Dr. Burke, a Grove, OK eye doctor, answers the question: “How does screen time affect my child’s vision?”

Below is the transcript of his response:

Dr. Burke, How Does Screen Time Affect My Child’s Vision?

[Disclaimer: AskGrovesEyeDoctor.com is an information resource only, and it is not a substitute for face to face consultations with your doctor.]

Screen time affects children’s vision in a number of different ways. Computer vision syndrome, also referred to as digital eye strain, describes a group of eye and vision related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader, and cellphone use. The longer that they spend on the computer, the more strain on the eyes.

Other common symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, [and] neck and should pain. Viewing a computer or digital screen often makes the eyes work harder. Uncorrected vision problems can increase the severity of computer vision syndromes or digital eye strain. Viewing distances and angles used for devices or computers are often different from those commonly used for other reading and writing material.

“…When you don’t blink quite as much, your tear film starts to evaporate, creating the symptoms of dry eyes…”

There is more of a requirement for focusing the eyes and can place additional demands on the vision system. Solutions to this are varied. However, they can be alleviated by obtaining regular eye examinations in eye care and in making changes in how you view the view the screen. Special lens designs, lens powers, lens tints, or coatings may help to maximize visual abilities and comfort. Proper body posture, lighting, anti-glare screens on the computer, seating positions, [and] blinking regularly when you’re on the computer is very important. Dry eyes is a result of not blinking as much when you’re on the computer, and, once again, when you don’t blink quite as much, your tear film starts to evaporate, creating the symptoms of dry eyes, so blinking is important. Taking proper breaks [and] rest from the computer is another important aspect.

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