In today’s modern world, virtually everyone is spending more and more time in front of backlit digital screens—from their TVs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This has sparked debate among the public and health officials about the effect it has on the eyes, particularly for children who may now need prescription eyewear as a result. Here’s a closer look at the issue.
How Excessive Screen Time Impacts Your Kid’s Eyes
Screen time is defined as the period spent looking at screens of digital devices. The average figure is at two hours a day for children, which tends to increase as they grow older.
Kids attached to their screens spend more time indoors than outdoors, which can affect healthy eye development. Studies have shown that staying outside for a time helps with eye health, lowering the risk of nearsightedness or myopia. If your child remains cooped up inside, they may not be receiving enough natural light for proper eye growth. Over time, they’ll need prescriptive eyewear to correct their vision.
Another effect of prolonged screen time is called digital eye strain. It’s linked to a variety of symptoms, including dry or irritated eyes, fatigue, headache, and blurry vision. While temporary, these can be annoying when frequent.
These problems happen if your child doesn’t blink enough due to intense concentration on the screen, drying out the protective fluid that coats the eyes. Moreover, staying close and focused can cause eyes to lose their flexibility when adjusting for distance vision.
How to Reduce the Impact
1. Set Limits & Be a Good Example
The best way to curb screen time and its impact on your child is to limit their exposure to digital devices. Create rules by setting limits on how long and where they can only use the device—no exceptions. When you establish screen-free zones and time limits, make sure that you follow these as well.
2. Teach Good Habits
Encourage them to take frequent breaks by blinking, closing their eyes, or looking up from the screen. Remind them to keep the devices at least two feet away from their eyes and position these slightly downwards.
3. Get Them Glasses or Filters
Invest in eyewear with anti-reflective coating, blue light filter, or photochromatic lenses to reduce the amount of blue light passing through their eyes.
Quality eyewear can protect your child’s eyes against strain during screen time. For top-notch pediatric eyewear, look no further than Cook Inlet Eyewear in Anchorage, AK. As a trusted optical shop for over 25 years, they carry an extensive selection of kids’ glasses to choose from. Call (907) 276-1021 to set an appointment for eyewear fitting or learn more about their services online.