BOSTON (CBS) — A growing number of young children are having trouble seeing.

A recent study finds that more than 174,000 preschoolers have vision problems that may go unnoticed, like blurriness, strabismus, and lazy eye.

Eye specialists say kids need to be screened early and often to avoid problems down the road.

A child’s vision is still developing and the brain relies heavily on clear and equal signals from both eyes to develop healthy vision.  If they don’t, they may develop permanent vision loss.

Kids should have their eyes examined from birth by a health professional trained to screen for vision problems.  That could be your pediatrician, but some experts are now urging parents to have their children get a comprehensive eye exam by age three.

And if at any age, you notice that your child is squinting or sitting too close to the TV or if you find that an eye is turning in or out or if your child is rubbing their eyes frequently, you should have their vision formally checked.

Which Lifestyle Factors Determine How Long We Live?

It’s anybody’s guess how long we will live, but researchers continue to try to unravel the mystery–and in a large new study looking at genetic information from more than 600,000 people, researchers in Scotland identified several lifestyle factors that can have an impact on survival.

For example, they found that smoking, weight, and education were among the most influential.

Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day over a lifetime can reduce your life expectancy by an average of seven years. But if you quit, your life expectancy returns to that of someone who never smoked.

Every extra two pounds you carry around, can reduce your life expectancy by two months, but lose it, and you can probably gain that time back.

And interestingly, for every year spent studying beyond regular schooling can add almost a year to your lifespan.


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