These days, children spend more time in front of digital devices than ever before. In the past two years, screen use among kids has significantly increased by up to 60% in the United States. Although computers and other digital devices are helpful learning tools, you must also keep in mind that excessive screen time can take a toll on your children’s eyes.
Continue reading to learn more about the impact of prolonged screen use on young eyes.
Effects of Prolong Screen Use
- Blurry vision: Staring at the same distance for an extended period can cause the eye’s focusing system to spasm or temporarily lock up. According to an eye doctor, this causes a child’s vision to blur when they look away from the screen.
- Dry eyes: When concentrating on a digital screen, people blink less frequently, which causes dry and irritated eyes. As a result, the upper eyelids tend to open wider, hastening the evaporation of the tear film in the eye.
- Eye fatigue. Muscles around the eyes become tired after some time. Staring at a screen for extended periods can result in difficulty concentrating and headaches centered around the temples and eyes.
What Can You Do
- Take breaks. Help your children develop good eye care habits. Encourage them to go outside or play with a pet, sibling or non-electronic toys – anything that will allow them to take a break from screen use. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends the 20-20-20 rule, which recommends you to look away from the screen every 20 minutes and focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Get enough sleep. Using devices before bedtime can disrupt sleep or affect your child’s sleep quality. According to studies, the blue light emitted by screens can also make it difficult for kids to sleep.
- Get regular eye exams. It is essential for children to have their eyes checked regularly. This way, you’ll know if your child’s eyes are developing properly.
Make an appointment with a trusted optometrist at Six One Six Vision Center. We provide a full range of services to help you care for your eyes and vision. Call or text us at (208) 514-1858 or schedule online anytime. We serve patients in Boise and Eagle, ID.