Could Too Much Screen Time Put You or Your Child at Risk of Myopia?
Digital media, electronic devices, and large television screens are extremely prevalent today. It’s not uncommon for a child to spend time playing video games or working at a computer throughout the day. As a parent, it’s understandable that you may have concerns about the risks involved with excessive screen time and whether or not that can affect your children’s vision.
The truth is that your children are more likely to develop vision issues when they spend extended amounts of time in front of a screen. They can also develop other vision-related problems, such as dry eye syndrome. Here is everything that you need to know about the vision issues that your child could be facing as a result of extended screen time.
The Connection Between Myopia and Excessive Screen Time
Over the past several decades, cases of myopia or nearsightedness have been steadily increasing, which coincides with the advancements made with digital media and excessive near work. Increased computer use among children in recent years also proves that there is a definitive correlation. In North America and Europe, studies show that myopia is becoming a lot more prevalent among the general population.
The Effects of Light
While there is no evidence that blue light causes damage to the retina, the light emanating from a digital device can cause what’s called digital eye strain which can lead to pain, redness and eyes that feel tired.
Different Methods for Protecting Your Children
Myopia management can require you to get a little creative when it comes to protecting your children and preventing damage to their eyes. Here is how you can keep them safe:
- Taking frequent breaks. The 20-20-20 rule is recommended and encourages a 20 second break every 20 minutes while looking 20 feet away
- Using preservative free artificial tears to rewet the eyes. The allows to prevent the eyes from drying out and can help mitigate digital eye strain
- Put a limit on the amount of time that your children spend playing video games or working on computers
Spend More Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors can reduce the risk of myopia onset and progression in children. It allows you to limit their exposure screens and near work.
You should also keep in mind that spending time outdoors will force your children to focus on objects that are far away. This includes trees, basketball hoops, buildings, and airplanes flying overhead. Children tend to sit extremely close to TV, computer screens, and books but spending time outside prevents them from focusing on things that are right in front of them.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you happen to notice that your child may be having vision issues or you simply want to give yourself a sense of peace of mind, we encourage you to reach out to our team and schedule an appointment. Our experienced eye doctors provide reliable eye care for every person including younger patients. Take this opportunity to manage and prevent myopia in your children.