening eye diseases.

2. Exercise

Exercising for at least 20 minutes each day not only gets your body moving, but also improves blood circulation in the eyes. A regular exercise routine can also help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of obesity — a risk factor for several diseases that cause vision loss in adults.

3. Control Your Blood Pressure 

Keeping your blood pressure within normal limits is not only important for your overall health, but for your eye health as well. High blood pressure can damage the tiny and fragile blood vessels that feed the retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye, and result in blurred vision and vision loss. Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and taking the right medication, if prescribed, can help to reduce your blood pressure and your risk of vision loss.

4. Wear Sunglasses 

Wearing 100% UV protective sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and reduce your risk of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and other sight-threatening eye conditions. 

5. Rest Your Eyes

Spending hours each day in front of a computer screen or other digital device can lead to eye strain, fatigue and dry eye symptoms. Practice the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes their much needed break — every 20 minutes, tear your eyes away from the screen and look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. 

6. Quit Smoking

Smoking is hazardous to your health and affects nearly all the organs in your body, including your eyes. Cigarette smoke in particular contains toxins that have been shown to cause cerebral lesions in the visual processing area of the brain.

Smoking tobacco has also been linked to higher risks of sight-threatening eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

7. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

Regular eye exams are a crucial part of maintaining eye health and vision. Comprehensive eye exams can detect early signs of eye disease, even before symptoms appear — facilitating earlier treatment and lowering your risk of permanent vision loss. 

If you’re due for a routine checkup, you’ve noticed any changes in your vision, or you’d like to learn more about protecting your ocular health, contact 20/20 Vision Center in Fort Collins to schedule an eye exam today!

Caring Optometrists & Optical Store In Fort Collins, Colorado

At 20/20 Vision Center, our optometrists are here to help protect your most precious gift, the gift of sight. We do not take this responsibility lightly. We understand the positive impact that early detection and intervention of eye disease can have on your quality of life – today and tomorrow. Our Fort Collins eye doctor, Dr. Vosseteig started this eye care practice over 20 years ago with this in mind. He has meticulously designed an eye care experience that makes you feel welcome and at home.

What you’ll notice is that we care: we care about your time, your money, your family and most of all – your eyes! You’ll notice that by our friendly, fun and experienced staff. You’ll notice that by our beautiful, warm and inviting office environment. Even the little details count, like the complimentary coffee, tea, or bottled water, or even the easy and ample parking. You’ll notice we care, through the modern technology and superior diagnostic optometry equipment that we use.

Your Eye Doctors in Fort Collins

We at 20/20 Vision Center are passionate about what we do, and our eye doctors in Fort Collins work hard to form a relationship with you, so we understand your passions, your lifestyle, and what’s important to you. We are here so you can enjoy life to the fullest. So you can see and do the things that you were meant to do. In our Fort Collins office, we work and play in a beautiful place that your beautiful, marvelous and precious eyes were meant to see the best!

We know that choosing an optometrist near you is a big decision, that you can’t take lightly. So, take a look around our vision center, and see what we are all about. Read about our eye doctors in Fort Collins, our technology and our reviews. You can even take a virtual “Office Tour”. When you’re done, give us a call, and we’ll welcome you to our family.

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Shop for eyewear that matches your unique style at our optical store. We carry the highest quality modern and trendy designer frame brands from local and world-wide craftsman.

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Have you been told that you cannot wear contact lenses? We offer several comfortable and effective types of specialty lenses for hard-to-fit patients!

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Is your child distance learning? These five eye care tips from 20/20 Vision Center will help them to prevent eye strain in the virtual classroom. Click here for great eyecare tips!

Our Doctors

Dr. Greg Vosseteig 450

Dr. Greg Vosseteig, Optometrist

Dr. Rebecca Connelly 450

Dr. Rebecca Connelly, Optometrist

Your Fort Collins Destination for Every Eyecare Need

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Dry Eye Treatment

Our doctors are here to diagnose the causes behind your dry eyes, and to design a treatment plan customized for you.

Myopia Management

We have the ability to slow down the progression of your child's nearsightedness, and to help prevent serious eye diseases later in life. We have several advanced treatments to meet your child's unique needs. Make an appointment so we can determine which is best for your child!

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Eye Disease Management

Utilizing cutting-edge technology we are diagnosing and managing, with great precision, diseases like Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. Earlier and more precise diagnosis means earlier treatment and better outcomes.

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12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2.Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel.

3.Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4.Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up! ”

20/20 Vision Center Eye Clinic and Eye Health in Fort Collins, Colorado

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Fort Collins eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking?

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit.

6.Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health.

7.Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds.

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too. ”

Local Eye Health in Fort Collins, Colorado

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9. Be careful with eye make-up

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10.Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11.Wear protective eyewear

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12.Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.” “It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly.

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like:

Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia Eye coordination Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Dr. Gary Stocker.

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. Milpitas Optometric Group offers comprehensive eye exams in Milpitas, California , and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.”

Call 20/20 Vision Center on 970-276-6060 to schedule an eye exam with our Fort Collins optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Why You Shouldn’t Visit the ER for Eye Emergencies During COVID-19

Childhood Myopia Is in Crisis Mode on a Global Scale

7 Tips to Keep Your Vision Healthy and Clear

Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?


Eye Care Services In Fort Collins, CO

Our optometrist near you is confident that we can provide the eye care you need at 20/20 Vision Center in Fort Collins. Below you’ll find a list of some of the key eye care services that our eye doctor near you offers.

Proudly serving Colorado’s Larimer County for over 20 years.

Quality Eye Exams in Fort Collins, CO | Caring Optometrist

Comprehensive eye exams near you for adults and children, co-management of laser vision correction surgery, caring for eye emergencies and so much more. You can trust he optometrist near you, your Fort Collins eye doctor at 20/20 Vision Center provide comprehensive eye care to patients of all ages including treatment for a range of conditions including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, cataracts and macular degeneration.

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Using the latest technology, we are diagnosing and managing, diseases like Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration Cataracts, and Diabetic Retinopathy.

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Our eye doctors have the latest technology and lots of experience with eye infections, scratched eye, something stuck in your eye, painful or stinging eyes.

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We use the most up-to-date technology. Learn about the different types of tests and equipment you may experience on a visit to our Practice.

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Did you know your optometrist can help you with red eyes, pink eye, or sore eyes, foreign body removal and eye emergencies?

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If you're ready for an alternative to glasses or contacts look to us for co-management of LASIK.

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Dry eyes result from the chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, causing minor irritations, and an inability to wear contact lenses.

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Nearsightedness, technically known as myopia, is a condition which causes difficulty focusing on objects at a distance, while near vision remains normal.

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Orthokeratology, or "ortho-k," is the process of reshaping the eye with specially-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses.

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This is a one-time service which offers early detection of potential eye and vision problems at no cost regardless of income or ability to pay.

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LATISSE™ solution is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis and is used to grow eyelashes, making each eyelash longer, thicker and darker.