Are You Worried About Your Child’s Vision?

Eye health is often overlooked in children’s growth and development, but kids need eye support, too. An estimated 6.8% of children in the US aged 18 years and younger have been diagnosed with vision impairment. About 3% of children younger than 18 have difficulty seeing even with glasses or contact lenses. These percentages are expected to increase due to the rise in screen use, such as phones and tablets, among young children. These numbers also highlight the importance of providing adequate nutrition that will support children’s vision.


Common vision problems

Children can develop various vision problems. Refractive errors, such as astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia, are prevalent in children. About 4 out of 100 children also have strabismus, which means misaligned or crossed eyes. Amblyopia or lazy eye may also develop if these vision problems are not treated early. These conditions are not only detrimental to children’s vision but can also harm overall well-being and quality of life. In such cases, addressing these vision problems early through eye support is crucial. Providing children with vision-boosting supplements like lutein, zinc, and vitamin C can support eye health and improve visual outcomes.

Lutein for the eyes

Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant that is naturally present in the eyes. This powerful antioxidant helps protect the eyes from harmful blue light, reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, and improves overall visual function. Children may get lutein from foods such as broccoli, kale, spinach, lettuce, and other leafy green vegetables. Incorporating these in a child’s diet can help support eye health. However, lutein supplementation may also be considered to ensure adequate intake, especially for children who refuse to eat lutein-rich foods.

Zinc for eye health

Zinc is crucial in maintaining the proper functioning of the retina and supporting overall visual development. This nutrient also reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, night vision problems, and cataracts. Supplementing with zinc may be beneficial for children who have inadequate dietary intake of this nutrient or are at risk of vision problems. Nonetheless, children may also get zinc from foods such as beef, poultry, beans, and nuts.

Vitamin C is good for the eyes

Vitamin C is particularly known for immune-boosting properties. However, this vitamin also plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy eyes. This nutrient aids in the production of collagen, which is essential for the structure and health of the eyes. Vitamin C also helps protect the eyes from oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The common food sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, and bell peppers. Vitamin C supplements may also be beneficial for children’s eye health.

Boosting your kid’s vision

As today’s children are increasingly exposed to screen time and digital devices, paying particular attention to eye health is crucial. Incorporating a diet rich in lutein, zinc, and vitamin C along with regular eye check-ups can help support vision. These steps also lessen the risk of eye-related problems long-term. However, since children tend to be picky eaters and may not consume enough of these nutrients through food alone, supplementation may be necessary to ensure adequate intake. Consulting a pediatrician or ophthalmologist is recommended to determine the appropriate supplementation and to address any specific concerns or risks related to a child’s eye health.


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