As technology continues to evolve, our children are becoming even more inseparable from their computer devices. Many schools are incorporating tablets into their daily routine and computers are now in every room. Although we may be happy about the increased amount of information our children have access to, it’s important to be aware of how much time they spend in front of computer and device screens.
Too much time spent on these electronic devices come with vision related risks. Research has shown that time on a computer device links to certain eye conditions because of the blue light exposure. Blue light can be harmful because it is the brightest visible light that most people are exposed to for long periods of time, and our eyes are unable to block it. You can read more about it here.
Besides causing digital eye strain, computer vision syndrome, macular degeneration myopia is also linked to computer use. To see clearly on an electronic device, the eye has to exert to focus. Over long periods of time, your eyes can become fatigued by excessive focusing, which can lead to changes within the eye that cause myopia. To reduce the risk of focusing fatigue, and ultimately nearsightedness, for your children we recommend taking frequent breaks while on any computer or device. Stop every 20 minutes to focus on something else about 20 feet away (preferably not on another electronic device) for 10 seconds. This simple exercise can have a great impact on the eyes as it helps the eye muscles from straining and reduces the risk of developing myopia.
There are a few symptoms to look out for if you think your children may be suffering from computer-related vision problems. Consult an ophthalmologist if your child exhibits any of the following symptoms.
- Dry, irritated and tired eyes.
- Blurred vision.
- Headaches after use of an electronic device.
- Persistent eye rubbing.
Although there are some risks associated with the use of electronic devices, they are not all bad. We encourage you to implement a few of these prevention tips so that your children can enjoy the use of electronic devices without worrying about any computer-related vision problems.
- Limit screen time. Since most school-aged children use electronic devices at school, try limiting their use to the weekends. Use it as a reward. Always remember to end use at least one hour before bedtime (preferably two hours).
- Use a screen filter. Most desktop computers have a filter that reduces the amount of emitted blue light from your computer screen. Some tablets have films that act in the same way. We recommend researching what options are available based on what equipment you own.
- Wear glasses. Special computer glasses are designed to block the blue light when looking at a computer screen. They use a yellow tint that significantly reduces eye strain. Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increases contrast to make it easier on your eyes to focus.
Regardless of showing any symptoms, we recommend every child has a comprehensive eye exam every year to ensure proper eye health. It is important to test their visual acuity, eye tracking, and focusing skills on an annual basis to ensure proper development and prevent any problems or disease. View our highly-trained pediatric physicians today and schedule an appointment for your children with the eye doctors at Brandon Cataract Center & Eye Clinic.