Eye Strain in Children Due to Excessive Screen Use
Updated: May 31, 2020
Most of us have been glued to our screens much more recently than ever before. That is bound to take a toll on our vision and eye health. Today, I will talk about children's' eyes and how the screen time affects them.
First, we expect more and more children will become Myopic or Nearsighted! How? When a child stares at a screen for an excessive amount of time, an evolutionary phenomenon occurs. The more near work their eyes do—the more nearsighted the eyes will become, and their eyes will have a hard time adjusting their focus when looking far away. Hence, their eyes may need eyeglasses to help them see better at a distance.
Second, when your child's eye muscles are glued to a screen for a long time without a break, you can expect children to complain about headaches. As their eye muscles get tired, they inform the brain of the fatigue presenting as an ache, i.e., a headache.
How do we avoid such issues? Reduce the amount of time your child spends in front of the screen. Have them take a break after every 45 minutes, for at least 10-15 minutes. During this break, take them for a walk around the block, walk on the grass in your front/backyard, ask them to look at things far away. The idea is to break the monotony of using the near-focusing muscles by using distance-focusing muscles instead.
If the blurred vision, headaches, eye fatigue persist, I strongly recommend bringing your child in for an eye exam! We see a tremendous number of children in our practice, and we well equipped to handle their visual needs. Call our office at 516-944-5509 to make an appointment.