11 Questions answered

How do we choose a good kids vitamin for my picky child?

Many parents are concerned when their children tend to avoid certain food items. These children are known as “picky eaters”, but this does not always correlate to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Before considering supplementing the child’ diet with a multivitamin tablet, it will be important to seek a medical opinion to see if the child has a nutritional deficiency. For children with restricted diets like those with allergies, intolerances and vegan or plant-based diets, nutritional deficiency is more commonly seen.

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Answered By

Dr Beng Yeong Ng

Psychiatrist

Is it better for my child to take supplements during the day or night?

It is indeed wise to use supplements for persons with special nutritional requirements, e. g. pregnant women, children, people with anorexia nervosa. To explain further, pregnant women need to take folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. For most people, it is important to have a balanced, healthy diet and supplements may be used to complement (not to replace) a person’s nutrient needs. Some people believe that as we derive nutrients throughout the day from food, having our nutrition supplements at night helps our body get some nutrition as we sleep.

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Answered By

Dr Beng Yeong Ng

Psychiatrist

Are probiotics better than Vitamin C when it comes to building up immunity?

Hi Both work in different ways, Vitamin C tends to provide more generalised improvements in immunity whereas probiotics are more focussed on gut health. Both are useful to maintain your immunity and health.

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Answered By

Dr Dinesh Sirisena

Sport Medicine

What symptoms differentiate degenerative myopia from normal childhood myopia?

Degenerative myopia is a severe form of nearsightedness that damages the retina. The retina is what lets you ‘capture’ images in order to send them to your brain. This is important as an eye doctor can check for retinal damage during an eye exam. Your doctor will widen (dilate) your eyes in order to see your retinas. Both types of myopia result in your eyeball being stretched, but degenerative myopia means there is damage to the tissues in the eye. Tissue damage does increase the possibility of sight loss. Degenerative myopia can lead to macula issues.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Is it advisable to bring our young children to the nearby park for exercise during the circuit breaker period?

There are many ways we can understand this question. Firstly from the legal aspect, as of 20 April 2020, we are still allowed to participate in recreational activities in parks like walking and running. But remember to wear a mask (unless your kid is 2 years old, then it's not needed as of now). But be mindful, the government can change this law at the drop of a hat. Secondly medically speaking, the risk is low as long as you maintain the social distancing rules and you maintain good hand hygiene while outside. Once you return home, immediately go and bathe.

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Answered By

Dr Paul Ang

General Practitioner

How will smartphone use affect my child’s eye health?

Smart devices overuse does increase the risk of myopia. Too much screentime could cause retinal eye damage over time. This also stops the eyes from focusing when they're away from the screen. A study shows that when a child spends too much time on a smart device, they will be more prone to dry-eye diseases [1]. There is a higher chance of developing severe myopia in the future if a child develops myopia in their youth. This will add on to digital eye strain (also known as computer vision syndrome). Hence, I generally feel smartphones are not meant for children’s eyes.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Why do different ethnicities have different rates of myopia?

Myopia is indeed a global health concern which is linked with a wide range of ocular complications. Thus, it will definitely affect your quality of life. Genetics plays a role in myopia. Myopia is much more prevalent in Asians than Caucasians. There is a high prevalence of myopia in Singapore. A population-based study of young adult males in Singapore shows 79. 3% of them were myopic [1]. 13. 1% of them were severely myopic. The study shows that the Chinese have the highest rates of myopia compared to the Indians and Malays. Ethnicities Prevalence of Myopia Chinese 82.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Can probiotics help with flatulence and constipation in children?

Probiotics, in general, help to regulate the types of microbes in our intestines. By doing so, they may help to provide relief in symptoms such as loose stools, bloating and cramps. They are also believed to have effects on our gut immune system. Although there are reports on the use of probiotics for children with constipation and bloating, probiotics mainly serve as an additional tool to help these conditions. Established traditional methods including adequate water and fibre consumption as well as regular exercise may prove to be more effective and sustainable in the long run.

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Answered By

Dr Wai Leong Quan

Gastroenterologist

How does not wearing glasses and letting my vision remain blurry cure myopia?

Myopia tends to gradually increase with age. Leaving your vision blurry doesn’t cure myopia at all. In fact, if you do not use glasses to get a clear vision, it may cause eye strains as well as headaches. This happens when your eyes are not able to focus clearly and properly. This may cause your myopia to progress even more.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

Will reading while lying down worsen myopia?

Actually, reading while lying down by itself has no effect on eyesight. This is provided that you do keep a good reading distance and have adequate light. A good reading distance is about 20 to 30cm. Any form of close reading in any type of position can be considered near-work, which should be avoided. However, reading while lying down is discouraged because gravity pulls your book towards you. That said, it is more likely you will not keep a good reading distance.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

What factors affect children's myopia progression speed?

Myopia often begins during childhood. This happens when the eyeball grows too long, thus, causing blurry distance vision. In most cases, myopia tends to get worse as the kid gets older as their eyes will continue to grow. There are many factors that may affect your child's myopia progression speed: the family history of myopia, ethnicity - Asian children have the highest risk [1], lifestyle - the amount of near work, previous history of premature delivery. References: 1. Theophanous C, Modjtahedi B, Batech M, Marlin D, Luong T, Fong D. Myopia prevalence and risk factors in children.

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Answered By

Dr Harold Choi

Ophthalmologist

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* This profile has been last updated on January 8.