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Myths and Facts About Children's Eye Health
Date:10/9/2009

ered to be emitting high amounts of X-rays. The problem was soon corrected and modern TV monitors, including older tube-type sets and new LCD models, are safe and do not emit any dangerous rays.

Myth #2. Eating lots of carrots will improve a child's eyesight.

Fact: Carrots do contain Vitamin A, which is a key ingredient in good overall nutrition; however, eating a lot of them will not improve your eyesight. Recent research findings have found that eating foods rich in Lutein, a plant nutrient, may help prevent age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of blindness in older adults. Lutein is a carotenoid, natural pigment, found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, plus various fruits and corn.

"The research is very preliminary, but it does suggest that Lutein can help protect against adults developing macular degeneration. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of green vegetables should be sufficient for most families," said Dr. Borchert.

Carrots' reputation as eyesight enhancers is partially due to the fact that Vitamin A sources are helpful in treating night blindness, also called nyctalopia, which can be caused by Vitamin A deficiency.

Myth #3. Only adults can wear contact lenses safely.

Fact: Children of all ages, even infants, can wear contact lenses safely if the correct procedures are followed. Under the age of 10, an adult will need to insert, remove and clean the lens. Many children over 10 can handle the contact lenses (wearing and cleaning) themselves.

According to Dr. Borchert, ophthalmologists may prescribe contact lenses for infants and very young children to enhance vision development when the eyes have very different prescriptions after cataract surgery, corneal scarring or diseases like Retinopathy of Prematurity.

Dr. Borchert said older children could manage their own contact lens care if they are mature and responsible. "If they ma
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SOURCE Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
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